How To Sell Your Old Clothes & Earn Money For New Ones

Cleaning out your closet doesn’t have to harm the environment — and if you’re smart, it can help your wallet, too.

Getting rid of old clothes to make room for new ones is such a refreshing feeling —  but with talk of a recession and prices on the rise, many are considering ways to where to sell clothing to make a bit of extra money.

There are a few ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle the items in your closet. Selling your gently-used items can help someone on a tighter budget turn a fashionable look, but that also takes time and effort you might not have. And what do you do with you more well-loved items that aren’t fit for wear anymore? New clothes aren’t getting any cheaper; wouldn’t it be nice if your old clothes could find new life in a way that puts coin in your (new) pockets?

It’s estimated that less that 13% of clothing gets recycled, and it’s mostly repurposed as different building or cleaning materials. Another 1% of clothing gets recycled into new clothes, decreasing the amount of resources it takes to make new clothes. So where does the other 85% go? Right into landfills. Whether they’re thrown away directly or transported across the world only to be dumped in foreign landfills, our old outfits more often are left to ultimately be buried in piles of trash. And all that trash contributes to the emissions of harmful methane gas.

Effectively recycling textiles is no simple task — many clothes these days are made with plastics, which don’t biodegrade. Out there in a sea of online and in-person retailers, there are so many companies that will be forced to look at their impact on the environment. Fortunately, some businesses are doing their best to reduce the negative impact clothing has on the world.

Buy These Products, Recycle Them Back

For a lot of companies, the easiest way to recycle clothing is to first make clothing that can be recycled and then creating a system that allows customers to return for store credit. This method of cyclical fashion aims at reducing waste by repurposing or repairing old clothing.

There are several companies with these types of trading programs you may not be aware of, such as:

Patagonia’s Worn Wear program lets you trade in your old hiking and outdoor gear for store credit. You can also shop Worn Wear shop where you can buy used and repaired gear that’s still wearable (and in many cases, really cool looking).REI also lets you trade in gently-used outdoor items for repair and recycle. Once your items are accepted, you get a gift card! You can also shop repaired and recycled items.Levi’s  (LEVI) – Get Levi Strauss & Co Class A Report will take your used Levi’s denim and repurpose it into more Levi’s denim! After all, jeans are a timeless fashion piece.Eileen Fisher is also creating a circular cycle for its fashion. The company will recycle anything in unwearable condition, and features a shop with clothes made of second-hand textiles.

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Donate Your Old Clothes To These Companies & Get a Discount

Some companies have formed partnerships with resale and recycling businesses to get your old clothes to the right places. These companies usually act as a middle-man, giving you an in-store location where you can drop off your old clothes or shoes in exchange for discounts or credit.

Madewell and Blue Jeans Go Green will take your old denim and recycle it, regardless of where you bought it. The denim you donate will be used to make insulation for homes built for families in need. To show its appreciation, Madewell will give you a $20 credit toward a new pair of jeans. In 2020, The Gap  (GPS) – Get Gap Inc. (The) Report and its other brands, including Banana Republic and Athleta, teamed up with online resale platform thredUP. Simply pack your resellables in one of threadUP’s Clean Out bags and send it to thredUp. They’ll list it, sell it, and give you 15% back in Gap credit.Reformation also has a similar deal with thredUP that lets you send clothes in to the second-hand site and get a store credit. The clothing company also recycles its own clothes to make new clothes that you can purchase.Cuyana‘s Lean Closet program is another thredUP team-up that will net you a 15% shopping credit at the online store.Unsure of what to do with your old underwear? Knickey’s will take your old undies, bras, socks, and other underthings and repurpose them in exchange for 15% off. Hanky Panky will also take your old skivvies in exchange for a $10 store credit.For Days will send you a Take Back Bag to fill with your unwanted closet items made of any material in any condition. The company works with third-party recyclers to turn anything you send into something useful — and it’ll give you Closet Cash to spend in their store.The North Face, owned by VF Corporation  (VFC) – Get V.F. Corporation Report, lets you drop gently-used unwanted clothing and footwear off at any retail store. The items are then sent to the company’s partner Soles4Souls, which will help redistribute the clothes where they’ll help the most. You’ll also get a $10 credit on any North Face purchase over $100.DSW shoes, a subsidiary of Designer Brands  (DBI) – Get Designer Brands Inc. Class A Report, also works with Soles4Soles to put used shoes on feet that need them.The Bra Recyclers lets you recycle your gently-used bras in exchange for credit at participating stores, some of which sell lingerie. Hey, there’s no reason your discount has to be all utility and no spice!Finally, H&M  (HNNMY)  also takes all manner of clothing and distributes it to third-party recyclers. However, its current fast-fashion practices are so harmful for the environment that shoppers may still be wary of participating. But if you’re near one and you shop at H&M, your donation can get you 15% off your purchase.

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