My favorite spring sweater is one I picked up at a friend’s clothing swap party — which is just one of many reasons I’m a big fan of swapping for free, pre-loved fashions. That’s why I signed up for thredUp, a green web service that lets you e-swap with fellow frugal eco-fashionistas across the U.S. to give your unworn duds a more loving home while getting new-to-you fashion finds.

To try out the service I bought three thredUp envelopes — at a one-time promotional price of $5 for the three-pack (usually $25) — which basically let me do three swaps with fellow thredUp members. Once the envelopes arrived in the mail, I sent off a couple items I didn’t want to women who wore my size — and got a couple surprise tops in exchange.

shirts from thredUp

How do I like thredUp’s service? So far, I’ve yet to receive an item I really want to wear — but I remain hopeful. The two tops (photo above) I received are perfectly cute — but not for me. I’m not the sweater vest type, so the white top didn’t make it into my tiny closet. I would have liked to have worn the blue button down, which fit me perfectly — except around the bust where it was just a teensy bit too tight. My guess is that the woman who mailed me this top had the same problem with this top.

So those two “new” tops will be going back into the thredUp rotator — and hopefully I’ll get something wearable for my third and final envelope, making my $5 investment worth it. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, thredUp has launched a fashion service for less picky people who constantly need new clothes: Kids. As your kid grows, re-thred their duds through thredUp Kids and receive new, bigger clothes.

The kid service works a little differently from the per-item service for grownups. Instead of swapping, say, a single shirt, you swap in boxfuls of kidwear. First, pick a box of new-to-your-kid clothes on thredUp’s site, then make it yours by paying just for shipping (usually $13). Then, pack up a box of clothes your kid no longer fits into and list it on thredUp. Once a fellow threader picks your box, your box will get picked up by the postal service right from your home!

Pre-loved fashion swaps for you or your kid
thredUp lets you swap single fashion items with fellow frugal eco-fashionistas -- or swap boxfuls of kids' clothes with fellow green parents.