Release the power of your wardrobe!

woman looking through wardrobe
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At Vintage Cash Cow we buy A LOT of old things, but we don't buy clothes, so we often get asked for advice on where clothes in your wardrobe can be sold or donated. So we got hold of Rowan Martin who owns Preloved Reloved Clothes. We thought she'd have some great tips on clearing your wardrobe and making some extra cash for your efforts. We were not wrong!

Read on to learn Rowan's wardrobe decluttering and cash-converting tips.

Juggling kids every morning, I grab the same tried and trusted items from my wardrobe again and again- they fit, they match and they look fine, they're my criteria these days.

I'm aware that there's another enormous wardrobe of items hidden behind the ten garments I regularly reach for, but it's all too easy to push that out of my mind when I'm as busy as I am.

And I'm not alone:

A 2016 survey by M&S revealed some shocking statistics:

- Unworn clothing languishing in UK wardrobes is worth around £3.6 billion!

- This translates as 57 unworn items per person.

- We only wear 44% of our wardrobes.

- 'Wardrobe declutter' is a permanent fixture on 50% of people's to-do lists

I'll let us all off the hook and say that we're probably not just too lazy to clear out our clothes. Some we hang onto because they have sentimental value, reminding us of the person we used to be.  Some we save for the person we'd like to be in the future and some we hide from ourselves, ashamed of how much they cost us.

Many of us also don't know what to do with these unloved and unworn items, both financially and ethically.

These top tips should encourage you to bite the bullet and have a good rummage through that dusty closet. There really is a world of potential in there!

1. Be benevolent

One of the most obvious and simple ways to clear out unwanted clothing is as donations to your local charity shop.  This option offers the feel-good factor, as all items raise vital funds for good work- wherever you choose to take them.

Along with saleable items, most charity shops are enrolled in 'rag recycling' schemes which allow them to raise money through the sale of damaged and unwearable textiles. So if you have stained old sweats, torn towels or dated clothes, bag them up too. The charity will sell them by weight, raising little extra and saving items from landfill too.

The charity retail association has a handy charity shop finder.

2. Internet some cash


Selling clothing on good old eBay is becoming increasingly difficult. As the market is so saturated with second-hand stuff. But if you have the time and patience it takes to photograph, list, package and post each item, you can still make a decent profit on higher-end brands, designer items or genuine vintage clothes - especially if items are new with tags.

The downside to eBay is the commission you'll pay which can really make a dent in your profits, (especially when Paypal will take a cut too.) Buyers also increasingly expect a highly professional service with quick delivery and immaculate items - so be prepared to meet high standards.

Facebook offers a great alternative as there are selling groups for nearly every clothing brand - with no commission to pay at all. Just be sure only to hold off posting items until you've received payment, as Facebook offers no protection for sellers.

3. Swishing


You may not recognise 'swishing' as the official term for clothes-swapping, a practice that has become increasingly popular over recent years.

Search online for organised clothing exchanges in your area or set up a swishing party at home then invite your friends. They're a fantastic way of both clearing out clutter and revamping your own wardrobe, all completely free of charge.

Most clothes swaps ask you to bring along items in good, clean condition and will give you a token for each; which you can then 'spend' on items donated by others. Some schemes also allow you to take home 'credits' if you don't use all of your tokens on the day.

In order to avoid leaving with more than you took, try making a list of items you really need. And make your swishing experience about hunting these down rather than grabbing anything in your size!

4. Clothes Aid

45,000 UK households use the Clothes Aid service each week. It's a hassle-free way of recycling your unwanted textiles and is great for those of us who don't drive or have a charity shop nearby.

Simply visit the Clothes Aid website, book a pick-up and they'll take away your items (bagged up and left outside your property.) The clothing is sold to European Department Stores, with between 84% and 95% of the funds raised going to charities that include The NSPCC and Cancer Support UK.


5. Up-cycle, repair and revamp

Consider keeping hold of unworn old favourites or damaged items instead of clearing them out. It's easier than you might think to give clothes a new lease of life, either by repairing or recycling items.

You only need basic sewing skills and equipment to make simple repairs or alterations. Try converting jeans with worn hems into jean shorts or turning a once-loved dress into a top that you can match with multiple bottoms. You may get the sewing bug and decide to borrow, hire or buy a sewing machine to really get stuck in! There are also numerous community or online courses where you can make some new friends alongside enjoying a new hobby.

Love Your Clothes have some great advice and inspiration on repair and up-cycling, simply google 'Up-cycle clothing' for thousands of hints, tips and tutorials.

6. Preloved Reloved Clothes

Preloved, Reloved Wardrobe with Clothes offers a unique way to turn your unwanted clothing into cold, hard cash.

If you can't face the hassle of individually listing and sending items, simply offer them to us as a job lot, for a lump sum.

Instead of the poorer prices offered by companies who buy by weight, we look at each individual item you have to sell before making you a no-obligation offer (within 24 hours.) All you have to do is simply parcel up and send the items to us - we cover postage so you keep 100% of your cash. Payment can be made by PayPal or bank transfer and is 50% upfront. Remind that, plus your postage costs, are paid once the items are received and checked.

We buy selected brands only, but these include many well-known names. As the average Brit harbouring over £200 worth of items in their wardrobes, it's worth finding out how much cash you could release simply by clearing out those you no longer love.

Rowan Martin is our newest guest poster. Visit her website or Facebook page for more great insights on selling and donating clothes.

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