So the lifts have stopped turning and you’re switching out your wool baselayers for t-shirts and shorts. You’re looking to get rid of your kids’ outgrown gear, or maybe you simply need to do some spring cleaning of the gear closet. Meet Threadlyte.
Threadlyte, a company founded by Brian and Michelle Flickinger, buys and sells men’s, women’s, and kid’s secondhand outdoor clothing completely online through their website.
Based out of Silverthorne, Colo., the
Flickingers were originally struck by a slate.com article that stated, by one estimate, the U.S.'s largest export by volume is used clothing. Avid skiers and outdoor enthusiasts, they became aware of the massive negative environmental impact made by the clothing manufacturing industry.
With the rise of online consignment stores selling fashion clothing, they realized that there was a large gap in the industry—there was virtually no one selling secondhand outdoor clothing online.
“There wasn’t really anything happening in the outdoor space, which is kind of ironic, because if anyone, people who are into the outdoors should be most concerned about conservation,” says Michelle Flickinger.
So what makes Threadlyte different from dropping off your clothes at your local consignment shop?
The company has made convenience an ultimate priority, creating a new way to buy and sell second hand clothing that disrupts the traditional consignment store model.
Clients head to the customer’s website and request a “pass-it-on pouch,” Threadlyte sends it out, and the client puts whatever items he would like to sell into the bag. Once received by Threadlyte, the company issues the client a quote, and if they are happy with that quote, the customer receives the money.'
“The risk is all on us to sell it, you don’t have to wait for it to sell. We try to make it really, really easy on the seller,” Brian Flickinger says.
For the Flickingers, the quality of the products they receive is essential to how they run their business.
“We inspect everything for stains, holes, and buttons, and we have a pretty high standard," Brian says. "Sometimes we get stuff that we’re a little upset we can’t resell, because there’s still usable life in it.”
The future looks bright for the company, as the Flickingers have aspirations to build stronger relationships with nonprofits, create a trade-in program, and more.
“I think the ultimate goal is to change the mindset of people to start thinking about shopping secondhand when they are looking for their outdoor clothing,” Michelle says. “It’s not always intuitive, to go somewhere to get something secondhand, so changing that mindset would be the ultimate ‘We did it’ type of goal.”