The average American household spends about $1,400 annually on clothes and related services. That’s about 2.3% of their total annual spending. However, there’s a big difference in the amount spent by men versus women. Women spend 40% more on clothing than men. Due to inflation, upgrading your wardrobe with free articles of clothing can be feasible and sensible.
More Millennial and Generation Z consumers are driving the shift to second-hand each year. 40% of Generation Z and 30% of Millennials purchased second-hand in 2019, 14% and 9% more, respectively, compared to 2016. Consumers increasingly care about their environmental impact and are practicing conscious consumerism. (1)
According to Lauren Bravo, the author of How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, “we only tend to wear 10% of our clothes on a day-to-day basis” This gives an opportunity to get rid of 90% of dead weight in your closet to achieve a more functional one. Here are 6 websites you can use for free clothes in 2023:
Craigslist is a popular American website for free classified advertisements. The site was the pioneer of online classified ads, started in 1995. It is a great place to get free clothing near your location.
When you visit Craigslist, the site will determine your approximate location and direct you to your local web domain. For example, people in New York would be redirected to newyork.craigslist.org. Since the website is a source of classified ads, it differs slightly from usual thrift or swap stores. Most posts on the site are about paid services or for people trying to sell their items.
You can use the site to locate free used clothes by going to the main page, selecting clothing for sale, and using the filters to set the maximum price as $0. It will help you check out all the clothing listings available for free—you will also find highly feasible options.
Rehash is a dedicated website that allows you to trade and exchange clothes with others. You’ll need to start with at least one item of clothing you’d want to swap. It is a fantastic way to refresh your wardrobe for free without worrying about ending up with too much stuff in your closet.
After creating an account, you can enlist the clothes and accessories you want to trade. You will then get offers from other users who may wish to exchange their dresses for yours. Once you’ve found a suitable offer for yourself, you can go ahead with the deal.
Rehash does not charge any fee for listing or completing a swap. You only need to pay for shipping your old clothes to mitigate the exchange. The site has swapped almost 10,500 items among 61,000 members.
ThredUP is one of the world’s largest resale websites for women’s and kids’ apparel, shoes, and accessories. Thredup’s mission is to inspire new consumers to think second-hand first. The site pays you $10 each time you refer another person to shop from them.
Per year you can earn up to $580 through referrals. The clothing items on the site are already heavily discounted, so your referral credits can buy you some new clothes. Moreover, you can sell clothing on the site, and ThredUp will pay you via PayPal or in shopping credits.
Thredup offers premium and luxury brands all in one place at up to 90% off the estimated retail price in an ever-changing assortment, creating a fun shopping experience for its buyers. Thredup’s items are second-hand and more affordable.
4. Rue la la
The membership for Ru la la is free. The site runs a referral program in which, for every successful referral, you get $10 worth of store credit. However, your credit will be activated when the referee’s order is shipped. You can use your credits each time you shop from the site, and unlike other sites, Rue la la does not impose a maximum number of credits you can earn.
The website is for private sale Boutiques that stay open every day for a short period of time. You can also invite your friends and discover sought-after brands in fashion, accessories, footwear, home, travel, wine, gourmet food, local services, and more. (2) Rue la la has various curated sales each day.
If your item is sold out, you can use the “Still Want It?” button. You’ll find it on the item’s page. You will need to fill out your billing and shipping information and keep your fingers crossed. If they can find the item for you, they’ll automatically charge your credit card as soon as it ships. So be sure you want the article before using this feature.
The platform for buying and selling used items. Swap.com sells a wide variety of second-hand apparel that is still of excellent quality. Once you join the site’s referral program, you earn $10 each time you successfully refer a friend. You can only earn Swap credits and not cash through this site, but it is helpful if you are looking for free clothes and purchase from them frequently.
Sellers send their items over to the Swap.com fulfillment center at Rocky Mount, North Carolina. After the quality check, Swap.com individually packages the items in their warehouse and uploads them for sale on their platform. For selling, Swap.com charges a service fee of $1.50 + 30% of the selling price of each item, as well as an $11.99 per box inbound fee for processing and listing items that are sent to its logistics center. (4)
The site enables a community of thrifters to find affordable, quality second-hand apparel for the whole family. When placing an order, you will be provided an estimated delivery window for your shipment. Orders may take 3-4 business days to be fulfilled before they are shipped and another 5-10 business days to be delivered, depending on the speed of the shipping company.
The Freecycle Network engulfs over 5,000 local Town groups with more than 9 million members across the globe. It is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people giving (and receiving) free stuff in their towns and, in turn, keeping wearable pre-loved products out of landfills. The membership is free, and everything they post must be free, legal, and appropriate for all age groups. (3)
Freecycle is known for great second-hand furniture and furnishings. However, the free exchange site is a popular platform for getting free used clothes. Once you have signed up with Freecycle.org, you join one or more local Town groups or invite some local friends to form a Friends Circle. Now, you can create posts about things you want to gift or receive. Other members reply, and then you arrange a pickup time and location. (3)
One of the significant benefits of Freecycle is that it allows you to find items local to you. To use the site, you need to enter a specific area, like Brooklyn, New York, keeping the listings within a reasonable distance. Once you’re a signed-up member, you’ll be able to search posts for keywords like “free women’s clothes,” for example.
There are great options to get free clothing that will help you upgrade your wardrobe. However, make sure you get rid of some dead weight in there. This helps ensure that your pre-loved item will not just complete its natural lifecycle and honor the contribution of the artisans and workers behind the scenes; it will also fulfill the needs of someone looking for it. Furthermore, it helps make space to replenish your closet as it is believed that the first step to owning something new is to make some space for it—it is a future-centric approach to a fresh and sustainable wardrobe.
- Goel, S. (2023, January 17). How does Thredup work & make money: Business Model. The Strategy Story. https://thestrategystory.com/2023/01/17/how-does-thredup-work-make-money-business-model/
- Rue La La – Headquarters Locations, Products, Competitors, Financials, Employees. (n.d.). https://www.cbinsights.com/company/ruelalacom
- Freecycle: About Freecycle. (n.d.). https://www.freecycle.org/pages/about
- Wikipedia contributors. (2022, March 20). Swap.com. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swap.com