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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: September 23, 2021 01:02 PM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Tax Incentives for Secondhand Clothing
Shopping at secondhand retail stores like Goodwill or Plato’s Closet is a way for many people to save money on clothing or household items. It also reduces the unsustainable shopping practice of buying from “fast fashion” industries like Fashion Nova, Shein, or H&M. These industries are often criticized for their use of outsourcing production to developing countries where workers are placed in unsafe work environments, paid low wages, and are victim to abusive and exploitative practices. “Fast fashion” industries are also major contributors to pollution since many of their products cannot be recycled.
As of this writing, there are no federal or state tax incentives in place for the purchase of secondhand clothing. Pennsylvania does exempt state sales and use tax (SUT) from clothing purchases, but items such as accessories, formal apparel, and athletic wear are not included in this exemption.
To support more sustainable fashion practices and help Pennsylvanians in need, I am introducing legislation that would extend the sales tax exemption to accessories, ornamental wear, formal day or evening apparel, sporting goods and sporting clothing when bought at secondhand retail businesses. This would incentivize more consumers to shop at secondhand stores with the assurance that they are still benefitting from state tax laws.
Please consider co-sponsoring this important legislation to support sustainable fashion businesses and subsequently reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion.

Introduced as HB2103