There are now countless ways to live a sustainable and eco-friendly life, and most of us are aware and easily apply some of these things to our daily lives. Things like recycling, reusing, and repurposing have practically become second nature to a lot of us. People are consuming less, and industries are using fewer virgin materials to produce their products.
The apparel industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. The introduction of fast fashion has frighteningly raised the level of over-consumerism worldwide and filled up landfills with disposable garments at an alarming rate.
Read 10 BEST SUSTAINABLE FASHION BRANDS.
And 10 Best Sustainable Footwear Brands for Older Women
As you begin to expand and explore the ways you can change your consumer habits, your closet is one of the biggest ones to tackle. Thankfully, it is possible to consume less and repurpose your used clothing while still looking good!
Brands that buy back your used clothing.
Thrift shopping, trading, and reselling have become very trendy over the past few years. My 25-year-old daughter and her friends almost exclusively shop at second-hand stores. Not by necessity, but by a conscious decision to consume less, live as sustainably as possible, and also by the curiosity to explore unique vintage fashion finds. They get giddy exchanging their latest finds with each other and enjoy putting together creative outfits.
There is a new trend that is quickly gaining popularity among brands and designers – buyback/trade-in programs. They take back your pre-loved used clothing (their brand) in exchange for credit on your future purchases.
It’s never been easier to live a sustainable lifestyle!
Of course, you won’t get rich trading your used clothing back to their original retailers. Typically, you’ll get shopping credits to use on your next purchase. But to be honest, the simple act of helping to keep clothing out of landfills and living more sustainably is rewarding enough for me!
Each brand has different rules for trading and swapping clothing items. Click the link I added to each brand to find out how to proceed with their individual trading program.
Outdoor apparel giant Patagonia is a pioneer in the buyback and used shop programs. If you have an old Patagonia item that is just sitting around and in good condition, Worn Wear will give you credit towards your next purchase on a used or new garment.
“One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is make high-quality stuff that lasts for years, so you don’t have to buy more of it. Buying used extends a garment’s life by about two years, which drastically reduces both our reliance on virgin resources and our generation of waste.”—Patagonia
Eileen Fisher RENEW will take your pre-loved Eileen Fisher items back and give you credit towards your future purchases.
“We’re taking our clothes back – over 1.5 million pieces since 2009 – to be resold, donated or remade into new designs. It’s all part of our vision for a future without waste.”—Eileen Fisher
Yoga wear iconic label Lululemon has a shop called Lululemon Like New that offers to trade in your used goods and in return offer credits towards your next new or used Lululemon items.
“We’re taking steps towards a circular ecosystem. When you trade in with Like New or buy refreshed products, you’re helping accelerate our sustainability initiatives. 100% of Lululemon Like New profits will go towards lessening our environmental impact.”—Lululemon
Denim giant Levi’s also has a second-hand shop where you can trade in your used Levi’s denim items for gift cards that you can use in the stores or online; new or used.
“If everybody bought one used item this year, instead of buying new, it would save 449 million pounds of waste.* With Levi’s® SecondHand, we’re inviting you to join us in a more sustainable future.”—Levi’s
Outdoor gear supplier REI lets you swap your pre-loved items at REI Re/Supply for gift cards to use on your next purchases. Being a COOP, a membership is required to trade and buy used gear and clothing.
“We’re a community of 21 million making a different kind of outdoor company. Built by members, not investors. Accountable to each other, not shareholders. Together, we’re sharing, exploring and protecting the places we love, for today and every day.”—REI
The North Face Clothes the Loop program will take your gently used apparel and footwear at one of their stores or outlets and give you a $10 reward toward your next purchase of $100 or more at The North Face.
“Clothes the Loop stems from our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our products at all stages of their life cycle, including extending the life of apparel and footwear to keep it out of landfills. Since we started Clothes the Loop, people have brought in more than 95,000 pounds of clothing and footwear to The North Face US stores for reuse and recycling.”—The North Face
Madewell introduced Madewell Forever and encourages shoppers to reuse, recirculate, and repeat their clothing. Ship your gently used items for free and get shopping credits.
“When you give your clothes a second life, you reduce their environmental impact by 82%.”—Madewell
Do you shop second-hand? Have you traded-in clothing items before? Tell us what you think about these initiatives. Will you be trading in your pre-loved goods? Tell us about it in the comments below.