When editing your wardrobe you’ll need to pass some items on. Instead of throwing them away and sending them to a landfill, give them a second life. Here are eight ways to do just that.
1. Give Items to Friends & Family
Think about friends, acquaintances, and family members who would enjoy receiving some if not all of the items that you’re passing on. If the recipients live far away, take them along the next time you visit.
2. Have a Swap Party
Get a group of friends together who have wardrobe items to pass on. Turn up the music, provide snacks and libations, and begin to swap. Clothing sizes might differ between the participants, but remember that footwear and accessories can be easier to fit. This is also a very cost-effective way to refresh your style.
3. Consign or Resell on E-Bay and Poshmark
You can resell wardrobe items at consignment stores in your area. Or take photos of them and sell them on sites like eBay and Poshmark. Or collect the items for a Summer garage sale to have outside with a tall glass of lemonade.
4. Donate to Goodwill or the Salvation Army
Items that are donated to Goodwill are resold for very low prices. Items passed on to the Salvation Army go to those who are less fortunate.
5. Donate to Dress for Success
Drop dressier items off at your nearest DFS where they’re used to dress women who are re-entering the workforce. Many DFS clients come from homeless shelters or are in temporary YWCA housing and desperately need an interview outfit and work-appropriate attire. DFS provides them with a mini workwear capsule for free to get them on their way. They are especially in need of sizes US12 to US20, and petites and talls across all sizes.
Convert T-shirts, clothing made of terry cloth, and sweats into wash rags and dust cloths for housecleaning and gardening chores. Or if you sew, enjoy DIY crafts, have a little time and are feeling creative, here are 100 ways to create new items out of old wardrobe items.
7. Send Clothing back to Retailers that Recycle
Retailers like H&M, Nike, Madewell and Patagonia will often take back items you bought from their store and recycle them for you. I’ve seen clothing bins at our flagship Nordstrom store in Seattle offering the same recycling service.
8. Drop items in USAgain and Planet Aid Bins
USAgain is a non-profit organization that collects textiles, and resells them so that they can be made into reusable and valuable products. Planet Aid does a similar thing of recycling and repurposing textiles. Worn clothes can be repurposed into products like athletic tracks, pillow stuffing, carpet padding, baseball filling, and home insulation.
I edit my wardrobe frequently, and collect items in a bin in our garage before taking them to their next home. Most of my items are donated to Dress for Success Seattle, where they are either used to dress DFS clients for interviews, or sold at their regular Closet Treasure sales. The money goes straight back into the non-profit that empowers women, which makes me feel very good about passing on my clothes to the organization. Some of my handbags are passed on to friends. Some items are dropped off at the Salvation Army, and the rest is dropped into USAgain bins in our neighbourhood. I’ve also attended the a few fun clothing-footwear-accessory swaps.
Over to you. How do you pass on your wardrobe items?