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Greener World, Greener Wallet

POSTED UNDER Partnerships & Awards

You may have heard that we wear 20 percent of our clothing 80 percent of the time. Whether that’s true or not, it’s likely there are clothes in your closet that you’re not wearing. In fact, there’s more than $8 billion worth of unused items in American closets, according to Resale Report 2016.

Macy’s and online resale retailer thredUP have formed a partnership to tap into that potential and be more sustainable at the same time – one that helps you clean out your closet and get rewarded with Macy’s gift cards! (And who doesn't need more closet space?)

The online resale market is exploding as consumers seek value, unique looks and increased sustainability – from $14 billion in 2015 to a projected $25 billion by 2025. “It’s consumption without the elements that make consumers feel guilty or ’conspicuous.’ That is a powerful and compelling quality in an era when consumers want to do the right thing and set an example,” says thredUP board member Paula Sutter.

How is online resale shopping more sustainable? If just one in 100 U.S. households shopped resale, it would save more than 1.1 billion pounds of CO2 emissions each year – the equivalent of planting 24 million trees per year.

Space in your closet. Macy’s gift cards. A greener world. Sounds great, so how does it work? We tested it out with a volunteer from the Macy’s Green Living team. She signed up through and ordered her free clean-out kit. A few days later, she received a small package containing a large self-sealing shipping bag – one big enough to contain an entire laundry bag of clothing.

She went through her closet and filled it with clothing and shoes she no longer wanted (you can also send handbags and children’s clothing). She said it was easier to let go of items knowing she’d be receiving a Macy’s gift card as payment for items thredUP accepted, so she ended up with more closet space than she might have otherwise.

Next, she packed and sealed the bag and dropped it off at her neighborhood FedEx office. Since the clean-out bag comes with a pre-paid shipping label you don’t even pay for shipping. You can also drop it off at any USPS location.

ThredUP’s standards are high and according to their website they typically accept less than 40 percent of items they receive. Once our tester’s items were processed, she received an email with the value of her gift card ($19.70) and photos of the accepted items that were merchandised and ready for listing on thredUP’s site. A few days later, she received her e-gift card from Macy’s. “It was really simple,” she said. “You’re not going to get a huge payout, but the extra closet space is wonderful and it’s nice knowing I get to treat myself with the gift card. And I’m always looking for ways to be more sustainable!”

What happens to the items thredUP doesn’t accept? Items in good condition that don’t fit thredUP’s criteria are sold to third-party resellers. Items that are no longer in wearable condition are passed on to textile recycling partners where they’re repurposed into new, useful products like carpets and pillow stuffing – keeping even more out of the waste stream.

So join in and clean out your closet with Macy’s and thredUP!

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