Thursday, October 23, 2008


From used books to used clothes, yet another post on thrift and the positive impact of recycling. Although I’ve been donating to Goodwill all my adult life, I didn’t really discover the wonders of shopping at Goodwill until my daughter was a teenager. She adopted a sort of funky, vintage look, heavy on ironic T-shirts, men’s plaid polyester pants, and the much sought-after bowling shirt. As a high schooler, my son worked summers in an office where he needed to wear collared shirts, instead of his usual uniform of T-shirts, and I was able to get his whole office wardrobe of shirts for about $20. Need those red shirts for your job at Target, or navy blue for Walmart? Or a black skirt for the choir, or a green sweater for a Christmas program? Goodwill is perfect for that. My most recent visit was to buy a turtleneck for my husband to wear as part of a musical group, a style he wouldn’t otherwise be caught dead in. Of course, Goodwill is perfect for costume ideas--one Halloween, I found an adult priest’s costume for my husband for about $10, while I did the Catholic schoolgirl’s plaid pleated skirt, white shirt and cardigan costume. I used to make long shorts for my very tall, skinny son by buying cheap Goodwill pants and cutting them down. And I’ve bought many things for myself over the years, occasionally scoring designer labels or brand new items. The store on Rt. 3 is huge, with everything separated by style and color. And by shopping there, you’re not only making the environmental choice (remember, those new items require energy to manufacture), you’re supporting the work of Goodwill Industries, which provides training and career services for the disadvantaged or disabled.

No, I’m not always this frugal, although I’m more likely to spend the big bucks on recreation and entertainment than on consumer goods. I promise I’ll try my best to figure out something extravagant to do this weekend to stimulate the sagging economy.

Men's buttondown shirts are in particularly good condition:

Kids outgrow clothes before they wear out, so there's a lot to choose from:

Lots of jeans, fully broken in:

My finds:

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