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How to Recycle Used Clothing

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I have not worn my professional suits and cocktail dresses for many years. They are timelessly simple (chocolate chiffon, Chanel suits) and in perfect health. Every resale shop I have called will accept no clothing older than two years. (Many of these dresses and suits cost hundreds of dollars.) Any ideas, anyone?

Thank you,
Janet54304 from Green Bay, WI

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Recent Answers

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By switzercarrie (Guest Post)12/03/2008

I came across this site while I was looking up trademark laws because I have my own line of "green" bags which I make from recycled cloth of any kind-clothing, interior, bedding, etc., including the buttons, trim, labels, zippers, etc. I will be putting up my own website to generate more business; but, I also want to reuse what is often thrown away. Once I am able to fully support myself with this new venture, I wish to develop several charities for single parent families, orphans, and foster children. I am based in the Phoenix area of Arizona. Anyone want to donate, I'll include your name on our list of supporters. Email me. switzercarrie @ yahoo . com.

By Kathy (Guest Post)07/04/2006

Look for an urban thrift shop that provides free clothing to women who are trying to get back into office work. These women are struggling, and wardrobe is a significant cost when childcare is considered. I think the clothes are offered at no cost, and this type of shop is sponsored by volunteers and women's clubs. I have also read about free prom dress boutiques, supplied by girls who won't be wearing their old prom dresses again.

By Alicia [2]06/08/2006

We have a bargain paper where you can list things you are selling or wanting to buy. If you have one of those, you could list it and give the things to the first lucky caller. Also, if you look in your phone book under community service organizations, there should be a list of places that help people and you could call some of them, if only for ideas.

By Lisa in Lena (Guest Post)05/11/2006

I am formerly from Green Bay and I know the YWCA on the east side (downtown) had a "closet" for women in need who were going back to the workforce, etc. Otherwise, I agree that you should take the clothes into the consignment shops so they can see them. Good luck.

By ohioladie2006 (Guest Post)05/11/2006

if your just tyring to get rid of them put them on freecycle.org thats what i do with my older clothes and things my children have grew out of :O)

By Holly [350]05/10/2006

An internet auction site.

Make sure they really are not worn in places, as items I have purchased were considered excellent, but in the bright, sunny outdoor light had some obvious defects.

By Claudia- MD (Guest Post)05/10/2006

If you are looking to get money from this, you might think about Ebay. Even if you don't want to post them yourself, there are sm. companies springing up everywhere who will post the items, work with buyers, and ship the items for you. Otherwise, I would take them to a charity; good ones to think about are the ones that provide business clothing to homeless women trying to re-enter the workforce, or women in shelters after having left abusive relationships. These items sound great and someone will be able to put them to good use.

By Susabelle (Guest Post)05/10/2006

Look for an organization that provides clothing for women who are trying to re-enter the job market. Your local women's shelter can probably point you in the right direction.

By Allison (Guest Post)05/10/2006

Sell them on ebay.

By danielle (Guest Post)05/10/2006

if you are not interested in making money off your items, why dont you consider freeshare or freecycling. you meet new local friends and find great homes for things that you no longer use or want. freeshare.org or freecycle.org

By kristina (Guest Post)05/10/2006

In many towns there are women's organizations that accept gently used career womens clothes to give to underprivledged women who are interviewing for jobs and need appropriate atttire. I imagine you could probably find one in your local phone book. What a wonderful way to share your old "nice" clothes.

By Diana (Guest Post)05/10/2006

Brides for Breast cancer may take your cocktail dresses or a similar organization for proms

A shelter for battered women might take your suits or a local homeless shelter to assist those in making the transition back in to the work force

Good luck

By Carol in PA (Guest Post)05/10/2006

I know it would more than likely break your heart to cut them, but I've seen toss pillows made from men's suit fabric. The buttons are sometimes used for detailing..

I'd like to see you sell them on Ebay.

By Janet45101 (Guest Post)05/09/2006

Your outfits sound beautiful. The resale shops
are losing out, because I'm certain they're much
more desirable than the clothes they're offering.
Have you considered offering them for sale via
ebay? I check often there, and I'm certain that
many other women do, too. I'm certain that
many women would be thrilled and delighted to
find such fine quality items offered for sale. All
information needed is on the ebay site. Good luck!

By carol [23]05/09/2006

I, like you, ran into the same problem. I took items into thrift shops & they "knew" that they were more than 2 years old, even though they were still stylish, clean & in impeccable condition. I think the reason is that styles change so fast, sometimes as fast as the seasons change. One thing I did not like was if you did per chance get the store to take your clothes on consignment & anything was stolen, they carry no insurance & therefore you lose. I had hoped that maybe someone would buy the item for the material alone to make pillows, a smaller item, etc. I did have a yard sale & some of the items moved but not enough to my liking. If you are in the proper tax bracket to benefit from it you may consider donating them to a charity. You can take a deduction larger than if they sold @ a shop & the IRS has a deduction list to offer you a fair amount per item to deduct.

Good luck.

By Paula [14]05/09/2006

I think that I would not call places, but take the items in for them to look at. They don't want clothes older than two years because usually clothes that age are completely worn out. They need to see your suits with their own eyes to realize the value. Maybe you could sell them yourself by putting an ad in the local newspaper. I know that if I were just starting a new career and needed clothes that I would appreciate some reasonably priced new suits!

By Kelly [15]05/06/2006

If you don't mind not getting cash but a tax deduction, you could donate them to a women's shelter or crisis center (they sometimes hold them for women who have job interviews, court appts., etc.) or sell them on ebay and post close up pictures so buyers can see how good the fabric is.

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