This past year I, like many people, started working exclusively from home. While it seems like this should be fuzzy slippers and sweatpants all-day, everyday, we all know it’s not. Because I still have to be “face-to-face” on video conferences for a large majority of everyday, I still need to get ready to be seen by other humans.
I wanted to look professional without feeling buttoned up into uncomfortable pants, shoes and other pinchy clothes. So, I went through my closet. I kept some basic office wear, may favorite heels, a few well-made handbags, and any jeans and comfortable pieces that I still liked to wear. It helped I can get the lighting in my office just right with the installation of some vertical blinds as well.
The rest of the clothes I separated into two categories 1. Things that were in great shape, I just didn’t want them anymore; and 2. Items that definitely needed to be retired forever because they were heavily damaged or couldn’t be used by another person – like some of the bralettes and underwear I had for specific outfits.
With the first box of great but unnecessary items, I boxed them up and sent them to Swap.com. Swap is a re-commerce website that started as a place to ‘swap’ clothes and has since morphed into a marketplace where buyers and sellers can easily find discounts on all kinds of clothing and shoes.
Swap offers one of the best commission rates available to sellers, which is important when you want to get the most for clothes that still have a lot of life left in them. According to their press materials, Swap’s robust technology digitizes over 200K unique items per month, keeping these items out of landfills and finding a new market of buyers for them online.
Also, unlike other resale websites, products with resale value can be sold on Swap at any price point. This is huge for the closet clean-outs like I did. I had some higher end items like a Hugo Boss suit jacket and a few coordinating button down shirts, but most of the stuff I got rid of was everyday stuff I’d wear to the office. These “regular” clothes weren’t bad or unsightly, I just didn’t have anywhere to wear them anymore.
The second thing I did was take the small amount of clothes that couldn’t be sold to a local recycler. If you care about the environment at all you will never throw away clothes or textiles in the trash. These items ending up in landfills is awful for the environment.
Make sure you find a local recycler or contact your municipality; they often have a textile program and you can just drop items off on certain days or at specific places to be sure they are disposed of responsibly.
Last but not least, I searched for a few new basics on Swap. I happen to be partial to certain brands like J. Crew and Banana Republic, and I was able to find many items new with tags from the places I love to shop. I even found some slippers that kind of look like regular shoes and another pair of New Balance sneakers that I couldn’t justify buying at full price. I also bought a few things to get the kids’ summer clothes horde started – but that’s another article.
Doing a closet clean out did wonders for my ability to transition from office to working from home. I am always comfortable but look sharp, got rid of some stuff that definitely wasn’t going to get used anymore, and got it all out of my closet without hurting the environment. A win-win-win, I’d say.