Here Are the Best Options Where You Can Donate or Sell Your Clothes for Money

Combat fast fashion with these economical tips.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

Jun. 25 2024, Published 11:07 a.m. ET

A woman in an orange top takes a photo with her phone of a yellow sweater to sell online.
Source: iStock

Amidst a booming fast fashion industry that leads to a critically dangerous amount of waste, the situation demands many solutions for a more sustainable exchange of fashion items. While secondhand clothing shops have several benefits and may yield some extremely valuable scores, some sellers and consumers prefer other options.

Enter the fascinating and fast-evolving world of donating and selling clothes for money.

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Below, we'll explain the different ways to sell or donate your clothing for money and identify the benefits of each. By participating in alternatives to purchasing clothes from fast fashion retailers, you are playing an instrumental role in reducing the waste that ends up in landfills.

Leverage social media to become a thrift bundling personal stylist.

Many TikTok users are capitalizing on the popularity of the Thrift Store Bundles trend to serve as a de facto personal stylist and offer followers the unique experience of putting together outfits for sale.

This option is for the social media savvy, entrepreneurial, energetic user with the financial means to build a backstock of items.

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Sell your items through an online thrift store service.

Digital platforms like eBay, Depop, and Poshmark are among the most popular online thrift stores that allow users to sell their new and used clothes in exchange for a percentage of the profits. As one user explained on Instagram, she spent about $350 to promote her Poshmark closet, which led to nearly $1,500 in sales over a year.

In some instances, users who spend money to promote their listings may eventually make it back into sales.

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Fashion resale stores may be enticed by your name brand clothes.

As Plato's Closet explains it, your local Plato's store will pay you for recycling your gently used clothing at their store. Buffalo Exchange is another similar option operating on the business model of paying you money for your gently used clothing. They also offer the option of "trading," or more accurately, utilizing the cash value of your recycled clothing towards other clothes you seek to purchase from their store.

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ThredUp makes the process of storing your inventory even easier.

ThredUp, an online consignment and thrift store, labels your clothes as "preloved items" and works on the premise of the seller filling a package of the clothes they intend to sell and sending the items through a delivery service. ThredUp handles the rest.

By giving ThredUp physical access to your clothing, it proves to be an attractive option for those in desperate need of space and who can ill afford to hang on to inventory until it sells.

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Madewell: once a workwear brand, now a platform for denim exchange.

Madewell is a nearly century-old brand name that originally served as a workwear manufacturer when it launched in the 1930s. Twenty years ago, however, J. Crew purchased the rights and gave the brand a modernized approach to fashion.

Today, Madewell serves as a platform for users to trade in "preloved" jeans of any brand to earn $20 towards a new pair. The brand will either resell your old jeans or recycle them, thus preventing more waste from ending up in a landfill.

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The North Face implores you to "complete the circle."

Per The North Face's sustainability webpage, two-thirds of all discarded textiles go to landfills in the U.S. every year. This factoid inspires the company to reuse materials to avoid creating more landfill waste.

Through The North Face Renewed Take-Back program, the company will take back your used apparel and footwear, clean it, resell it, and issue you a $10 credit if you are a member of their free XPLR Pass program.

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Patagonia's Worn Wear program is a profitable way to prevent waste.

The Worn Wear program from Patagonia is an even higher-paying way to refresh your wardrobe and keep your old clothes out of a landfill. Per the program website, sellers send in their used Patagonia clothing and accessories with the opportunity to receive up to 50% of the resale price in store credit. Rejected items are either returned or recycled by the company.

Per Money Crashers, the trade-in value of your clothes through this program can be as little as $10 or as high as $100.

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