When you begin unraveling years worth of possessions, one also resets psychologically. As a woman expected to maintain a standard of beauty I’m not ashamed to admit this, giving away my clothes was darn hard. They were an extension of my personality, an obvious identifier to everyone else. Ah yes, this is YOU. It was achingly clear, isn’t it time to redefine that standard for myself? So, the clothes went, and a new sense of self arrived.
Just in time for cargo pants and trainers, here are some ideas on how to unload the old.
SELL THOSE THREADS
Find a consignment store that matches your fashion style, it will be easier to make a sale. A consignment store simply takes your undesirables, puts them on the floor for resale, and passes you a cut of the profits. How to do this hundreds of miles away? The key to overseas payout is finding an establishment willing to make special arrangements and pinpointing a trusted friend able to get you the money. Ensure the store can make cheques payable to your friend, who can then transfer funds into your account. My savior? My Best Friend’s Closet. After 5 items sell, they will happily accommodate my fussy needs. If nothing sells, the store will donate to a charity on my behalf. Typical percentage split is 60/40. Certainly not full value, but face it, the second you purchase anything new, value automatically drops. www.facebook.com/My-Best-Friends-Closet.
If you have time to spare, eBay is a decent way to rid yourself of garments. You can divide them into categories, convenient for others to browse and find your items. Ensure you aren’t selling clothes that are stained or have holes. You’ll also sell faster if you have a verified PayPal account. Quality is what counts here. www.ebay.ca.
Dress for Success
For former cubicle dwellers, this charity might be right up your alley. Dress for Success is a non-profit providing interview suits, and confidence and career development workshops to low-income women in over 75 cities worldwide. Those suits gave me the power to change my life, why not someone else’s? www.dressforsuccess.org.
Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
Vancouver’s most notorious neighborhood, infamous for a raging homeless and drug addled population has a hidden jewel. The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre is a male free environment where women can get a hot meal and meet a kind, non-judgmental face. They also take donations. Rather than draw conclusions on their controversial lifestyles, give what they don’t have. A waterproof coat. A sparkly hair tie. A pair of shoes you may be wore once. http://dewc.ca.
Any Shelter or Charity of Your Choice
This applies to men or women’s clothing. Seek out your local shelter or an Interfaith/Salvation Army outfit. Any of these places would be happy to take your clothes. The versus of eBay, it’s acceptable to donate quantity. Some charities will also pass on pronounced rejects to textile recyclers. Do make sure the clothes are clean prior to donating. A quick list:
- Textile Recycler Inc. – a Houston based company specializing in recycling used clothing, shoes and wipers.
- Council for Texitle Recycling – a great round-up of information about textile recycling.
- Canadian Textile Recycling Ltd. – originating from the Netherlands, this company is now based in Canada and exports used clothing to 20 developing nations worldwide.
Every man, woman or child could use a sweat absorbing headband crafted from an old t-shirt. Maybe you’re a wizard with a pair of scissors and a Brother sewing machine. If so, take some of those unwanted clothes and envision them anew. I can think of a few travel accessories besides this headband that would add to any pack. How about a scarf from recycled sweaters? Or turn that canary yellow windbreaker into a shopping bag that folds tightly. Save yourself some money and make what you need. Craft blogs:
- Craft Gossip – full range of projects using recycled materials.
- ThreadBanger – the website devoted to DIY anything.
- Sew, Mama, Sew! – a great blog about everything sewing. Check out projects or inspiring books!
Photos: Craft Gossip and Godt.