Old Clothing

Tonight I might start cleaning out some old things. I think I am missing a purse - I seem to think that I had a silvery-gray purse ... but now I'm not sure if it was just one that I almost purchased! Either way, that's a sign that I need to clean out my closet!! (or that I'm losing it, but I'd prefer to go with the former).

So what should I do with all of the unworn things I am sure to dig up? Trash 'em? No way! Here are just a few ways in which you can recycle your used clothing.

1. Consign items with a Consignment Shop
For the items that are still in really nice condition—i.e. no stains or rips—bring them into a consignment (second-hand) shop! Consignment shops are a great way to earn money back on your old pieces and to give someone else—perhaps someone less fortunate or just plain stylish and resourceful—a chance to snatch them up. Usually the final selling price is split between the store and the consignee. It's usually a 50/50 split but find a shop near you and check out their details. And of course call ahead to see if you need an appointment.

2. Hold a Clothing Swap party!
Have you ever heard of this? A couple of years ago I hosted one at my house. It was a lot of fun, a great way to get the girls together, and to get some things cleaned out of our closets! I invited 10-15 girls, asked them each to bring approx 2-10 items to swap and I provided some drinks and appetizers. It was great fun and everyone went home with something. Anything that was left was donated to charity. I sent invites via email—I used a sweatshirt to compose the letters S-W-A-P on a concrete floor, took photos and then collaged them in Photoshop. Actually, writing this has inspired me to try to host one again!

If you aren't into hosting your own, it has become a bit of a "movement" and people are hosting larger swaps all over the place. Just do some surfing on the interweb to find one near you. I attended one in Cambridge a couple of years ago where there were piles and piles of donated clothing and some re-making going on as well. I found some great stuff!

Punky Style is actually hosting a swap August 5th in Worcester, MA. I'd be down to go except that I'll be getting ready to go to Hawaii then!

PunkyStyle.com’s First Annual Clothing Swap
Lucky Dog Music Hall, 89 Green Street. Worcester, MA
August 5th, 2008 7:00 PM

3. Tear 'em up for rags
Rather than using paper towels or purchased cleaning rags to clean up dirty messes, wash the windows, dust, etc.—rip up some old clothes. Old t-shirts are great but really anything cotton works well.

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