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Vintage Carhartt Jacket

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Fans of Carhartt threads now have a new way to buy the company’s apparel while promoting sustainability. 

Today, the popular workwear brand announced a new resale program called Carhartt Reworked, which offers used brand clothing. Carhartt claims it’s the “first branded resale site in the workwear industry,” giving customers the chance to get old or worn products repaired or buy others’ “reworked” clothing online. 

Company leaders aim to extend the life of Carhartt’s clothing, reduce waste, and keep “imperfect gear” out of landfills. As of March 1, these used-but-not-used-up products can be found at Participating Carhartt stores will also accept in-store trade-ins.

No matter what time of year, this outerwear is in — and can resell for big money.

Shopping thrift stores, flea markets and estate sales can be overwhelming. With the sheer volume of stuff, how do you know where to start? How do you spot gems amid all the … well, junk?

As a professional reseller who has been combing through thrift stores for the better part of 30 years, I can help. If you’re ready to cut your shopping time in half, score bigger bargains and walk away with brag-worthy finds you can flip for cash, read on.

Featured find: Vintage Carhartt jackets

It’s no surprise that there’s a strong market for used Carhartt clothing. The company has been around since 1889 and in the subsequent 130+ years, the brand has become an icon of durable American workwear.

In the 1980s and ’90s, Carhartt made the jump every clothing brand hopes to make — it became wildly popular with consumers outside its original demographic. Carhartt evolved into a fashionable lifestyle brand in Japan, and in America, hip-hop artists and rappers embraced the clothing and imbued it with high-style status.

What to look for

Though there’s been many iterations of the Carhartt logo, the most common one features the stylized letter “C” (typically in yellow) above the Carhartt name. With its thick wavelike design, the “C” logo is easy to spot. On some Detroit jackets, you’ll find it sewn on both the interior neck and the exterior chest.

Early (pre-1960s) Carhartt garments feature heart-shaped logos in various forms. If you find a Detroit jacket with a heart logo, you’ve discovered a true rarity since the two overlapped by only a decade.

For those buying to resell, a few factors can impact a jacket’s value. Pay special attention to:

  • Condition: Since there’s such a wide market for Detroit jackets, condition is less important than with other brands. Surprisingly, I’ve sold heavily-distressed (nearly destroyed) jackets for more money than pristine pieces.
  • Style number: In 1997, Carhartt unified and simplified its style codes. Detroit jackets made in 1997 or later will typically include one of the following style numbers on the neck tag: J97, J43, J01 or J001. Be sure to include this number in your online listing.
  • Lining: In the world of outerwear, blanket-lined garments sell for a premium. Look for interiors finished with a soft blanket-like material in stripes or plaids. On older Detroit jackets, the lining will be a wool blend. On newer pieces, it will be acrylic-polyester.
  • Personalization: Since Carhartt is part of the uniform for many companies, it’s common to find Detroit jackets with various embroidered logos on the chest. Though personalization lowers a jacket’s value, most pieces can still turn a profit.


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