There is no better time than spring to declutter your space, including getting rid of unwanted clothes. What do you do with your unwanted clothes? I learned in the Netflix documentary, The True Cost, that much of the clothing donated to donation centers, although well intended, never gets reused and eventually ends up in landfills where it contributes to pollution.
So, what are some other options? For this post, I am sharing some options that can bring new life into your unwanted (or unneeded clothes), or earn you some extra cash.
Barter and Trade
There are a variety of second-hand and thrift stores, but Buffalo Exchange is one of my favorite places to take unwanted clothes, especially when I am interested in trading my pieces in exchange for new styles. I purchased the dress below, made by French Connection, for a fraction of the listing cost after bringing in clothes to sell. I recommend taking clothing here for a few reasons. First, they have a great selection of funky styles, vintage clothing, as well as, staples. Secondly, sellers receive 30% of the selling price in cash or 50% off of your in store purchase. I also like that, in place of shopping bags at check out, customers are given a token representing five cents, which is used to donate to one of three local charities selected by the customer.
In my experience, Buffalo Exchange is pretty selective in the clothing they accept, buying items in styles that are currently selling well, so clothing is less likely to sit on racks. I recommend bringing your more stylish pieces here that are in excellent condition, as well as, staples like denim. I also suggest bringing your items for the upcoming season in advance, as they typically prepare for the next season a few months before the season begins.
Not a Buffalo Exchange in your area? Check out their sale by mail program.
Resale your Retail
For gently worn items that are still in great condition, another option is to sale them online through platforms, like Poshmark. From the app, users can list their own items for sale within a few minutes by taking a photo of the item from their phone, creating a product description, and listing the selling price. Poshmark provides the shipping label for free and receives 20% of each transaction over $15 ($2.95 for items priced below $15). It is a great option for selling unwanted clothes and allows sellers to get more monetary value from their items, in comparison to second-hand stores where sellers receive a percentage of the selling price. I have a new Poshmark account and you can follow me at ayannainbloom.
Recycle your Clothing
Did you know that as part of their sustainability initiative, H&M has a program that provides customers with a percentage off of their in-store purchase when they bring in clothes to donate? H&M partners with I:Collect to separate donated items into clothing that can be sold at second-hand stores and clothing that can be recycled or reused.
Recently, Miami-based fair trade store, Nomad Tribe, implemented a clothing drive and collected donated garments that were used to launch their first collection made of 100% recycled cotton. The collection includes pieces like the jumpsuit below. They are currently collecting more donated clothing for this recycled collection. Details are available here.
A plus for these recycled clothing initiatives is that your clothing does not have to be in great condition. You can donate items that are discolored, torn, etc. and they can be repurposed into new items.
Refashioning & Upcycling Clothing
For me, this is the most fun option. Old clothes still have a lot of potential! Upcycling is taking old products, like clothes or waste products, and repurposing them into something new and useful. I’ve created shorts from old jeans and crop-tops from dresses I no longer wanted or needed. The trick here is using as much of the fabric as possible, however, so you don’t waste the rest. I’ll be sharing some refashioned clothing projects in future posts!
I hope you enjoyed this post and found some options for getting rid of your unwanted, or unneeded, clothing. Have you subscribed to my newsletter? Click on the link on the right before you leave to receive regular updates!
Thank you for stopping by! Happy spring cleaning!