Friday, April 25, 2008

Recycled Rags

This activist, super-mom character is from one of the hippest, kids consignment shops in the NY metro area - Milk Money. A couple of creative mothers started it and it is not only renewing and updating the consignment and used clothing concept, but it is blossoming into a wonderful franchise gig as other mom-types come on board and open up their own shops.

While I haven't done a lot of consigning myself, I've been a proponent of recycling clothing for many years. I clean out my closets every season and bring bags of goodies to my local charity's clothing drop - by the way, there are many charities, including the Salvation Army that have convenient clothing drop bins (ours happened to be right at our recycling depot!).
New York City has it's own recycled clothing initiative, Wearable Collections. According to the statistics presented on Wearable Collection’s website, 386 million pounds of textiles enter the NYC waste stream annually, representing close to 6% of total waste. The Council for Textile Recycling also reports that the clothing recycling industry prevents 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile waste from entering our landfills and waste stream each year. The organization is placing recycling bins in designated buildings throughout New York City for the collection of unwanted garments and clothing.

There are a lot of companies now gathering discarded textiles to make new clothing from recycled materials, like Patagonia's Common Thread line.

My girls and I have always enjoyed thrift shops. There is nothing quite like the thrill of finding a unique and sometimes expensive piece of clothing that costs $10 - $20!

I'm wearing a gorgeous sweater today that I found last year in a consignment shop. It looks brand new and I always get a lot of compliments.

There are so many reasons why consigning, donating, and shopping the thrift store circuit should become part of sustainable way of being. My goal is to have some percentage of my wardrobe be made from renewable, organic, responsibly made clothes; some percentage of it from thrift and consignment shops; and the smallest percentage being newly manufactured, store-bought stuff.

Cloth for thought . . .
GD Meg


Kim said...

Save the world from Wal-Mart! Love it! I'm all for supporting local bizs rather than corporations, especially local bizs that are sustainable. I grew up shopping in thrift shops, consignment places, vintage stores, yard sales and the trash by choice. I still love it and shop the same way today. Most of my son's baby and toddler clothes (and my meatenrity clothes)came from consignment or thrift shops and all the clothes were like new and not dorky or out of style!

ONNO said...

Love to see that NY is taking such great recycling initiatives. My sister bought me a $5.00 sweater in a thrift ship that is one of my favorites. I always take my clothes to GoodWill or Salvation Army, or Lift Up (our local thrift store). In this day and age, I don't see why you wouldn't donate or recycle clothes. It just seems to make sense and doesn't take a lot of effort.

Dagny McKinley
organic apparel