You probably have some old clothes stored in your basement or attic that you might not wear again because they no longer fit, need mending, or you just don’t like them anymore.
However, have you ever considered upcycling those clothes (with a few creative tweaks) and selling them online? It could net some extra cash that you might need to buy a few new fall items. Or maybe you’ll want to keep the upcycled items after you see the fruits of your handiwork!
Here are a few clever hacks for turning your used clothing into money, or transforming your current clothes into fall accessories.
Old apparel, new lease on life
Upcycling clothes is a creative way of giving clothing another purpose. It basically gives worn out, or old items the chance to change its looks or even its entire purpose. One idea is to take the back pocket of an old pair of jeans and turn it into a mini purse. Add beads, feathers, leather straps and other embellishments. Get creative and make it your own.
Maybe you have some old jean shorts leftover from summer that have seen their day in the sun, so it’s time to turn them into fall fashion. Or, maybe you gave your summer wardrobe a mini facelift through a couple of thrifty purchases, but you want to use the pieces for more than one season.
It helps to be handy with a needle, thread, or sewing machine if you want to sell your unique pieces, but it isn’t necessary. Maybe you just want to make a few for you and your friends, or give them away as gifts. There are tons of DIY clothing tutorials online that show you how to turn something you already own into something new.
Donate and Earn
As fall comes on full force, you might be thinking about buying warmer duds and making room in your closet for new stuff. This is cool: If you have an old Patagonia jacket or sweater in your closet that you no longer wear, Patagonia will take it back and give you store credit. This take-back program started earlier this year with Patagonia offering store credit for still usable Patagonia clothing.
Patagonia washes, repairs and refurbishes the garment, then sells it on their website. Their effort is right in line with the company’s aim to limit environmental harm. This is a just a new approach for the company. Just beware that while you’re digging around in the attic for old Patagonia clothes from the 80s you could be exposing yourself to attic insulation and asbestos.
Know How to Market Your Stuff
You’d be amazed at what you can sell on eBay or Etsy with a little thoughtful tailoring or the addition of bright, interesting details like buttons, embroidery, or stitching — as well as the occasional conversion of pants to capris and shorts.
The new step will be to photograph or create helpful video tutorials for your customers. When done well, video marketing can be the most effective way to increase interaction between your little business and your customers. It’s all about the marketing!
Ebay seller Linda Lightman, owner of Linda’s Stuff, has some tips for selling on eBay. She should know, because in 2015 she grossed $25 million running Linda’s Stuff, which she says is the most successful consignment seller of designer fashion on eBay.
Five or six quality photos is a good idea. Customers want to see the product, including the label, any defects, etc, and honest descriptions of the product builds trust. Handbags sell really well, especially if they are in great condition.
Start by cleaning out your closet and see what you find. Whether you’re trying to make an extra buck with some of your gently used clothes, or finding a new purpose for old threads, it’s a great time of year to get creative.