Local startup sells donated designer clothing and sends money to charities

Believe it or not, spring isn't too far off.

So maybe it's not too soon to be discussing a closet refresh.

But what if you want to do something else with those clothes you don't wear anymore? Something more impactful?

Enter Fashion Forward for Charity, a local startup that takes your gently used clothing, shoe and handbag donations and transforms them into dollars for charities.

"We came up with this idea as a way for people to help and give back without having to write a check," says Brian Alder, founder and owner of Fashion Forward for Charity.

The steps are simple: If you have a donation, head to fashionforwardforcharity.com and request a donation kit, which includes a prepaid postage bag that you fill with your designer apparel, shoes or handbags. (All items must meet or exceed $50 in original retail price and should be in excellent condition.) You'll also be able to select your preferred charity, so that when your items sell, 50 percent of the proceeds will go to that organization after a $20 processing fee.

Drop your bag off at the post office, and it'll head back to the company.

They then process it internally and upload your items to their online shop, which just launched this month. So far, items have included an Ella Moss striped dress, a J Brand jacket and more-all priced between $25 and $134.

"It's really at no cost to anybody," Alder says. "Not the charity or the organizations that we're working with. No cost to the donor."

Alder says he came up with this idea after realizing so many people want to find a way to donate to a charity without getting out their checkbook. As the owner of a Motorsports racing team, he worked a lot with charities that were in need of funding, and he was eager to help.

Fashion Forward for Charity officially launched in early 2014.

Get more info here.

-Taylor Starek, @taylorstarek