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As a lover of fashion, I hate to see nice clothes go to waste. That’s why I always try to donate items I no longer want to a local thrift store whenever I clean out my closet. But I would find myself hanging on to things because it didn’t seem practical to give that Coach bag to Salvation Army, or I couldn’t really see that designer dress being sold at Goodwill for what it was worth.
That’s why I was so excited when I discovered Fashion Project. Founders and Harvard grads Anna Palmer and Christine Rizk had the same feeling as me when they saw a brand new Alice & Olivia jacket (worth $100) about to be destroyed at a thrift store. This inspired them to start Fashion Project, a website that takes your donated designer items, resells them online and then gives 55% of the profits to the organization of your choice.
By “organization of your choice,” Fashion Project means ANY 501(c)(3) – so you can choose to donate the money right back to a nonprofit here in Fresno! If you search Fashion Project’s database, tons of local charities pop up, such as Marjaree Mason Center, Tree Fresno and Poverello House. And if your organization isn’t on the list, they’ll work with you to make the donation anyway.
Another bonus benefit? Fashion Project has partnered with Nordstrom to give you a $40 gift card for every five qualified items that you donate (also usable at our local Nordstrom Rack)! Qualified items are clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories in good condition that come from a list of approved designers and originally retailed at $50 or more. Accepted brands include everything from J. Crew and Ralph Lauren to Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
You simply have to go to the website, request a donation package and identify what organization you would like to receive the profits from your items. Fashion Project will send you a big prepaid bag to mail your items back in.
You should be aware that whether or not Fashion Project deems your items qualified, they will not return any of your things (much like your local thrift store). But anything they don’t think they can resell themselves (like a shirt that they find a stain on or they think is too worn) will still be donated to a thrift store.
The stuff that does qualify will be sold online at the Fashion Project boutique, and they will let you know when one of your items sells, and how much was donated to your charity.
Fashion Project is also a great opportunity for you to BUY designer items at deeply discounted prices. Each item is in the shop is also labeled with information on where your money will go and how much will be donated.
There’s no limit to how many items you can donate or how many gift cards you can earn. So get to your closet and start cleaning it out now!