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What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Unwanted Clothing?

We think reselling is the most ethical, sustainable, and occasionally lucrative way to clean out your closet.

By Caitlin Abber

Over the last year, many of our wardrobes have gone from business casual to Saturday casual. We’ve swapped dress pants for joggers, and bras for, well…no bras. And while it was liberating (and so comfy) at first, with spring, vaccines, and return-to-office dates quickly approaching (hooray!), many of us are due for a closet overhaul. But will the dresses, slacks, and button-downs we stashed away last March still work in 2021? And if not, what is the best way to get rid of clothes you no longer want? 

In the past, people used to stuff their unwanted clothes into plastic bags and drop them off at their local collection bins, ostensibly to be donated to those in need. Unfortunately, not all of that clothing made it into the hands of a person who needed it, and instead, much of it ended up in landfills, polluting the ocean and contributing to climate change. In 2016, it was estimated that 84% of unwanted clothing ended up in the garbage

We don’t want to dissuade you from donating to charity, but there is a smarter way to get rid of unwanted clothing (and you may earn some money in the process, which you could then donate to the charity of your choice). We’re talking about upcycling or reselling. We think (as do many experts) that this is likely the best way to get rid of unwanted clothes.

Why is Reselling the Best Way to Get Rid of Unwanted Clothes?

According to a 2017 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “the equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second.” And while major strides are being made in the recycling of textiles (including many of the fabrics commonly used for clothes), the truth is, we just aren’t fully there yet. 

For now, buying well-made investment pieces that last for years—and then upcycling or reselling that clothing when it no longer serves you—is the best way to recycle clothes and avoid having those clothes end up in a landfill. In fact, when a dress is resold, its C02 impact is reduced by 79%

And if you can make a little money or earn a little store credit in the process? Everybody wins!

What is the Easiest Way to Resell Unwanted Clothes?

One thing we pride ourselves on at M.M. is that our clothes are made to last. Not only are the fabrics the best of the best, but the styles themselves are timeless. That said, we can’t predict how your personal style (or need for certain clothing) might change, and sometimes, we all have to say goodbye to a dress that no longer fits, even if it’s still in perfect condition—but we don’t want to just throw it in the trash. That’s why we decided to launch M.M.LaFleur Second Act

Much like ThredUp (which we’re huge fans of—more on that in a minute), M.M.LaFleur Second Act is a marketplace where you can buy or sell gently used M.M. pieces to other adoring M.M. customers. We love the idea of having a resale marketplace on our site, because it means present and future customers get to enjoy even more M.M., whether it’s new or second-hand. This is something our community has been asking for for a long time, and we’re so excited to finally have a great way to offer it. 

With Second Act, we simplified the listing process. Instead of having to take garment measurements, write about product details, orchestrate an elaborate photoshoot, or respond to questions about the pieces, the platform utilizes photos from our product catalog and offers up prewritten descriptions. You only need to answer a few questions about the condition of your garment, including photos of any irregularities, such as stains or damages. Once someone buys your used clothing, you ship it directly to the buyer. 

We still recommend using ThredUp to resell all non-M.M. clothes you no longer have a need for, and we believe in this mission so deeply, we include a pre-paid ThredUp clean out kit with every M.M. order. 

Can I Make Money Selling My Used Clothing?

If you’ve ever gone to a trendy thrift store and tried to sell a beloved designer piece, only to be offered pennies in return, we feel your pain. That’s why we wanted to create a resale model that seemed a bit more equitable. 

Here’s how it works: say you’ve recently quit your job at a law firm to pursue your true passion—raising goats for cheese—and your Rachel dress no longer fits into your wardrobe. If you sell your gently used dress for $150 on Second Act (we offer pricing suggestions based on the condition of the piece), you have the option of getting either 70% back in cash, or a 100% in store credit (which you could use to buy a handful of goat-farming-friendly Paige tops). 

So How Do I Get Started Selling My Used M.M. Pieces on Second Act?

It’s easy! Head over to the Second Act page to get started. Then pat yourself on the back—you’ve found the smarter (not harder) way to get rid of clothes that no longer serve you. 

 

Caitlin Abber

Written By

Caitlin Abber

Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and OprahMag.com.

See more of Caitlin's articles

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