Did you know that Americans consume nearly 20 billion garments each year? That is equivalent to 68 garments and 7 pairs of shoes per person – or more than one piece of clothing purchased every week. That’s a lot of clothing.
Much of that clothing doesn’t have a long lifespan either. The average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing each year. The disposable habit is widespread too – 48 percent of people throw away reusable textiles. At least 50 percent of the textiles we throw out each year are recyclable. Unfortunately, only around 25 percent of those items are actually reused or recycled.
How much of that clothing had actually met its final days of usefulness? How much of it was so worn it couldn’t be reused or repurposed? That’s hard to know, but it’s clear that we should be reusing or repurposing more of the clothing we own rather than adding it to the landfill.
You can easily hit up your local thrift store or resale shop to purchase second-hand clothes and reduce the amount of new clothes that are consumed each year. However, there are many options now for purchasing second hand clothing from the comfort of your own home.
One of the originators of buying second-hand clothes online, ThredUp offers second hand clothing for children and women as well as handbags. All of their clothes are carefully inspected before being posted online for sale. You can also sell your own used clothes to ThredUp and make cash or credit for the clothing you no longer need or want. Any items that they don’t accept are sent to charitable partners or textile recycling companies.
A newer site on the market, Schoola’s goal is to help provide funding to schools. All of their children’s clothing is priced at up to 70 percent off retail, and 40 percent of all proceeds go directly to schools. While you cannot sell your undamaged used clothes to Schoola, you can donate them with the stipulation that the donated proceeds from those sales go to the school of your choice. Your school can also set up a clothing drive as fundraising event.
A mobile app, Vinted allows you to buy, sell or swap used clothing and accessories. Unlike other sites, Vinted is focused mainly on women’s items. It’s a safe way to sell your used clothing and items. When your item is purchased, Vinted holds the funds until the buyer confirms the item is as described. Then you have access to the funds. Be careful, Vinted can get addicting!
These are just three ways to buy, sell or swap secondhand clothing. Instead of trashing your old clothing, next time try to find a new life for it.
What do you do with used clothing you no longer need or want?
Feature image courtesy of Sharon Drummond