7 Ways to Recycle Old Clothes + Goods (+ Thredup.com Review)

If you read my post on the "Throw Out 100 Things Challenge," you know I got rid of quite a big of clutter recently (especially clothing). I've also posted about my goal to focus on quality vs. quantity when it comes to buying new clothes. While I'm working on simplifying my apartment, I don't like to actually throw anything away if I can help it. I've donated 3 big boxes to Goodwill lately and have a feeling I'll be doing another round of simplifying soon.

I've been testing out different ways to recycle clothing + unwanted goods:
  • Donate to Goodwill or other charity
    • Always a good option. There is no shortage of people who could use help.
  • Sell on Craigslist
    • This is a good option for big items, like furniture + appliances. When we moved into our current apartment, it already had a washer and dryer, so we had to sell our beloved units. (I was quite attached to that hand-washing option!) Just be careful using Craigslist- talk with the person on the phone first and don't let them inside your home if you can help it. We've never had a problem with the site, but we've all heard about the movie.
  • Trade items on Freecycle.org
    • I've never used this site personally, but I know friends who have. I absolutely love this idea. "It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and keeping good stuff out of landfills."
  • Sell on eBay
    • eBay is good for higher priced, specialty items (like designer handbags). I used to be able to sell decent name-brands but this has been harder in recent years and not worth the time and effort.
  • Sell in a Facebook Yardsale group
    • I've had varying success with this option, but it's much cheaper than ebay. You get cash and don't have to worry about shipping. I often feel shady like a drug dealer or something when meeting people, though haha. You can find a local group by searching for your location + yardsale. Then you'll find related groups in the right sidebar so you can choose the most relevant for your needs.
  • Sell at a consignment shop or Plato's Closet
    • Plato's Closet is an excellent option for lightly-worn young adult type clothing. I've had great success selling brands like American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, etc. The last time I stopped by I sold 7 items for $26.
  • Sell on a consignment website
    • There are a few websites out there like Thredup.com.
    • I decided to try Thredup.com, but was very disappointed. They provide a calculator on the site to estimate how much you'll get per item. I sent about 30 items, including Express business pants and similar brands, and expected a little bit of money per item according to their website. They accepted 6 items for $5.76. The website claims they donate the remaining items to a charity (but doesn't specify which charity). It's not so much that I wanted the money, but I felt mislead by their website and calculator. I would have much rather donated the clothing to a charity of my choice if I knew I would have gotten so little.

Thredup.com Payout

What are your favorite ways to recycle clothing or other unwanted goods?

3 Comments

Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!