13 Real Ways To Get Free Clothes (Online & In-Person Help!)

While it might surprise you, there are plenty of ways you can update your wardrobe without spending a penny. In fact, it’s possible to get free clothing online or with local options if you know where to look.

This guide covers a range of websites, charities, nonprofits, churches, and other groups that help people with their clothing needs. Let’s dive in!

How To Get Free Clothes Near You & Online

If you find yourself in need of clothing but your budget is tight, don't worry. Your local community offers several avenues to obtain free apparel. Here's how you can find clothing at no cost in your area.

1. Use Social Networking Groups

One of the simplest ways to get some free clothing, shoes, and other items for your closet is to use social networking groups that focus on helping others.

Sites like Freecycle and the Buy Nothing Project are excellent examples. Both communities let people give things away for free instead of throwing stuff out in landfills. This includes heaps of free clothing and various household essentials, all at no cost to you.

2. Earn Free Clothing Gift Cards

If you want to get free clothes online, you can always use various reward sites that pay you with gift cards to clothing brands.

This is much easier to do than you'd think. In fact, there are tons of ways to earn money online in your spare time.

Some of our favorite rewards platforms at The Budget Diet include:

These sites let you redeem gift cards to companies like The Gap, American Eagle, Amazon, JCPenny, Aerie, Walmart, and Banana Republic. You can also redeem PayPal cash to spend your earnings how you wish.

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3. Find Free Clothing On Online Marketplaces:

Local classified websites like Craigslist and The Facebook Marketplace are another useful resource for finding freebies.

Many people post free clothing, furniture, appliances, baby clothing, toys, and so much more. Just take a look at this screenshot from Facebook Marketplace with heaps of clothing and essentials, all for free:

Plenty of clothing pieces are also available at low-cost on these marketplaces. And you can often find quality, brand-name pieces that are gently used.

4. Visit Local Clothing Closets

Local clothing closets are often run by charitable organizations, religious groups, and community centers and provide essential clothing to those facing financial hardship.

These closets exist as grassroot community efforts all across the country. So, search on Google in your local area for closets to see if any are providing relief near you.

5. Visit Churches That Give Free Clothes

A lot of people don’t know this, but there are numerous churches that give away clothing to those in need.

This idea is similar to visiting a clothing closet. You don’t even need to be a member of most churches to receive assistance; you just need to be in need and ask for help.

Several churches that give away clothing include:

  • Catholic Charities
  • The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
  • Hope Christian Fellowship
  • The United Methodist Church
  • Saint Anthony’s
  • Story Church

Of course, you can also visit your local church to ask for assistance. Many churches also provide relief beyond clothing, including help with rent, free gas and transportation help, child care assistance, and more.

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6. Look For Free Clothes From Charities

Like churches, there are numerous charities that give away clothing and run clothing drives to collect donations from the community. Some popular ones you can consider include:

  • The Salvation Army
  • Goodwill
  • Soles4Souls
  • Green Drop
  • Big Brother Big Sister Foundation
  • Dress For Success
  • One Warm Coat
  • 2-1-1 Program

Some of these charities, like The Salvation Army, have their own locations across the country that you can visit to find cheap or free clothing and other essentials. Other charities require that you ask for help online, or visit a church or community center where they send donations.

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7. Use Mobile Trading Apps

Like local classified websites, many people also declutter their home and post things for sale (or for free) with various trading apps.

OfferUp is an excellent example. You can find clothing, jewelry, shoes, handbags, gym gear, sports equipment, and so much more on the app. Many items are priced significantly lower than in-store. Some people also list things for free to help others.

8. Find Free Clothes With Social Media Groups

Facebook Groups and other social media platforms host communities aimed at sharing or giving away items, including clothing. 

For example, you can search for “Buy Nothing” groups for your city and neighborhood on Facebook. People in these groups post all sorts of things for free, including clothing.

Just note that to participate, you generally have to give something back. This is because these groups rely on a sense of community and reciprocity from members.

9. Use Government Assistance & Social Programs

If you’re a low-income individual or household, you may qualify for various government programs that provide assistance. These programs also help out disaster survivors and homeless individuals.

For example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides resources like clothing and other essentials to qualifying people and families. And you can apply to a range of financial assistance programs if you’re disabled, senior, or are currently below the poverty line.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is another agency you can potentially turn to. FEMA helps individuals who are survivors of disasters like floods, earthquakes, and other events to get back on their feet. This often includes help with rehoming, clothing, food, and financial support.

10. Participate In Clothing Swaps

Clothing swaps are an amazing way to refresh your wardrobe without spending anything. And they’re becoming increasingly popular in cities around the world.

The concept is simple: you can swap pieces in your wardrobe you don’t want anymore with clothing from someone else.

This is a very fun and eco-friendly way to update your closet. And you can find many clothing swaps going on through Facebook groups or local event calendars on your city’s website.

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11. Visit Thrift Stores & Second-Hand Shops

Thrifting can be an exciting way to find unique clothing items at a fraction of the retail price. Plus, by thrifting, you support local businesses and charitable organizations while being more environmentally sustainable.

Additionally, some thrift stores offer discount days where you can snag a new outfit at an even lower cost. For example, some Goodwill locations have color-coded tag sales, where items with a specific tag color are heavily discounted.

On top of that, many thrift stores end up donating clothing to community centers and homeless shelters as well. So, it pays to support your local thrift store, and they might even offer some freebies if you ask for help.

12. Use Loyalty Rewards & Referral Programs To Your Advantage

Signing up for a loyalty program can lead to substantial savings over time and even free clothing.

For example, Plato’s Closet pays you with points whenever you shop or sell gently used clothing items to them. So, you can eventually get free items if you’re a regular customer. And Plato’s Closet has heaps of affordable pieces to help you save more money.

Different clothing resale sites also run referral programs where you earn free cash if you invite your friends to join. ThredUp, Stitch Fix, Swap, and Rent The Runway are just a few examples.

Finally, if you shop for clothing at a major retailer, always ask if they have a membership program. These loyalty programs often give you immediate discounts or let you accumulate points to redeem for freebies down the line.

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13. Take Part In Upcycling Initiatives

Like clothing swaps, many communities run upcycling events that teach people how to keep their wardrobe fresh without needing to spend much money.

For example, many DIY clothing workshops teach people how to transform old garments into something new and stylish. Local community centers or sustainability-focused stores often host these sessions where you can bring your tired clothes and learn various upcycling techniques.

Sustainable fashion events are often similar. These events let you check out new products from various eco-friendly brands. But there are often giveaways, classes, and serious discounts to be found as well for the brands in attendance.

Final Thoughts

Clothing can be expensive, especially if you live in a climate where you need different outfits for different seasons. And if you have children that are growing, keeping up with wardrobe costs can feel impossible.

Thankfully, there are solutions to get free clothes if you're in a pinch. And even if you don't get everything for free, you can find significant savings with these tactics.

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