The social distancing mandate is happening as the season is changing. This gives some of us no excuse for not tackling the closets and drawers. :) I know many of you have already begun sorting. My friend, Lisa Law, offers lots of information and inspiration about de-cluttering and Feng Shui. You may want to subscribe to her newsletter.
De-cluttering can be very satisfying because it is a small thing that you can control in this time when so much is out of our hands.
So you've got this pile of clothes with which you are willing to part. Now what?
I asked my daughters for help and they whipped up this fun flow chart for me and you.
- We have 4 textile recycling bins here at MC SQUARE. They belong to Ecosmith Recyclers. Pete and Sue Shellenberger started Ecosmith in 1991, to do their part to keep clothing, shoes and textiles out of the landfill. They are local, down-to-Earth and honest folks who are getting these items to places where they will be used.
- Prefer to bring your textiles to Goodwill or Savers? That's fine. These companies are not "bad." (They are a little misleading, in that they are for-profit businesses, not charitable organizations.) Yes, some of your items will get sold locally, which is good for providing low-cost clothing to those who need it in our community. Most of the clothes that you bring to these places go overseas, just like the clothing you place in donation bins. This is not necessarily bad, either.
- Note: Regardless of which textile recycler you choose, if your garments are not clean and thoroughly dry, they will end up in a landfill.
- There are other ways to recycle your garments. Two are listed in the chart. If you find others, pass their contact info along to me. I'll be happy to start a list on our website.
- We have a bin in our shop where you can donate T shirts to be made in to Boomerang Bags by some folks involved in The Beaver Brook Association.
- There are 4 women who upcycle clothing and sell it here at M&C. Perhaps you'd like to see your items get used in a creative way? They collect some cool, graphic tees (band and pop culture,) denim jackets, flannel shirts, fabric, and sweaters that are 100% wool. These crafty women can work around stains and tears, so this is a perfect place for the good quality pieces that are damaged. They would pay a nominal amount of money for your items and we will donate that money to a charity.
- You'll find soooo many creative mending ideas on the Internet. Maybe this will inspire you to mend your clothes, or maybe this is a cool business idea for a local crafty person.
- Is it missing a button? Move the top button to where the button is missing, then replace the top button with different button creating a unique style.
- Don't know how to hem? There is YouTube or... plenty of Tailors who do. ;)
- Stain removal ideas are limitless in the Internet. :)
- When deciding to donate usable clothing and textiles to local charity organizations, consider that the populations they serve may not have resources to mend, fix zippers or even sew on buttons. If you do have the time and skills, consider fixing before donating.
- If you just don't wear it for whatever reason, but it's in great shape and in style. Consider the quality. Is it worth consigning? Consignment is a labor-intensive business in which garments must sell for a minimum of $8-10 or the cost outweighs the profit.
- If you have items that cost you $20 or less, retail, can you sell them as part of a bundle on a local social media marketplace?
- If it's good and clean, but not worth your time to sell, consider donating to a clothing closet or thrift store. Local clothing and thrift stores include: St Patrick's Share, Lucky Dog Thrift Shop, The Grey Nuns Thrift Shop, and the Pilgrim Church Thrift Shop. Please call them to ask what they can accept and when. Please feel free to send me your favorite local thrift stores. I'll make that list on our website, as well.
- Note: The folks who sort clothes at local social organizations are good people doing good in the community. Be kind and wash and thoroughly dry any garments before donating them. :)