Raising awareness about our wardrobe's end life and educating consumers on how they can recycle fashion properly is essential to a more sustainable future for the industry. In 2018 alone, Americans discarded over nine million tons of clothing and shoes in landfills across the country, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (opens in new tab).
Luckily, sites like The RealReal, Fashionphile, and Depop make buying and selling premium second-hand pieces easy. Many other ready-to-wear and accessory sustainable fashion brands are also building in-house resources for customers using upcycling, recycling, and reselling programs.
Discover some of our favorite brands helping to end fashion waste, promote circularity, and provide great recycling solutions to your summer closet clean-out.
Since launching in 2009, ThredUP has processed over 125 unique secondhand items and accepts more than 35, 000 brands across 100 categories at all price points. Their three-step process makes cleaning your closet easier than ever. Order your clean out kit, fill it with your unwanted pieces, and drop it off in the mail for ThredUP credit or cash.
Consign with ThredUP (opens in new tab)
Los Angeles-based brand MATE the Label just launched an in-house recycling program, ReMATE. The brand accepts pre-loved MATE styles that will be deconstructed and re-spun into new yarn to create clothes for MATE's recycled product line.
Recycle with reMATE (opens in new tab)
For Days' innovative recycling program is one of a kind with their $20 Take Back Bag. Fill it up with clothing and linens from any brand, style, or fabric, ship it back, and For Days will do the rest. Alongside their recycling partners, the brand will determine whether to downcycle the items into fiber waste and insulation or resell it. Since their launch, they've sold over 35,000 bags and diverted 170,000 garments from landfills.
Recycle with For Days (opens in new tab)
Second Life By Parade
Undergarment brand Parade has partnered with Terracycle (opens in new tab) to launch the Second Life by Parade recycling program. The brand will take any brand, type, or style of underwear bottoms and break them down into raw materials using Terrcycle's innovative recycling processes—resulting in materials like housing insulation. All you need to do is request your free biodegradable Second Life by Parade package online or in their New York store and gather your clean underwear to send their way!
Recycle with Second Life by Parade (opens in new tab)
Girlfriend Collective's core fabrics include recycled polyester, waste from the cotton industry, and recycled nylon, so it's no surprise that they have a recycling program, too. All you need to do is mail your old Girlfriend Collective pieces back to the brand. They'll recycle them into new gear and give you credits towards new Girlfriend Collective items.
Recycle with ReGirlfriend (opens in new tab)
Full Circle By Mara Hoffman
Full Circle marks another step towards a closed-loop business model for Mara Hoffman. Their peer-to-peer marketplace allows customers to buy and sell pre-loved items from the brand at a lower price point.
Resell with Full Circle By Mara Hoffman
Used underwear and socks often end up in the trash because most clothing donation centers don't accept them. Organic cotton intimates brand, Knickey, does accept them with their revolutionary recycling program. Buy a shipping label (don't worry, you'll be paid back in underwear) and send your clean intimates to the brand's recycling team. Lightly used bras will be sterilized and donated to communities in need!
Recycle with Knickey (opens in new tab)
Another Tomorrow's authenticated resale platform is a seamless way to keep the brand's timeless, modern pieces in circulation. Just scan the QR code on the label, choose cash payment or store credit, ship it to their store, and get paid once it sells!
Resell with Another Tomorrow (opens in new tab)
Lean Closet By Cuyana
Cuyana's in-house resale program, Cuyana Revive (opens in new tab), allows customers to buy and sell pre-loved Cuyana pieces using Archive (opens in new tab)'s peer-to-peer resale technology. Beyond their internal resale platform, the brand has partnered with ThredUP (opens in new tab) to provide another easy method to keep their products in circulation.
Resell with Cuyana Lean Closet (opens in new tab)
EILEEN FISHER Renew
Since 2009, Eileen Fisher has taken back over 1.5 million pieces of clothing to resell, donate, or repurpose into new items. On the site's Renew page, you can also purchase pre-loved high-quality wardrobe staples for as little as $25.
Resell with Eileen Fisher Renew
NET-A-PORTER x Reflaunt
In partnership with Reflaunt, Net-a-Porter has established a marketplace for designer pieces, including ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, and accessories purchased from NAP or other retailers. The in-house team will conveniently list the items for you and offer cash or a NAP store credit with an extra 10% on all pieces sold.
Resell with NET-A-PORTER X Reflaunt
The Boyish consignment shop offers customers a peer-to-peer resale program and credit for new pieces from the brand. How easy is that?
Resell with Boyish
Vestaire Collective's digitally-native luxury resale platform is ideal for reselling your new and pre-loved designer pieces. All you need to do is upload images, product details, and desired pricing for your items. Let the app do the rest!
Consign with Vestaire Collective (opens in new tab)
Worn Wear by Patagonia
Patagonia's circular marketplace, Worn Wear, accepts your pre-loved Patagonia gear in good, wearable condition and helps extend the life by repair or resale. The brand will cover the shipping costs and reward you with store credit. Patagonia explains that keeping a Patagonia product in use for just nine extra months reduces their combined carbon, water, and waste footprint by 20 to 30 percent.
Recycle with Worn Wear by Patagonia (opens in new tab)
Founded in 2018, Thrilling is a vintage marketplace that curates luxury and accessible brands across 1,300 stores in 200 cities, making it easy to shop responsibly with pre-loved pieces. The podcast She Pivots is one of the newest launches on the site, using upcycled vintage shirts, sweatshirts, and jean jackets to create one-of-a-kind merch. "Creating a sustainable and eco-friendly collection was important to the values of She Pivots," explains the podcast's host Emily Tisch Sussman. A portion of the profits from the She Pivots x Thrilling collection will go to the Children's Museum of Manhattan.
Rachael is a sustainability-focused fashion writer and creator. She works full-time as the Brand and PR coordinator for Mara Hoffman whilst focusing her writing efforts on covering sustainable fashion for Marie Claire and EcoCult. As an Aussie living in Brooklyn, you'll catch her splitting her time between Sydney & NYC.