by Gwen Miles
We’re all guilty of hoarding the odd few items at the back of the wardrobe – clothes we haven’t worn all year, a tattered pair of shoes that need to be thrown away, the list goes on. If you were gifted new clothes over the holiday period or given some money to treat yourself with, you might be looking at refreshing your style. This is a better time than any to clear out your closet, and here’s how.
Selling old clothes
How many times have you bought something, only worn it a few times, and then gone on to think ‘maybe I’ll put that on eBay’ whenever you notice it at the bottom of your drawer? Selling your preloved clothes online sounds great in theory, but can become one of those tasks you never get around to. eBay may seem complicated at first, but the benefit of this site is that the bidding feature can really generate interest. Other sites like Gumtree and ASOS Marketplace work in a similar way, although Gumtree isn’t exclusively for clothing, and ASOS charge a 10% commission. My personal pick for buying and selling secondhand is Depop – an app which came about in 2011. Available for Apple and Android phones, all you have to do is download the app, take pictures of your clothes, add a description, and then upload. All transactions take place securely within the app, though depop do take a 10% selling fee from your profit. The ability to message sellers, haggle, and arrange multibuy discounts or swaps is what makes this platform stand out for me.
Giving to charity
If you don’t think you can make money from your old clothes but they’re still in good condition, a charity store is your next best option. Here in Swansea, we have a variety of charity shops to go to, including Oxfam, British Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, and the RSPCA. All charities have different policies on donation, so you may want to do your research beforehand. There are two Oxfam stores in Swansea, for example, but only one accepts clothing donations (the Union Street branch). If your clothes are too well worn or damaged to be sold or donated, don’t just throw them away – make sure to recycle. Recyclenow.com has a search program that can tell you where the nearest local recycling bank is or alternatively visit the Swansea Council website for information on using a recycling site. Most recycling centres will accept shoes and boots as well, so don’t opt for landfill.
It’s not just clothes and shoes that take up space: you may have received new makeup, skincare or hair products over the holidays, and you’re in need of a clean out. Try and find the time to check your products for their ‘period-after-opening’ symbol, which tells you how long the product can be used for after you first got it. If the symbol indicates 6 months and you’ve had that hair gel for years, it might be time to throw it out because expired cosmetics may harbour bacteria and molecule breakdown that can irritate and damage your skin, hair and eyes. If your makeup is still in-date but taking up a lot of space, a good tip is to invest in an empty magnetic eyeshadow palette. Bleach London and Z Palettes sell good quality palettes – the idea is that you ‘depot’ all the individual packaging, then collect eyeshadow, blush or bronzer into one practical storage product. There are plenty of ‘depotting’ tutorials online, but don’t forget to recycle the plastic packaging once you’re done!