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A step-by-step guide to selling your preloved clothes

Every five minutes 10,000 items of clothing are sent to landfill - and there’s over £30 billion of unworn clothes hanging in our wardrobes. So with stores such as M&S and Zara setting up their own preloved schemes, Alice Beer’s here to show you how to sell your second-hand clothes on the high street and online to make some cash and help the planet.

The preloved clothing market is on the rise, but why is it so important?

  • £30 billion worth of clothes that have never been worn are hanging in UK wardrobes.

  • The average adult has not worn 25% of clothes in their wardrobe in a year or more. 

  • As many as 8 in 10 Brits wear the same few clothing items on loop, with just 6% wearing everything in their wardrobe at least once. 

  • There is a crisis in disposing of unwearable clothing at the moment. 

  • 10,000 items of clothing are sent to landfill every 5 minutes (equivalent to £140 million in value). 

  • There is clothing that has been thrown away here and shipped over to Chile and Ghana. 

  • If it contains plastics the clothes are then burned - then this produces many toxic substances. 

So, what are our wardrobe clear out options?

1) Sell it back to the high street 

a) ZARA: Use 'Zara Resell' to buy and sell Zara clothing. You receive 100% of the sale price. 

b) H&M: Take a bag of old clothes or textiles to your nearest H&M and receive a £5 voucher. 

c) M&S/Oxfam: Donate to Oxfam, including items from M&S, and receive a £5 voucher. 

d) M&S/Sparks: Trade in your old M&S school uniform and get 20% off children's clothing. 

e) John Lewis: Sign up to 'My John Lewis', donate five+ items and receive a £5 voucher. 

f) River Island: Send items to 'Reskinned' and you'll get a £5 voucher to use at River Island. 

g) New Look: Give clothes to a participating hospice and you'll get 15% off at New Look. 

h) Schuh: Schuh will give you a voucher for every pair of shoes you donate in store. 

i) George at Asda: Donate clothes and textiles at Asda and get a 10% off code for George. 

2) Resale shops on the high street 

  • If you have a resale shop or dress agency as they used to be called, on your high street, they generally take about 50% of the sale price and can be very picky. 

  • If they don't sell your items, you are asked to donate to charity or pick them back up. 

3) Selling online

a) Vinted: 3 million+ users. 30+ target audience. Easy to navigate but buyers charged a fee. 

b) Vestiaire Collective: Good for designer clothes. Free to list. Authenticated items. 

c) eBay: Used by millions daily. Option to make offers on clothes. 10% charge on all sales. 

d) Facebook Marketplace: App offers better experience. Local selling. Completely free. 

4) What about children's clothing? 

Sweet Pea 

  • Sweet Pea buys and sells children's clothes from newborn to 15 years old. 

  • High street brands are paid per kilo. £3 p/kg not ironed or £5 p/kg ironed or £10 per kilo if they still have their tags. 

  • High street to luxury brands all quality checked to ensure you can shop secondhand with confidence. 

  • They are environmentally conscious and have saved over 95,000 items of children's clothing in the last 3 1⁄2 years. 

Alice's online selling tips:

1. Good photographs are key. 

2. Price it to sell it. 

3. Check postage options before uploading. 

4. Used tracked or signed for postage. 

5. Never engage off site. 

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