Reduce & Re-Use

Looking for a bicycle? Ready to toss your bookshelf? Before you head downtown for some shopping, check out the great items that you can find at a fraction of the cost while reducing your environmental footprint. We’ve compiled a list of area resources that let you post items that you no longer want, and search for those that you do- without negatively impacting the environment.

Goodwill

For more than 105 years, Goodwill® has been an entrepreneurial leader, environmental pioneer and social innovator of the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice.

Goodwill diverts more than two billion pounds of clothing and household goods every year from landfills by recovering the value in people’s unwanted material goods. In the process, Goodwill creates job-training opportunities as well as entry-level and skilled green-collar jobs for people in need of work.

Boston University works with Goodwill Industries to collect tons of discarded clothing and housewares from the dorms every semester in our sustainability@BU Move-out / Goodwill, not landfill collection campaign.

Garment District

Boston’s Garment District department store is a large retail space with over 40,000 pieces of vintage and contemporary clothing on sale every day. At present, The Garment District processes several million pounds of clothing every year. Approximately one piece in twenty is selected, steamed, and tagged for sale in the store.  Other useable items are sold through their sister store, By The Pound. Clothing that is not stylistically interesting to retail customers is baled and shipped to the developing world for reuse.

Items which are not repairable or soiled are sent to a “shoddy mill” and are ground up for other uses.  You can buy and sell clothing at either The Garment District or By The Pound.

Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo Exchange stores are located in the heart of progressive, urban neighborhoods, minimizing pollution, congestion, habitat loss and urban sprawl. 80% of their clothing and accessories are bought directly from local customers. Buffalo Exchange offers clothing for both men and women and is more fashionable than your regular thrift store. At the buy counter, they hand pick the most desirable items from the public that can be resold. Find your local store here.

Second Time Around

Second Time Around is an upscale consignment company that carries new and almost‐new designer clothing and accessories. They are committed to making the consignment process as quick and simple as possible, and are one of the only consignment companies that provide online accounts to consignors, allowing them to track sales — and money earned — in real time. Each Second Time Around location takes on the unique personality of the neighborhood in which it resides as inventory comes from the closets of the local community. Find your local store here.

Freecycle

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,808 groups with 6,607,000 members across the globe. The grassroots nonprofit movement is comprised of people who are giving and getting great stuff for free near their own towns. Their mission is to keep items out of landfills. Each group is moderated by a local volunteer and membership is free. Find your Boston community, join up, and start searching!

Craigslist

While you can certainly buy and sell items of interest on Craigslist, there is also an area called “Free,” where users can find anything from bicycles to bookshelves.