How To Recycle Clothes For Money

Daniela Ramos

Threadbare jeans, fat clothes, shrunken sweaters, and faded t-shirts lurking in the back of closets and drawers can all find new life while earning dividends.

It’s time to clean the closet. Sorting through what to keep, what to trash, and what to relegate to the Good Will bag can be a time-consuming challenge.

Surely those paint-stained jeans and too-small sweaters aren’t worth anything. Think again. The old adage one man’s trash is another man’s treasure just might apply in this case. There is money to be made.
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Use Old Clothes for Crafts

One way to make money from old clothes is to turn them into something else and sell them at craft shows, rummage sales, garage sales, even boutiques. Here are a few ideas for crafting used clothing:

  • Shrink wool sweaters and make them into felted purses.
  • These unique handbags can bring a pretty penny.
  • Cut clothes into squares and strips and recycle them into quilts, blankets, and rag rugs.
  • Create doll clothes.
  • Hot pads
  • Baby clothes
  • Decorative patches

Sell Old Clothes

There are many outlets for selling gently worn clothes or those that have never been worn but have taken up residence in the bedroom armoire. Here are a few:

Consignment shops. Separate clothes by season and style. Not to be confused with thrift shops, consignment shops split the profit from sales with the person bringing the clothes to sell.

Vintage clothing stores. Have a retro Hawaiian shirt or sixties-era fringed leather vest? Maybe a collection of extra-wide ties or a veiled Sunday hat is collecting dust on the closet shelf. Consider selling them to a vintage clothing store.

Garage sales, tag sales, rummage sales, and the likes. Be sure the clothes you want to sell are clean, sorted by season, style, size, and type. Display them, so they are eye-catching but easy for people to look through. Be sure the prices are easy to see. Negotiate – remember that a sale is a sale and money in your pocket.

Internet outlets like eBay and Craigslist

Gather your Halloween costumes and sell them at a fair price in the neighborhood. Busy parents will be glad to purchase one-of-a-kind outfits for the children to go trick or treating.

Donate Used Clothing

Folks may be under the misconception that when they donate their clothes to charitable organizations, they receive no compensation, but that isn’t entirely true. With a receipt from the charitable organization of their choice, Americans can deduct the value of their donation. This isn’t ready cash, but it can save money on tax day. There are many worthy organizations that accept clothing donations. Here are a few:

  • Goodwill Industries
  • The Salvation Army
  • Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Soles for Souls
  • The Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Cleaning out closets and drawers and recycling old clothing probably won’t make you rich, but it’s a great way to get extra money and do some serious spring cleaning!

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The journey has been full of highs and lows of all sorts – of grand adventures, heartbreak, self-discovery, screw ups, and lonely roads. I wouldn’t change any of it. While I’m no longer traveling full-time anymore and I am now based in the wonderland that is Mexico City, you’re more likely to find me in some far-off place than at home. I’m a firm believer in the law of attraction, and I hope my stories inspire you to take the leap and follow your dreams!


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