ThredUP caught my attention when I heard them advertised on a few of my favorite podcasts (hey Myths and Legends!)

And the timing could not have been more perfect. I had just brought a load of my clothes to a local Plato's Closet. I brought a different load to goodwill, but these were items that I felt were actually worth some money. I wasn't expecting to get a lot, but I was expecting to get SOMETHING. However after a 2 hour wait, they informed me that they could not accept any of my items (even though quite a few of them were brand name items) because all of my clothes were older than 18 months. 

My first thought was "Ya.... Of course my clothes are older than 18 months! That's why I brought them in..."

I realized that some of these consignment shops, like Plato's Closet, are actually fueling fast fashion by demanding clothing be of a certain age. Needless to say, I was rather frustrated.

So when I heard of ThredUP I was super excited, and I've had nothing but excellent experiences with them so far!

How it works

  1. You decide you want to sell your clothes (but because you bought high quality clothing that lasts a long time, your clothes are older than 18 months, so some thrift stores don't accept them!)
  2. You order a closet cleanout bag (recyclable) from thredUP, fill it with your unwanted items, and send it back.
  3. thredUP sifts through your unwanted clothes, takes the best of the best, and recycles the rest
  4. Items that are not selected are passed onto their textile recycling partners and upcycled
  5. You receive your payout! You can either use it to shop on thredUP, donate it to their cause partners, cash out with PayPal (fees apply), or cash out with a thredUP Visa Prepaid Card (no fees)
We have high quality standards and typically accept less than 40% of the clothing we receive. Items that are still in great shape but don’t meet the thredUP standards are sold to third party sellers. Items that are no longer in wearable condition are passed onto our textile recycling partners and upcycled. The proceeds we recoup through this process help us cover some (but not all) of the shipping and labor costs incurred for the unaccepted items we receive.
— thredup

Environmental Impact

Fast fashion has become an environmental disaster. From 1980 to 2014 Americans more than quadrupled the amount of clothing we were sending to landfills (EPA). And many modern textiles are made of plastic, which can pollute our oceans both in the form of macro and micro plastics. I'm currently working on an extensive fast fashion post, but it's such a crazy topic it's been taking me a while.

According to their annual report, in 2016, thredUP collectively saved:

  • 128 Million lbs of CO2 = 8,111 households’ yearly electricity use
  • 14 Million items UPcycled = 140 Nordstrom department stores
  • 10 Billion gallons of water = 15,784 Olympic-size swimming pools
The average american throws away 70 lbs of clothing annually,
it would save 6 million items from ending up in landfill per year.


My Experience

thredUP Accepted 23 of my items, here's how it panned out:

Earned Upfront $45.43

Total Consignment Earnings $6.00

Shipping & Handling Fee -$4.99 

Net Earned $46.44

I also got to watch my items get sold. And that felt good. I enjoyed seeing clothes that I wasn't using get bought and used by people who wanted them!

I also then had some extra money to spend on a few new items. I chose to spend my money on thredUP simply because I knew I would be able to find some high quality items that I wanted. I bought two Patagonia shirts, one of which I'm absolutely obsessed with! And both were made at least partially with organic cotton. 

Also, my order came completely plastic free! The envelope my clothes were in was cardboard (no lining), the tags were made of paper and string, and the tissue paper was adorable (I used it to wrap a baby shower gift)! 

update (March 2018)

So recently one of my best friends started a new office job, and didn't have a very extensive office wardrobe.  She also HATES shopping. She's really quite fashionable, but going to malls really stresses her, and she doesn't experience quite the same rush as I do from finding something awesome buried under a pile of junk in a Goodwill. 

She knew I had ordered from and sold to thredUP and was interested in doing one of their Goody Boxes, where someone would pick out clothes that matched her style and needs, and send them directly to her. Even as she was doing it she was feeling a bit skeptical. But I got an excited text from her the day she got her box, saying what an amazing job they had done matching her style.  I even ended up buying one of the dresses from her! I'll do a more extensive post on her box later, but for now, know that it was absolutely a win for her!  


1. Environmental Protection Agency. “Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2014 Tables and Figures .”, Dec. 2016,

2. thredUP. “2017 Fashion Resale Market and Trend Report.” ThredUP, 2017,