Buying pre-owned clothes has many advantages. It saves money, reduces waste by preventing items from going to landfills, reduces use of resources consumed when items are made new, and eliminates packaging for new clothing and shoes.
Buy second-hand clothing.
- Cambridge has over a dozen thrift stores and consignment shops. second-hand clothing stores including Goodwill, the Garment District, Salvation Army, Boomerangs and several more. For a map of these stores, as well as clothing donation drop boxes, click here.
- All of the following can be donated as long as it's dry and clean. It's OK if items are torn, stained, broken or missing something. Even paint and wine stains are OK, just nothing with oil. Tie shoes together or wrap with a rubber band.
YES: pants, shorts, shirts, pajamas, t-shirts, jerseys, sweatshirts, sweatpants, sweaters, jeans, dresses, skirts, coats, jackets, suits, undergarments, bras, socks, flipflops, boots, shoes, slppers, belts, ties, purses, hats, bedsheets, pillows, pillow cases, blankets, curtains, drapes, table linens, stuffed animals, and fabric scraps.
NO: dirty rags, nothing wet, nothing soiled, no carpets, no rugs, no mildewed items.
- Go to garage sales. Use Craig’s List, E-Bay, Freecycle and Half.com to advertise or find out about items.
Borrow from a friend or rent for special occasions.
- Used tuxedos can be rented from Keezers, www.keezers.com
- For children, consider buying, selling and sharing children’s clothes on line: http://www.thredup.com/ Donate your children’s hand-me-downs to friends or family.
- Take your clothes to a clothing swap. Try an online service like Dig n Swap, for swapping fashionable clothing and accessories. www.dignswap.com
- If you are a student, check out college and university resources. MIT's Furniture Exchange takes donations from anyone of good, usable furniture, including sofas, chairs, tables, bookcases, desks, bed frames, futons, dressers, cabinets, lamps, rugs, small appliances, cooking utensils, dishes, children's items, bikes, and more. To purchase, you must have a student i.d. from MIT, BU, Harvard, or Suffolk.
- Some organizations accept and re-use shoes such as Soles4Souls, backonmyfeet.org Use Google or Yelp.com
- Others specialize in other clothing: Some clothing can be mailed to a recycler. www.brarecycling.com