Cash for Fashion: Recommerce and Upcycling

A tight budget is the biggest obstacle to creating the wardrobe of your dreams. That is unless you find a way to turn what you’ve already got into something greater. Applying a little ‘recommerce’ (selling your used clothes) and ‘upcycling’ (turning your least favourite clothes into something spectacular) can mean saving dollars and living in style.

Engaging in a little commercial creativity could also mean helping the planet, choosing environmentally sustainable options that minimise consumption and waste.


How to start? Head to your wardrobe and start rummaging. If you haven’t worn an item for over a year, it’s time to go! If there’s an item you’d love if only it was a little shorter/longer/more exciting – it’s time to get altering!


Consignment stores make selling your unwanted fashions uncomplicated and convenient, fast-tracking your path to extra cash.

Do a little research and find the best consignment stores in your local area. It’s important to choose the right store for your product and the right market. If you’re passing on designer goods then head to the designer district. If it’s your grandma’s old dresses you’re passing on look out for a shopping strip with an edgy vintage vibe.

Keep an eye on trends and be mindful of the seasons. If you’ve got a gorgeous designer coat to pass on but it’s the beginning of summer you’ll get a better return by waiting a few months before you put it on the market. If a celebrity has recently been photographed in an item like the one you are selling, it is time to get marketing!

Generally consignment stores won’t accept clothing that is torn, stained or worn out. To ensure that you get top dollar when you’re done with them take good care of your clothes, be mindful of washing instructions and store them with care.  If the consignment store that you have chosen accepts unpolished clothing it may be a sign that they won’t be worth your while in terms of selling power.

It is also worth investigating online retail. It’s not just about eBay and Etsy anymore, there are a number of tailored sites out there that make fashion recommerce easier than ever. Some bricks and mortar stores, such as Blue Spinach in Sydney, even have their own websites to help you transform clothing into cash.


Swapping can be a fantastic way of getting new clothes, for free! Organise a swapping party at which all of your friends have to bring three to five items of clothing that they no longer wear. There are also websites which are dedicated purely to the swapping of fashion.

If you want to maximise your swapping and selling potential ask friends and family if they have any unwanted clothing that they’d like to donate to your cause. Turn other people’s left overs into extra change!

Keep It

Upcycling is the perfect way to get years of extra wear out of out-dated clothing. Look for the hidden beauty in clothes that you no longer like and find ways to alter and adjust them to suit current trends. Removing length from a skirt or cropping pants into capris could bring new life into your least favourite clothes. Explore the stores and sites such as pinterest for inspiration, then rummage though your wardrobe and unlock the unexplored potential!

Top Consignment stores: 

The Frock Exchange, Clovelly

Di Nuovo, Paddington

Secondo, South Yarra

Mio Tesoro, South Yarra

Blue Spinach, Darlinghurst

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