Two well dressed women in a department store like Plato's closet evaluating a pair of trousers.
September 13, 2023
 in 
Slow Fashion

What is Plato's Closet? Plus a List of Upcycled Clothing Stores Like It

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ith 92 million tons of clothing-related waste ending up in landfills each year, there’s no doubt that we’ve got to rethink our fashion choices.

For anyone trying to build a more sustainable wardrobe, there are two hurdles to overcome: limiting the amount of old or unwanted items that go to landfills and finding more eco-friendly ways to purchase new additions. 

Second-hand stores like Plato’s Closet help with both, and you get to make a little money from it too!

Keep reading to learn how Plato’s Closet and similar stores are helping reduce textile waste and making it easier to shop more sustainably. We’ll go through everything you need to know about selling used items from your wardrobe, including the brands Plato’s Closet prioritizes, how much they pay for things, as well as 5 alternative stores to consider. 

It’s time to clean out your closet …

Table of  Contents

So What is Plato’s Closet?

Woman in department store like plato's closet making a purchase.

Plato’s Closet is a second-hand clothing business with brick-and-mortar stores in multiple states across the USA. Their focus is buying gently used clothes, shoes, and accessories that fall into the teen and young adult category. That said, anyone can approach them with items to sell and customers of all ages are likely to find great pieces in store.

Is Upcycling and Buying Second Hand Worth It?

Even the best clothing purchases sometimes don’t work out. Bodies and personal style change over time and we inevitably end up with that pile of clothes in our wardrobe that never gets touched. As the saying goes though, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and the clothes you don’t wear anymore may be exactly what someone else is looking for.

Stores like Plato’s Closet offer an easy, accessible way to sell clothes and contribute to a slower, more sustainable fashion cycle that reduces how much ends up in landfills and instead, gives your unused items a second life with someone who can enjoy them. What’s not to love?

How does Plato’s Closet work?

The thing that most often leads people to throw out unworn clothes rather than sell them is time constraints. Listing items on sites like Facebook Marketplace can be very tedious, but thankfully, Plato’s Closet makes things much easier.

This is how their stores work and how you can sell items with them:

  1. Bring your gently used clothes and accessories into the store, no appointment necessary.
  2. Their staff will inspect and price the clothes while you browse the store.
  3. Plato’s Closet will offer you a certain amount for each item and if you accept their prices, you’ll get paid in cash right there.

How to Sell Clothes to Plato's Closet

A women going through her closet and evaluating her clothes of re-sale behind two stacks of folded pre-loved clothes.

The most important aspect to note with Plato’s Closet is that the items cannot be stained or damaged. They’re specifically looking for pieces that are only gently used. Before taking any clothing to sell, make sure everything is freshly laundered and check for stains, color fading, or any damage.

If you’ve got items that aren’t in good enough condition for re-selling, consider taking them to be recycled or finding out if any nearby charities will take them as donations.

What Brands and Items Does Plato's Closet Take?

Plato’s Closet takes all sorts of brands and items, from body suits to sweatshirts and rompers. They also take athletic and outerwear, footwear, and accessories such as jewelry, belts, and bags. The only items not worth taking in are the obvious kind, such as swimwear and underwear.

Some of their more popular brands include Vans, H&M, Free People, and Urban Outfitters but most recognizable brand names are accepted there.

Where sellers may have a hard time is if they come in with an item that the store already has a huge backlog of. If that’s the case, it might simply be worth taking your clothes to another Plato’s Closet branch to be evaluated. Just make sure to ask their sales assistant for an explanation if items get rejected or the pricing isn’t as expected. The information may very well help you sell the item at a different branch or store.

Does Plato's Closet Buy and Sell Halloween Costumes?

Yes! Plato's closet now buys and sells pre-loved halloween apparel. You can take your stash of halloween costumes to Plato's Closet but make sure they have been laundered and are in good condition prior to taking them in.

If you're planning a DIY halloween costume this year, be sure to check out our guide to sustainable DIY halloween costumes.

How Much Does Plato's Closet Pay Users for Clothes?

How much they’ll pay per item depends on the brand, original value, and the condition it’s in. Something that still has the tags on and is completely unworn, for example, will get a higher price than something more worn.

How Does Plato's Closet Price Clothes?

Plato’s Closet sells most of their items at 70% less than the original purchase value and gives about a third of the sale price to the person who brings them in. For example, if they sell a T-shirt you brought in for $10, you’ll receive $3

Some might be disappointed by that figure but what is great about Plato’s Closet is you get that money upfront and don’t have to wait for items to sell or be involved in trying to market the pieces.

We won’t lie, it’s not great for people trying to make big money from their secondhand items but it’s still something to contribute to future purchases. The convenience also can’t be ignored. As we’ll look at in the next section, other second-hand clothing businesses require sellers to cover shipping costs and to wait until items are sold before they receive any money.

5 Alternatives to Plato’s Closet: A List of Similar Upcycling and Vintage Stores

A woman wearing red pleated dress and sandals holding bags with clothing

If you don’t have a Plato’s Closet store near you or are simply interested in alternatives, here are 5 other popular second-hand clothing businesses that you can sell items through:

ThredUp

ThredUp is one of the largest resale platforms, stocking primarily women’s and children’s items. They offer a “clean out” service in which users send in pre-loved items and, once they’ve sold, can earn either cash or credit for the site. Sending items in has to be covered by the seller.

Uptown Cheapskate

Like Plato’s Closet, you can visit this chain of second-hand clothing stores in person and have your items priced and sold on the spot. They take a wide variety of pieces and will pay a slightly higher premium for niche brands or things in high demand.

Poshmark

This online consignment platform allows users to sell secondhand items by uploading images to their site. Poshmark provides a pre-paid shipping label and users get their money for the item as soon it’s delivered to its new home.

Clothes Mentor

This resale chain focuses on women’s clothing from bigger brand names. Sellers can bring their clothes and accessories to any Clothes Mentor store for evaluation. Something to note is that this is one of the few second-hand stores that accepts clothes all the way to a size 26.

Crossroads Trading

Unlike other stores mentioned so far, Crossroads Trading offers multiple avenues to people looking at selling second-hand items. You can go in-store, drop items off, sell on consignment, or mail items in. Sellers can also choose to trade items in for credit or cash.

Great for Your Wallet, Wardrobe, and The Planet

Reselling clothes usually isn’t a big money maker, but it is a great way to get a little extra cash or even store credit for items that would otherwise have sat unused in your closet. Selling secondhand items through Plato’s Closet and stores like it also gives clothes and accessories a second life, far away from landfills.

It’s as much a win for your wallet and wardrobe, as it is for the planet.