(Me and Chowder, Second Serve's first ambassador)
Second Serve was born out of the realization that resale has snuck up and become big business. I was shopping resale online, and it occurred to me that the number of sites, and the volume of inventory, seemingly exploded (this was 2019). I was on the Thred Up site and they had (maybe still have) this picture of a massive warehouse with tons of clothes hung on these revolving hanger machines you see at the dry cleaners. There was more inventory, and the website seemed more developed than it had been. It was that picture of all the clothes on revolving hangers that made an impact on me- people were making money off resale, or at least there were companies betting on making money off the clothes individuals send to them for consignment.
It occurred to me that profits from resale should go, or could go, to nonprofit organizations rather than for-profit companies, in a similar large volume kind of way. I mean, we are talking about a resource that everyone has (generally speaking of course, and as Americans especially)! Resale profits directed to non-profits isn’t a new idea, but it is presently not on the scale of Thred Up or Poshmark or Ebay for-profit companies. What if there were just as many nonprofit resale sites as there were for-profit ones? What if profits from resale clothing were directed to help people and communities? And what if the buyer picked the nonprofit that would benefit? Well, that would be awesome. Second Serve is the culmination of this idea that resale clothing can be converted to cash to fund our community organizations.
Second Serve took shape as I spoke to my friends about a website that could do this, could also promote the environmental benefits of resale, plus be a fun shopping experience in and of itself. Secondserveresale.org is our stab at that. We are a baby organization and don't have all the answers for sure, but we believe in what we are doing, and hope to get better at it. Please let us know what you think!
I hope we build a community here. Second Serve is designed to bring people together-donors, buyers, and our nonprofit partners. We recognize there are stories behind the clothes we purchase, and the clothes we donate. We want to share these personal experiences as much as possible because there is meaning in clothing. Not because we are materialistic, but just the opposite- because we recognize the worth of something that is valued not for what it is but because of where its been. This is not to say that every item on Second Serve has a “backstory”. We want to uncover the backstories where they exist and keep the story flowing to the buyer, in the hope that the buyer becomes the donor at some point. That’s a lot to expect we know, but that is what we are trying to do.
Welcome to Second Serve! We hope that you enjoy your shopping experience, your purchases, and feel good that you are helping others as well as the environment.