How to turn your unwanted clothing into cash

Selling, donating, recycling clothes and accessories easier than ever

If this is the year you finally clean out the closet and part with all that clothing that no longer suits you, you have plenty of options to sell, donate or even recycle.

SAN ANTONIO – If this is the year you finally clean out the closet and part with all that clothing that no longer suits you, you have plenty of options to sell, donate or even recycle.

More than nine million tons of clothing ends up in landfills each year, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Not only is that bad for the planet, but it’s also a lost opportunity to make some cash or help others.

Aine Stapleton is cleaning out her closets.

“I’m hoping to get rid of some of these online and sell them for pretty much as close to the original value as I can,” she said.

EBay and Facebook Marketplace are not the only game in town for selling clothing.

“There’s a growing number of digital stores and phone apps tailored to sell anything you want to get rid of,” said Consumer Reports’ Kevin Doyle.

On sites like Poshmark and Vinted, you list your item and name your price. Once sold, you ship it directly to the buyer using a prepaid shipping label.

With thredUP and The RealReal, you send your unwanted items off to be sorted, priced and listed for sale.

“Whether they’re online or in-person, vintage and consignment shops won’t take everything,” Doyle said. “Often it’s because of the condition of the item or it’s out of style. So if you can’t sell it, but it’s still usable, donate.”

Goodwill Industries is one of the best known examples. It collects and sells donations to support education and job placement programs.

Salvation Army, Haven for Hope, Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, Arms of Hope, and Revolution Thrift are a few of the local non-profits that accept gently used clothing.

Dress for Success welcomes gently used professional wear. Check any of the non-profits’ websites for specifics on what they do and don’t take.

Stapleton even found a taker for her old formal dresses.

“Local high schools will often say, ‘We want dresses for students who maybe can’t afford a prom dress,’” Stapleton said.

You can also share and swap with neighbors by using the Freecycle Network or BuyNothing Facebook groups.

Finally, for clothing that just doesn’t have a future in someone’s closet, you can always recycle. Check out Earth911.com to find a textile recycling location.


About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.