I'm all about the thrifted stuff, cheaper and better for the world!
05-14-2008 08:39 AM
I love seeing this thread staying alive and enjoy reading the replies very much! Thx, everybody. To keep you updated, here's the link to my new blogpost about free second hand clothes: http://trashcollector.blogspot.com/2...-clothing.html
Astrid, that's a trippy story from your latest blog. Finding all those new clothes!
I'm trying to keep tight control over any additions to my home, but I can't resist one dumpster out behind a hospice thrift shop on early Sunday morning. I probably could find something there every day of the week, but they close midday on Saturday for the rest of the weekend, and sometime Saturday afternoon they put whatever donations they can't sort through out in the dumpsters. By the time I get to it on Sunday AM, other divers have torn through the bags and boxes. I always try to be neat about it precisely so they don't feel obliged to put it in the bin. They used to leave it in a somewhat sheltered area behind the shop but some people would leave a mess.
I haven't found any really useful clothing for me lately, but have gotten my elderly mother and my infant great niece some nice pieces. I figure if the stuff is old or nasty, I probably can use it for rags which would keep it a step removed from the landfill. I've even used cotton knits to wrap plant root balls that I can't transplant right away. Not as breathable as burlap, and doesn't break down as quickly, but works for a couple of weeks with no problems.
Today I thrifted another shirt for work. I'm sort of limited there with color and style. Anything remotely likely from my closet has been altered for use, so this new to me piece is not a waste of spare change. $1, which is very cheap for thrift clothing but not as great as a $1 bag of clothing or a zero cost dived item.
Good to hear from you. By now I washed the whole lot, some sweaters will come with me as brooch displays (but I'll sell them if I can) to my next craft fair and I'll have to start ironing the blouses for Etsy. I had to empty almost a complete shelf of my wardrobe for the stuff I want to keep and filled two smaller bags that went to goodwill and one trashbag that is now waiting in my bathroom (no other place to put it...) for craft projects. Hope to find time soon to make some T-shirt bags ans skirts and cut yarn from old T-shirts as well.
Happy diving :D
I'd read this back when you wrote it, sarabell, but forgot to comment then.
Originally Posted by sarabell
It won't help clear the air at the thrift store, but may help someone who absolutely has to have that scooby doo comforter or pillowcase.
There are two useful treatments for thrifted or dived clothing that can help with stains and smells.
Addressing the funky bedclothing smell first, it's something that might affect some jackets, hats, possibly towels. It's that sort of rancid smell you might associate with unwashed hair. That's kinda what it is. It's sebaceous excretions that have imbued the fabric with oily sebum, that then turns rancid. Now that I've turned you completely off, may I have that Power Ranger pillowcase you just passed over?
Because I'm going to take that home and use household ammonia in a bucket of water and soak that sheet or hat or whatever overnight. Then, rinse well and launder as usual. Presto chango: no more rancid sweaty bedhead smell. Plus, it may have removed some discolorations or pale stains, like the shadowy halo of a body shape on the sheets, you know that huge oval of off-color on some really old sheets. Ammonia is not for every fabric and it's not for the careless to use, but once I learned how effective it is at removing any grease based smell, it became a part of my laundry additives shelf.
Second tip is an old one, again not for the faint of heart or for the careless of use. This will brighten whites, remove protein based stains, and solve a host of other hard to diagnose problems. It will also fade some dyes, burn some fabrics, and a prolonged soak will damage metal buttons. It's absolutely wonderful on used baby clothes to remove baby bottom stains and baby bib stains. The ratio is 1:1:1, the formula is bleach, laundry detergent, and dishwasher detergent. You must be sure that there is no ammonia in the two detergents. Very unlikely in the dishwasher detergent, but ya never know. You only mix it into a tub of water as you use it, but it should be thoroughly mixed before you add the clothes. Use it as a presoak in your washer. Let the stained items sit in it for an hour or longer. After a couple of hours the bleach will have off-gassed, but the detergents can continue to work. Anyone of the three ingredients can damage some fabrics or materials. I'd test it on questionable materials first. It will feel warm as you mix it into the water, and you really should wear gloves and work in a well ventilated area.
Sunday morning at my favorite dumpster behind a thift store, I found a ton of stuff to use or wear or donate elsewhere. They'd thrown it all out as usual, and much of it had already been rifled through.
A white satin acetate tea length gown with crinolines. Donate.
Dozen medium and large black t-shirts with special events or special characters on them. One had a still functioning electronic thing stitched into the design that would repeat some cartoon saying when you pressed it. A couple of others were biker themed, some were resort themed. Some I kept, some I gave to people.
Another half dozen white or gray or tan t-shirts, most of which are going to be used as rags. There were a couple of interesting details that I thought I might add to a t-shirt quilt though.
Four pairs of shoes, two that would fit me, but all used and abused enough that I threw them out.
Probably twenty or so blouses or womans' tops that were in various degrees of wear, some of them fabulous and new looking. All to family pretty much, with three or four tossed out and a couple more cut up for trims or rags.
Two new sweat shirts, with tags, to family. One suede vest, donated.
Four lined wool womans' dress slacks from Talbots fit my mother. Jeans and capris she didn't like, but wouldn't fit me even with alterations. Those I donated.
T-shirt dress for my mom.
Woven chunky wool blanket, blah beige, but useful for a car blanket.
Some children's clothing that had seen better days, about half trashed or cut up and half donated.
And the odd bit was a polyester jacquard smiley face thong, new with tags. Still kinda creepy funny. I mean, I looked at some of the t-shirt stuff I couldn't use and thought about making underwear, but actual underwear from a dumpster? I was saved from confronting my fears by the fact that only wear natural material in panties.
Mens shorts, some of which had thrift store tags from elsewhere. Family.
Men's linen/poly suit jacket in a pale color. Should fit one brother.
All of it seemed to come from this one bag. A lot of the t-shirts that I scrapped from there had bleach marks splattered on them, probably from the original owner, although the thought did occur to me that the destruction was intentional.
There were other things acquired, but this is just the highlights of the clothing. Some of the stuff I could have resold, I suppose, and there were way more shirts and blouses than I need. I will have to cull from my collection to make room for the new stuff.
There probably was more good stuff left behind by me, and probably stuff I'm forgetting right now.
Lizzy that's too much I do that too. I take clothes from the trash and then what I won't wear or can't use does not go back to the trash but to Goodwill.
Originally Posted by lizzymahoney
I wonder how your family feels about the donated items, I mean do you tell them you took them from a dumpster?
Ten years ago, I was still in the closet about this among family. I had neighbors and a partner that were cool about it though. Maybe five years ago when I had no income for a while, I gradually accustomed family to a "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy. They knew that I DD'd on occasion, but tried not to think about it.
I'm not a clothes horse, but I have some elegance in my choices at times. My sister especially wanted any of my cast off dressy evening wear and basic professional attire.
My mother is elderly and greatly limited in the shopping she can do anymore. She was exasperated with shopping from catalogs and having to return things. She realized there was no expense at all with me providing from what I find. She also chooses to believe that most of that is thrifted from pretty consignment shops rather than snatched from the jaws of the garbage truck.
One of my longtime very good friends has an even older mother who thrift shopped all the time and gave him and his siblings inappropriate things to wear, and seriously damaged clothing items. He's been wealthy most of his life since then, and will not tolerate any clothing that is used or is thrifted or is DD'd. He is a computer geek however, so any computer or electronic hardware I find is a great source of interest to him. He knows I amost never buy any clothing item retail, and it amuses him. I think that's because it doesn't fit with the way his mother thrifted clothing: whatever was one step away from being trashed. He barters and haggles for all kinds of things, just not clothing.
I regularily visit thrift stores and am on a constant lookout for pattern magazines and books. I don't buy clothes as much but do buy baby clothes for my nieces dolls.
What are your ideas about shoes? I found the coolest boots ever a few year back in a thrift shop, too bad they're almost worn out now, recently I found pretty summer shoes in my size but also new and almost new shoes in the trash that don't fit me and that I plan to sell on line. I've seen them go in other Etsy shops; who would buy (despite the extra shipping costs...)?