Reseller Small Business Sustainability

Seller's Corner
Reseller Small Business Sustainability

Ice caps are melting, there is a global water shortage, and mother Earth needs some time, love and care. There are many minor changes you can make in your small business to be more sustainable.


As we all know, the fashion industry is toxic; environmentally and socially. Buying and selling second hand merchandise makes a huge difference for our planet. 


In honor of Earth Day 2022, here are some things you can do as a reseller to be a sustainable small business. 


Reduce Waste & Conserve Energy


Take a look in your trash bin, what is it primarily filled with? Reducing waste is one of the smallest but most significant things you can do as a reseller and small business owner. 


Thankfully, saving the environment and saving money often go hand-in-hand. I found that I used to be fairly irresponsible with resources and energy, and there were quite a few things I could do to change that and make my reselling business more of a green business.

  1. Using biodegradable cleaning products and detergents is one of the small changes I made that made a big difference. I love these cleaners that come as tablets where you add your own water and use a reusable spray bottle.

  2. Using a thermal laser printer such as Rollo or Dymo uses less energy and reduces paper waste, too! You can buy recycled labels for these, too!

  3. Scheduling package pick-ups with USPS and UPS significantly reduces carbon emissions from vehicles, plus it's super convenient!

  4. Using whiteboards for notes (rather than paper or post-its) is a great way to reduce paper waste.

  5. Hanging clothing to dry to reduce laundering saves energy and money, too!

While these very small steps won’t save the planet overnight, remember that every little thing can make a big difference over time!


You might also be interested in this article:  9 Steps to Start a Reselling Business Online for Profit


Use Sustainable Supplies 


Resellers use a lot of supplies for storing, packaging, and shipping. I recommend reducing packaging to only what is necessary to protect the item during shipping and from the elements. 


Skip the ribbons, bows, confetti, and thank you notes. These things are likely just thrown away and often are not recyclable. Even if they are, it is a shame how many people don’t recycle or do not have access to free and convenient recycling in the United States. 


Did you know that only 32% of Americans recycle, according to the 2021 United States Consensus. 


Here are some things you can do for more sustainable packaging: 


  1. Use recyclable and biodegradable boxes and mailers 

  2. Reuse packaging that you receive as a consumer

  3. Make a post on local Facebook Groups or Next Door to seek others’ recyclable packaging (businesses in particular receive a ton of materials that they often throw away).

  4. Skip the extras for aesthetics and vanity. 

Source Sustainably


Sourcing sustainably is a great way to help save the planet. By sourcing second-hand goods and textiles, you keep so much out of landfills. 


Landfills are overwhelmed with textiles, much of the same being synthetic materials that take forever to break down, if at all. 


Did you know that in 2018, 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency.  


Another crucial thing you can do as a reseller and a consumer is to avoid sourcing (new) “fast fashion” brands.  Fast fashion brands mass-produce low-cost apparel at a low-quality, that is not made to last.

Fast fashion brands aim to maximize profit without regard to the environment, waste, emission, and the exploitation of labor. Often,the products are made of poor-quality materials and produced in toxic facilities in regions without stringent environmental regulation. 


Fast fashion companies are responsible for much of the textiles in landfills, a vast level of pollution, and exploitation of human labor. While that super trendy top from Shein might only cost $3.99, there is a much higher price on the environmental impact and the poor treatment of the employees who made it.


Fast fashion is detrimental to the planet and human rights. While buying and selling these items second hand is helping, purchasing new items is not a sustainable or ethical practice. Lend your support to ethical companies and suppliers that pay their employees fair wages and produce quality products with a longer lifespan.


Here are some ways to source sustainably as a reseller:


  1. Source second hand at local thrift stores

  2. Check out the Goodwill outlets (“the bins”) which is the last stop for many textiles in the United States.

  3. When buying new or doing retail arbitrage, do your research and support companies that are responsibly sustainable.

  4. Check out Kōsei Threads, a sustainable wholesale company with the mission of “bringing new life to discarded clothing to decrease textile waste and extend the life cycle of garments and apparel.” With the hashtag #clothesarenttrash, Kōsei advocates recycling, reselling, upcycling, and repurposing textiles to keep clothing out of landfills. Learn more about Kōsei and their reseller wholesale boxes here. 


Raise Awareness

You have a responsibility as a business owner to do your part for the planet and raise awareness about sustainability.  Vendoo is a green company that strives to reduce waste, minimize pollution, and raise awareness for the good of the environment and society. 


Sharing your sustainable tips and practices on social media is a great way to encourage eco-friendly activity


To learn more about secondhand ecommerce and reseller sustainability, check out the article 5 Tips for Being Sustainable as a Reseller


What are your best eco-friendly tips and tricks? Share with us below!

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