That’s the concept behind Schoola Stitch, a new online nationwide consignment store headquartered in San Francisco that launched in August to recycle brand-name children’s clothes and donate a portion of the proceeds to schools. Parents across the U.S. reportedly have collected and sent in more than 50,000 items of gently worn clothing for sale. Brands include Baby Gap, Gap Kids, OshKosh B’Gosh, London Fog, Mossimo and Lands’ End for kids ranging from toddlers to teens.
Prices are worth noting. On a recent day, the website had merchandise such as Old Navy sweatpants that usually retail for $17 for $5.10; Abercrombie and Fitch hoodie, normally $50, for $15; and Arizona Jean Company jeans, normally $34, for $10.20.
“As a parent and former school principal, I realized that not only do schools need funds, but kids need clothes and constantly grow out of the ones they have. I thought it would be compelling if parents could donate gently used clothes and perhaps buy new ones at a steep discount, given how quickly kids grow. Schools loved the idea. Parents loved the idea. And Schoola Stitch was born,” says founder Stacey Boyd.
Schoola Stitch inspects all garments to ensure donations meet the gently worn standard. Clothes that are found to be ineligible for sale are donated to children in need through various charities.
Families get deals on jeans, shorts, shirts, dresses, and more and up to 40% of the proceeds are donated to the school of their choice.
Boyd says the money raised can help fill art supply closets and reinstate or supplement funds for music, drama and other school programs that have suffered budget cuts. More than 3,000 schools nationwide have held Schoola Stitch clothing drives in the last couple of months, ad 92 schools around Los Angeles are participating, including charter schools, preschools, public, private and parochial schools.
"On average, schools are receiving about $40 per bag of clothes, but of course, size and number of bags varies," Byd says. "We've seen some bags of clothes bring in as much as $200."