What should you do with used infant and children’s clothing? - Bounce Mkt

What should you do with used infant and children’s clothing?

Kids grow so fast! It doesn’t take long at all for you to accumulate a mountain of your children’s outgrown clothing and shoes. The big question is, what should you do with all your used infant and children’s clothing once they no longer fit your little one?

Let’s start with one thing that you should not do; throw them in the trash. The average American throws away more than 80lbs of clothing every year and it can take some fabrics, such as polyester, up to 200 years to degrade in the landfill. Even the most damaged clothing can be discarded more sustainably, with textile recycling as an example.

When it comes to finding a new home for your used children’s clothing, there are quite a few different options out there and which is best for you will depend on several factors:

What is the condition of your used clothing?

The condition of your kids’ clothing and shoes plays a big part in determining where everything ends up. As an example, items being resold typically need to be in good, if not excellent, condition with little to no signs of wear. And items with significant damage are typically best suited for textile recycling.

Are your clothes in-season?

If you’re looking to sell your secondhand children’s clothing, seasonality may play a role. While not impossible, selling a Christmas sweater on your local Facebook parents’ group is much tougher in July than December, as an example. Local consignment shops often put limits on seasonality and will typically on accept items for consignment that are in-season

Do you care more about earnings or convenience?

If you want to maximize the amount of money you can get from selling your clothes, selling the clothing directly on a peer-to-peer marketplace, such as Facebook Marketplace, can be a great option as these sites allow you to fully control the price. The downside is that you need to do all the work. If convenience is a priority, but you’d still like to recoup some money, consider using a children’s consignment or resale shop as a “middleman”; they do the work but you still receive a pay-out.


So, where can you take your used children’s clothing? Here are different options available to you:

Children’s Consignment or Resale Shop:

Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a consignment or resale shop within your local community. If you don’t have a shop near you, or simply prefer the convenience of shopping and selling online, there are plenty of online shops that range from big companies, like ThredUp and The RealReal, to smaller shops such as Bounce Mkt.

The benefit of using a consignment or resale shop is that they will do the hard work of selling the items for you. Of course, they will take a cut in exchange. All in all, these shops strike a balance between convenience and pay-outs.

Quick note – there is an important distinction between consignment and resale. When selling through a consignment shop, you only receive the pay-out if/when the item sells. When you sell to a resale shop, you are paid upfront and receive your pay-out regardless of if/when/what price an item sells.

Online Marketplace:

Peer-to-peer online marketplaces, such as Kidizen or Poshmark, let you sell your secondhand kids’ clothing directly to our parents. The big benefit here is that you can control the price. However, the downside is that you need to do all the hard work in terms of creating listings, photographing items, arranging delivery, and even haggling with strangers at times.

Thrift Store:

Many communities have local thrift stores. These stores take clothes that are donated to the shop and then resell them at extremely affordable prices. In doing so, these stores provide affordable clothing to people who may be struggling financially, while also generating money for non-profits. They’re a great option if you’re looking to donate clothes without earning any money.

Quick PSA – Be mindful of what you drop off to thrift stores. It takes precious volunteer time for thrift stores to sort through and dispose of clothing that is unsuitable for sale (i.e. extremely damaged or dirty). If you have clothes in poor condition, a better option is likely textile recycling.

Textile Recycling:

Did you know that up to 95% of used clothing and shoes can be recycled, either by being reused or turned into fibers or wiping clothes? The great thing about textile recycling is that they can take items in any condition – even those clothes that your kids have fully destroyed! While you won’t get a pay-out for these items, it is a far better option than throwing them in the trash.