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Monday, January 31, 2005

Reduce, reuse, recycle, restore: clothing

(As I mentioned a little while ago, I just started a new job. This new work environment has caused me to investigate and implement some changes in the way I live. I'll be blogging about them periodically in the coming weeks.)

I've had to update my wardrobe a bit, since I work outside the home now. I'm not much of a clotheshorse but I do tend to keep clothes (and other things) for a long time. I'm using this opportunity to clear out the clutter. Here are some things you can do with clothes you no longer wear:

* Sell them at a garage sale or consignment shop. If you want, you can donate the money to a clothing charity like Dress for Success, Salvation Army, or your local "Coats for Kids."

* Donate them to someone who can use them. Consider Dress for Success, an organization that "provides interview suits, confidence boosts and career development to more than 45,000 women in over 73 cities each year" or Goodwill Industries which sells donated clothing and household goods to "fund services for people with workplace disadvantages and disabilities by providing job training and employment services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support. "

* Trade them in a clothes swap. That way, you'll get rid of clothes you don't use in exchange for clothes you will use. And your items don't go to waste.

* Reuse them. If the item has a small flaw, a seamstress or tailor may be able to remake it so that you can still wear and enjoy it. Thankfully, my mother just rescued a favorite dress of mine that had a hole of unknown origin in a very inauspicious place. If items are no longer wearable, then use the fabric for quilting. I love to remember favorite childhood dresses by the pieces used in a quilt I made with my mother and grandmother. If the item is not so loved, cut it up for rags. I just used a bunch when I painted my bathroom. Rags often come in handy for cleaning, dusting, and the like. I've even seen them used as stuffing for pillows!

Any other suggestions? Just list them in the comments below. Thanks!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful quilt you have! It is hard to believe that that it was started about twenty years ago and actually completed in 1989,just in time for your first year at Swarthmore. It is about time to start another quilt and I'll gladly put my"two stitches" on it. We will miss Mother and her help but her spirit will guide us.

Love,
your Mother

Karama said...

Hi Mommy! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I've already started saving scraps for my next quilt and am looking forward to working on it with you. Please come by again soon and tell your friends!

PS: Maybe the Little Rock Deltas could organize a suit drive for Dress for Success.

Karama said...

This just in from Debbie at Dress for Success:

"Thank you!

Please let your readers know that we are in need of plus size clothing (sizes 14 and up) and shoes (we like to call them mistake shoes - you know - the shoes you wore once, they were too tight and you threw them in the back of your closet.) 

Best, Debbie"

Okay folks, check your closets for clothes and shoes you can donate. Thanks for writing, Debbie!

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