Resourceful, careful, and not wasteful. Here’s your guide on how to recycle your old clothes and find new ones…
Thrifting as a student
As a student, it’s easy to buy unnecessary garments, fashion pieces that only stay in style for short periods, and outfits which you’ll only wear once. Fast fashion is taking over and when you take into account the number of events we attend, from house parties to casual nights out, it’s us who are the most influenced by it. Many of us are guilty of needing a new outfit for almost every occasion, whilst forgetting all about the mountain of other garments which exist in our wardrobes. As we’re the advocates of these quick ‘impulse buys’, perhaps we should start addressing it. If you get to the point where you realise you’ve got a whole load of outfits that you’ll never wear again, what do you do with them?
The easiest way to get rid of your unwanted clothes is to donate or sell them. This helps to reduce waste compared to just disposing of them. If you chose to sell your clothes, it gives you the opportunity to gain some extra cash, which I’m sure every student can appreciate.
Other benefits include:
• Keeping materials out of landfills
• Helping to conserve energy
• Reducing costly consumerism
• Supporting people living in developing countries
Where/how can I donate my clothes?
There are various places to donate your old or unwanted garms, including charity stores, car park donation bins or home charity collections. If you’re unsure of where to donate, widely accessible charities include:
• The Salvation Army
• Macmillan Cancer Support
• British Heart Foundation
• Cancer Research UK
These are recognised nationally and have numerous store locations where you can simply walk in and donate your pre-loved clothing. This is the easiest way to donate.
Donating from the comfort of your own home is also an option. icollectclothes is one of many companies that provides this service. Their website allows you to choose (from a selection) a charity which you’d like to donate to, then you simply book a collection time. Student schedules can be super busy so if you don’t have time to visit a charity store (or you just have way too many clothes!) this option may work best for you. It’s a nice feeling knowing that your impulse buys and one-time outfits could now benefit someone else.
What can I donate?
Literally anything can be donated from jackets, t-shirts, shorts, jeans and other clothing. Aside from garments, shoes, bedding and cutlery, books can also be donated. So, if you’re moving back home for the summer and don’t know what to do with your unwanted stuff, you can simply donate it!
Before donating any garments:
• Ensure they are clean so that they are instantly wearable
• Secure attachments such as fur, hoods and zips ensuring the garments are in a resellable condition
• Restore any broken zips or missing buttons because garments in good condition will be easier to sell
• Think about what condition you would want something to be in, with the respect of it being pre-loved
My garments are in good condition, and I would rather sell them. Where can I do this?
Selling your clothes online has never been so easy! There are now many apps which have simplified this process, meaning that anyone can do it. You can make some extra cash in just a few photos.
We’ve gathered a list of the best rated apps to sell your garments:
• Vinted – This app requires no fee from the seller, only the buyer incurs charges meaning all profit is yours. Here you can sell all garments from vintage to fast fashion picks. High street brands such as River Island and Zara tend to sell well on here.
• Depop – 10% of each sale is shared with Depop alongside PayPal fees. However, it’s a very popular app used by many where you can sell anything. Depop is very popular for pre-loved clothing and shoes. Vintage garments sell particularly well on here.
• eBay – eBay has been widely popular for many years and still has millions of users. They charge 10% on all sales as well as a listing charge. This allows you to auction your garments off and you could even get more than what you bargained for.
• Facebook marketplace – This is a very new service provided by Facebook, however, it serves well for those who would prefer to sell locally. It’s completely free to use and works well for getting rid of large quantities of clothes or books etc.
Hey Macklemore, can we go thrift shopping?
Thrifting is the perfect opportunity to still be able to buy stylish garments for all kinds of occasions on a budget. The services mentioned above are good for thrift shopping. Have an occasion coming up? Just look on Depop or Vinted. You’re bound to find something. You can literally see something in a store one day and find it from a seller the next. It really is that simple.
These days you can thrift anything. Whether it be online or in a charity store. It’s never been easier to be a student looking for stylish outfits on a budget. Your garments may be pre-loved, but the assignment was understood.
Thrifting designer goods
Designer and luxury brands can be out of your radar as a student, nevertheless you can thrift shop these at a reduced price too. The best places for designer pieces are:
• Vestiaire Collective
Aside from online, designer garments and items can be found in charity stores too. Charity shops in affluent areas tend to have a wider selection of designer pieces. Places such as Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, and Chelsea (in London) house some exclusive luxury garments.
Relic x Hooked is a relatively new business. They’ve recently opened stores in a few UK cities including Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, and Birmingham. They stock vintage trainers, clothing and streetwear, whilst allowing customers the opportunity to sell or exchange their unwanted belongings in return for cash or store credit. This is the perfect opportunity for students to either make money from their unwanted things, or exchange them for something new.
Here's a list of a few student cities and their best thrift stores: