Emily Thungkaew

The ins-and-outs of renewable fashion

By - Nov 19th, 2011 04:00 am
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One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. No, I’m not talking about men. I’m talking about clothing!

Much like Kimberly wrote in last week’s Threads, I too enjoy renewable fashion. This week, I’ll take you on trip to the back side of thrift stores.

Recently, I stumbled into a thrift store, not by accident, but not by choice. I was hesitant as I followed my roommate to the back room of our local Value Village to volunteer at an alumni “day of service” event. Rummaging through old clothes wasn’t necessarily my idea of a perfect Saturday.

Having never been to the “back room” of a thrift store, I was amazed at all of the organized clutter that was in front of me. Piles. No, mounds of clothing lay everywhere with dozens of workers, resembling Santa’s elves, pushing z-racks full of clothing.

We quickly organized into groups and shuffled to different directions. I landed in the sorting group. For three hours, my job was to remove clothing from boxes and lay them into an organized stack so the next person in line could “tag” them then hang them up. Reluctantly, I assumed my task with tears practically streaming down my face because of the fabric fibers flying into my eyeballs. This was going to be a long day.

Throughout the hacking/coughing and several tears later, I began to find joy in rummaging through all this junk. To some, these items were considered old and no longer desirable, but to us, they were new and exciting. I wish I could tell you of all of the treasures I found in that trove, but I just can’t, there were entirely too many!

I encourage you all to explore your thrifty side at resale stores. You never do know what you will find. Perhaps you’ll find a beautiful camel-colored Michael Kors pea coat for only $29.99. Or maybe an old-school patterned Ralph Lauren plaid cardigan that would be perfect for your annual Christmas sweater party for $6. No matter what your purchase, you’ll walk out feeling new with something old, and resourceful for tapping one of the city’s best-kept secrets.

Check out some of the following:

  • Value Village – 324 West North Avenue
  • ReThreads – 2943 North Humboldt Boulevard
  • Retique – 190 North Broadway
  • Salvation Army – 2264 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
  • St. Vincent DePaul – 7125 W. Greenfield Ave.

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