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There’s something uniquely satisfying about updating your wardrobe. The price tag that normally goes along with that? Not so much.
If new clothes aren’t in your budget, or you simply enjoy the thrill of hunting for freebies, you have options. Try these strategies to get free clothes.
1. Reach out to a nonprofit or charitable group near you
Those in need of basic clothing or professional attire can seek help through shelters, religious organizations and other groups. Don’t know where exactly to turn? Your local 211 service may help you find free clothing programs and resources in the community. You can also try searching for clothing closets on needhelppayingbills.com.
2. Try a clothing swap
Many of us have a clothing item or two (or 10) we wouldn’t miss. So why not swap your old jeans and sweaters for a few fresh pieces? Join clothing swap groups on platforms like Facebook and Meetup to find an event nearby, or organize your own. (Swaps and yard sales may also be a way to get free baby stuff.)
Another option: Trade or sell your clothes online. Rehash is a website where users list items and swap with one another, paying only the shipping cost. On Tradesy, you can sell clothing in exchange for cash to use on the site.
Some brick-and-mortar stores allow trades too. For example, at Buffalo Exchange, you can bring in your unwanted clothing and get store credit in return. Using a local thrift store can also be a way to trade gently-used clothes for money in less than an hour.
3. Look for contests, sweepstakes and giveaways
Retailers often give out free clothing or gift cards through contests and promotions. Entering is usually as simple as submitting your email address, leaving a product review or tagging a friend in an Instagram comment. Follow your favorite brands on social media, check their websites and subscribe to their emails for announcements. However, there’s no guarantee you’ll win.
You’ll likely have better luck getting free clothes through giveaways in your community. The best way to track them down: Browse niche social networking groups, such as Freecycle and the Buy Nothing Project, or marketplaces like Craigslist. You can regularly find secondhand apparel that people want to give away.
4. Redeem rewards
You might earn points or cash back through credit cards, cash-back apps and retailer loyalty programs that you can redeem for new clothes or a gift card to cover the cost. (Loyalty programs can also help you score free food.) See what you can get for the purchases you already make.
Some sites, such as Swagbucks and Toluna, similarly reward you for taking online surveys or completing other tasks. But it can take hours of tedious work to reach a valuable payoff.
5. Become an influencer to get free clothing from companies
This isn’t practical advice for everyone on social media. But if you have a large or devoted following, try leveraging it to get free clothes. Companies may send you apparel they want you to talk up in an Instagram post or show off to your YouTube subscribers. Reach out to clothing brands you like and see if they’ll cut a deal with you.