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  1. #16
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    I've been shopping second hand my whole life, but the internet has made it so much easier to find what I actually need. You still have to be persistent and go looking fairly regularly. I've needed to replace my 10 year old boots for months, but waiting for a pair to show up in a second hand place requires... So... Much... Patience. It's a project.

    For me, frustration of buying stuff is that my life and needs change. Perimenopause? I stop wearing anything cotton and gradually replace it with moisture wicking fabrics. New job? Need a bunch of things to conform to the dress code. And every time things change, I think I know what I need, but often I figure out what will work better, so something I bought two months ago taught me what I don't need and now all I can do with it is thank it for its service. I would love to just stop buying stuff, but I'd need a lot of the world's expectations to change for that to be an option. Frustrating.

  2. #17
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lia View Post
    New job? Need a bunch of things to conform to the dress code.
    The best thing about working from home most of the time is that I don't have to worry about a work wardrobe quite as much. I still need it for work travel, which happens on average once a month.

    The unspoken dress code in my organization has shifted a lot (with time, styles, and new leadership) over the years that I have worked there. From skirt suits with tall heels, to trousers with a nice top and flats. It's easier to pack now that I don't have to pack heels, but it does leave me with many unused and expensive shoes.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  3. #18
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I work from home as well, but recently had to go on a work trip and so I briefly freaked out about having to assemble a work wardrobe in a hurry. I bought several things that would fall into the category of "fast fashion," mainly because I didn't have time to search elsewhere for more durable wardrobe basics. Was rather unhappy with my choices while on the trip and came back vowing to stick to my principles of buying for the long haul. I know that this is also a form of privilege - being able to afford better-quality goods even if purchased over a longer period of time.

    On the flip side, I have noted that my clothes can last decades, with care, but needs change, styles change, and sizes (Embarrassment) change (even in shoes!). I have saved some of my nicer, classic pieces, thinking that my daughter would like them someday, but now she is three inches taller than me and has very different tastes. (I'm keeping a few basics - jackets, button-down shirts, things that aren't as height-specific) anyway, in case she wants them when she's old enough to go for interviews.) We are fortunate in that we have space in our (cluttered) home to store things, but I'm trying to balance frugality with the need for space and better organization! Smilie

    Beyond clothing, I like that our neighborhood has a pretty active listserv, where people post things they are clearing out, as well as things they are looking for. So I was able to get baby gates for free when we were training our puppy, and then pass them along when we were done. Snow boots are another great example of items that are desperately needed when the occasion arises, but not much in use the rest of the time. So rather than keeping brand-new shoes that may be outgrown, folks both offer and request the sizes they need.

    There are also some wonderful local charities that directly repurpose goods:

    A Wider Circle sorts and then distributes household goods in good condition to families in transition. "This program provides beds, dressers, tables, chairs, dishes, pots, pans, and other large and small home goods to families transitioning out of shelters, escaping domestic violence, or otherwise living without their basic need items."

    Leveling the Playing Field takes outgrown sports equipment and distributes it to underprivileged communities.

    On a more philosophical note: I enjoy checking out local estate sales - around here there are a few consignment companies that allow you to review the items for sale online, so that you can target the houses you go to. They are often a good way to find high-quality things for great value (vacuum cleaners, art, lamps, furniture, kitchen goods, even clothing or gifts). It does make me sad sometimes to see how the beautiful things that people collect over a lifetime are then sold for pennies on the dollar - though I guess the good thing is that the items then go back out into the universe and are hopefully used and loved by new people. But it makes me more determined to buy only things that I will immediately put to use - and that will last for a long time, so that I don't create waste by purchasing disposable goods.

    A recent article about where things go after they are donated:

    https://www.theguardian.com/sustaina...hes-peak-stuff
    Last edited by haraya; 01-03-2020 at 08:46 AM.

  4. #19
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    NPR interview with the author of the book "Secondhand":

    https://www.npr.org/2019/12/04/78470...=pocket-newtab

    "So if you want to reduce the environmental impact of your consumption, the best way to do that is to not manufacture more stuff. In that sense, the best thing you can do is not buy more stuff.

    "The longer that your product lasts, the longer that you use that smartphone, the less likely it is that you're going to be buying a new one. So the goal really should be to keep your stuff in use for as long as possible, whether it's by you or somebody in Ghana or somebody in Cambodia. [...]

    "The [stuff ends] up in the landfill or the incinerator. I mean, there is no green heaven, if you will. Everything wears out eventually and everything gets tossed out. ... That's the fate of stuff. That's the fate of our consumerist societies. If we spend our time thinking this is going to be used perpetually, forever, even the best-made garment, the most robust smartphone, we're deluding ourselves a bit. Eventually, everything does have to die. ... It's sort of the ultimate story of consumerism and it's the dark side. We can't really delude ourselves into thinking everything lasts forever."

  5. #20
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    New England
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    This fall I got fed up with RTW clothing so I've been teaching myself altering and fitting. It's going better than it did back when I learned to sew, thanks to youtube and bluprint. Anyway, over the holiday break I started out rearranging a closet to make room for a stack of fabric, and ended up reviewing all my closets. I cleared out a couple boxes of random things to be rehomed.

    That stack of fabric has been my selective replacement. I intend to sew most of my clothes going forward. And I hit some fantastic sales black friday weekend. But I stuck with what I need to learn and enough yardage for my first few garments. I'm working hard to avoid a fabric stash. I've had enough stashes of stuff to know I'll eventually end up where you are, feeling badly about my stash's environmental and economic impact.

  6. #21
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    Over the past 18 months I've been slowly accumulating a wardrobe of Merino wool shirts for travel, most of it from Wool & Prince -- 3 t-shirts, 3 Henleys, and 1 each of a dress shirt, a polo, and a heavier sweater-like piece.

    Though I bought the stuff for one-bag travel, I'm thinking about buying another dress shirt and sweater, then switching to the Merino full time and giving away most other shirts. (I will keep a few for dirty work around the house and yard.)

    Beyond simplifying my wardrobe, the Merino wool needs washing MUCH less frequently than other fabrics.

  7. #22
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    Last year, non-profit, in the U.S, received a lot less donations than the previous years.

    Non profits working with clients escaping domestic violence, fighting houselessness and economic hardships can always use clothing and accessories donations.

    Many non-profit could use the following for their big spring fundraisers:

    Donations of artwork,
    Baskets started with a small item that no longer fit in your decor can be built up into chocolat/coffee/spa/mini golf/coloring/knitting/needlework lover baskets that can be auctioned off for the non-profit, then be used as hostess gifts of festive spring holidays meals.

    If like G42, you are a gifted crafter, consider making items with your craft stash and donating them to be auctioned off, as well.

    Also remember to shop for gifts at those non-profits spring fundraising as well as supporting local businesses and artists.


    Local and made in the U.S.A acquisition of quality and thoroughly researched item has lead to non existent shopping sprees, online or otherwise. I still have and wear items I bought in the 90's.

    I do hope the ill-fitting, weird colors and flimsy fabric clothing trend is going to stop sooner than later, I might have to turn to sewing to get the clothes to match my classy and classic Tom Bihn bags.

  8. #23
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    I saw a post on Facebook that suggested donating gently used backpacks, duffels and other luggage items to foster care organizations, (instead of just donating them to Goodwill.) Instead of carrying their belongings in a trash bag, foster kids could reuse our old bags instead. Not sure which groups would accept them, but it only takes a phone call to ask...

  9. #24
    Forum Member Rei's Avatar
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    France
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    I'm starting to use Geev, a French initiative (and application) which helps to donate and receive stuff or food to/from peers, less waste Smilie
    Last edited by Rei; 01-10-2020 at 12:44 AM.
    just a Bihnion here

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