More people are paying attention to their carbon footprint, increasing the demand for zero-waste shopping. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that one garbage truck of clothes is sent to the landfill or burned each second. An anonymous high-end worker said that “inventory [turns over] very often, but not as much as cheaper stores, to make sure customers see something new every time they come in.” According to thredUp “millennials and Gen Z are adopting secondhand [shopping] 2.5x faster than other age groups.” With this comes the increased opportunity to not only benefit the environment but a chance to make money and save money as well.
Many of us have clothing in our closet that we no longer wear and selling used clothing is a trending way to make extra cash. One can go into shops such as Plato’s Closet to instantly receive payment for salable clothing, or one can determine the price they want to sell their clothing on apps such as Poshmark or Mercari. Carly Mei, a college sophomore, said she has used Mercari and “sold clothes, jewelry, an iPad and laptop and made enough money to pay for school.”
Tips for selling used clothes:
• Take aesthetically pleasing pictures.
• Make sure clothes are clean and lint free.
• Price based on quality, brand and demand (In summer, there will be more customers looking for shorts rather than winter coats.)
No luck selling clothes? Donate any good condition items to a local thrift store. Be careful with donations as some centers have excess, and clothing still gets sent to landfills. Some retailers offer discounts when you bring in items to recycle.
Second hand clothing is also a great way to save money as used clothing is often less expensive than shopping at a retail store. Many thrift stores often have sales on certain clothing such as an additional fifty percent off their already low price. Sites such as The RealReal sell verified luxury items that are gently used.
Tips for buying used clothes:
• Do not buy solely because it is cheap, only buy stuff you love and know you will get use out of.
• Make sure to try on clothes for a good fit.
• Wash clothes after you buy them. They are not always washed before donated or sold!