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Loopster Makes Resale Child’s Play for Parents With Growing Kids

Nothing is certain but death, taxes and the fact that children will outgrow their clothing sooner rather than later.

Consignment is practically tailor-made for these rapidly changing bodies, most of whom leave a trail of perfectly serviceable, practically new garments in their wake. And while hand-me-downs were once standard practice, reduced clothing costs, shrinking families and attitudes buffeted by today’s throwaway culture have largely tossed the concept by the wayside.

Jane Fellner, for one, was over it.

As an investigator filmmaker covering child labor in Bangladesh, the Londoner witnessed firsthand the social and environmental toll of so-called “fast fashion.” She wanted to extend the lifespan of the clothes she purchased, yet she couldn’t find an easy way to sell, whether on the high street or online, what her son so quickly outgrew.

“And never mind having the time to rummage through kids’ racks at the local charity shop,” she said. “In this age of convenient supermarket deliveries and late night internet shopping—which, let’s face it, is every mother’s guilty pleasure—why wasn’t there a simpler way to source good quality, nearly new clothes for my son?”

In 2017, Fellner founded Loopster, a website that not only accepts used clothing for sale but also frames castoffs in an easy-to-navigate format for those looking to buy.

“Loopster will hand check every item it sells to ensure it is good quality and sell it on to other parents at a fraction of high-street prices,” Fellner wrote on her website. “With clear photographs of the clothes on our easy-to-use website, searching for stylish bargains on Loopster is not only easy but fun.”

Parents clearing out their kids’ closets only have to order a “Loopy Clear-Out Bag,” fill it up with their discards and send it off to Loopster. If an items “makes the grade,” the company will pay them for it, Fellner said. Those that don’t are either returned or, if the customer agrees, donated to the charity Traid for recycling.

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Selling and buying pre-owned clothes isn’t just great for the pocketbook, it’s also a boon to the environment.

“Last year, a quarter of the clothing we got rid of was simply thrown away,” Fellner said. “So many of those items could have been reused and enjoyed by another child, instead of contributing to the destruction of the planet.”

Roughly 300,000 metric tons of clothing end up in U.K. landfills every year, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a nonprofit that promotes the circular economy. All that waste is expensive, too: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that landfilling clothing and textiles costs the U.K. economy around 82 million pounds ($104 million) per year.

At the same time, the idea of resale is gaining ground, particularly in the realm of luxury goods, where outlets like The RealReal and Rebag have claimed supremacy. ThredUp, which bills itself as the largest secondhand and consignment online marketplace, values the current resale market for apparel at $20 billion. In 2022, it predicts the demand to hit $41 billion.

Loopster will be part of that revolution, translated for a pint-sized market.

“Avoiding waste like this is something every parent can get behind, when we consider the ecological legacy we are leaving to our children,” Fellner said. “So you see, buying nearly new clothing and giving your child’s clothes a second life helps save the planet whilst saving you money. What’s not to like?”