The holiday season is over, and I am now fully back – it is not easy to blog frequently when you have a full time job, but I will do my best to improve this 😉
A while ago I mentioned on my Instagram that I often buy second hand clothes and also sell, donate, & recycle my own. It is kind of inevitable if you are into fashion and want to follow (some) trends – and with those trends changing all the time, fast fashion brands having 6-12 collections per year, it all becomes way too easy to just keep on buying. It is also inevitable that some clothes get worn out, don’t fit you like they should, or you just fall out of love with them.
Whatever the reason is – you don’t want to hoard all the clothing you accumulate over years, because – why would you clutter your personal space (unless you live in a huge house and you don’t care about it 😉)? But what do you do with all those unloved treasures (or call it junk if you like)? And how do you make sure you keep a “healthy” balance of old and new in your closet?
One might say: “Just stop buying so much!” And it is true in a way, but this is a topic for another post. Here I want to focus on what you do when you have already accumulated lots of clothes.
I usually do a closet clear out twice a year – when I switch from Fall/ Winter to Spring/ Summer, and vice versa. This way it helps you to rethink your old clothes, think of what you would like to add to the wardrobe for a new season, and it is frequent enough to keep your closet in order. I do get rid of some more things occasionally throughout a season, e.g. when I try something on and realise that this is not quite me anymore, something is wrong with the fit (I shouldn’t have washed that handwash only viscose dress in a washing machine, I know), or it is just worn out. These are general rules I follow when going through my wardrobe in one of the big clear outs as well. Probably one more rule to add to it though – if you haven’t worn something in the last 6 months to a year, even if it’s a new item with tags – have another critical look at it and get rid of it – it must have been not your thing, even though it might have looked good on a hanger.
So, once you have a pile of things that you don’t need in your wardrobe in your life… what do you actually do with them? Putting them in a rubbish been doesn’t count – it’s not very sustainable and can be mentally difficult, especially if you’re getting rid of a brand new item… As an (almost) a pro in this, I’m happy to share some ideas & pointers to make your life easier. Disclaimer: as I live in Amsterdam, some apps & places are location specific, but you can definitely get the general idea and add your local spin on it.
In short, you can do three things: sell, donate, recycle. But how do you decide what to do with what?
What: This is a category of things that is actually worth reselling, i.e. new/ good-as-new clothing, shoes & accessories that didn’t get enough love in your closet. These are also usually the most pricey items.
Online: United Wardrobe app, Marktplaats, Facebook marketplace, Facebook groups (Buy & Sell Amsterdam, ISN Amsterdam Online Market, Amsterdam Expats Online Market)
Offline: King’s Day in Amsterdam, NDSM flea market, Secondhand stores (De Ruilhoek, Mooizo), garage sales
What do you need: good quality photos, energy to take those photos, some time/ money reserved for posting items or meeting up with buyers, patience to wait till someone buys whatever you’re selling
Donating & Recycling
What: These are items that you were not able to sell, you don’t think they are worth the effort to try to sell, or you just want to do the right thing and instead of reselling donate them to those who need clothes more than you do.
Where: your friends & family who you think might like your stuff, Zara, H&M*, &other stories* (these stores pick re-usable items and donate to different charities, or recycle), various charities directly (some examples here), containers around the city that say “Kleding/ Schoenen”, or just check here.
What do you need: time to go to drop off the bags** with your old clothing at one of the stores or charities
*By donating your clothes there, you get a 10-15% discount voucher for your next purchase.
**Actually, if you order something at Zara & indicate that you want to donate some clothes as well, you can have a courier who delivers your purchase also pick up your bag with donations.
As you can see, there are plenty of options out there to keep your fashion adventures under control, and you can choose whatever suits your preferences and moral standards (except for throwing clothing away – please opt for recycling instead). My personal scheme here would be: declutter -> let my niece choose whatever she likes -> sort into sell, donate & recycle piles -> post things from the sell pile online & give away the donate & recycle pile -> if cannot sell everything online, try to sell the remaining stuff offline -> if that doesn’t work either, donate!
P.S. if you want to know more pros, cons, and tips on selling your clothing & accessories on different platforms, be on the look out for my next post!