Tshirts by the Pound

20 pounds of tshirts looks like this!
This is what 20+ pounds of tshirts looks like. Yoda, Cookie Monster, the Grinch and a few Disney Princesses all found their way into the haul :)


Tshirts by the pound. That's what happened this week. I came home with nearly 25 pounds of tshirts after a trip to the Goodwill Outlet with my friend Luci from Idle Hands Yarn Supply (she makes yarn from old tshirts). 


I'm so excited to dig in and start making some undies with my bounty- buying them by the pound rather than the piece helped me take chances on some undies that I wouldn't have considered otherwise. Mostly little kids' tshirts that would normally be too small, but not this time!
Super fun kids tees from the Goodwill Outlet. They can't wait to turn into undies!
Some of the super cute kids' tshirts I found at the Goodwill Outlet. Normally, these would have been too small for me to consider bringing home :)
Coincidentally, I'm reading Overdressed:  The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. It's about fast fashion (think H&M, Zara, Forever 21, Walmart, Costco, Target, etc...) and what happens to all the clothes we buy, the impact on the global economy and American jobs, the environment, and the change in our collective psyche about clothing over the past few decades. I highly recommend it! 
Anyway, there's a great chapter about all the clothes we donate to Goodwill and the Salvation Army. I learned that they never want for clothing donations.
Apparently, most of the clothing in stores doesn't get sold to customers, rather it gets rotated off the sales floor after a month or so, and is then sold to textile recyclers (who make rags or chair stuffing, etc.), or sold overseas, often to sub-Saharan Africa (who, she notes is getting more fashion-forward and pickier about what they'll pay for).
This way the charity is still making money off of garments they couldn't sell. She talks about the "clothing deficit myth" that most of us believe (including me, until reading about it) that "some person in need" would value our castoff clothing (p.s. It makes me feel awkward to say "some person in need" out loud).
For that reason, until this week, I never chose the best tshirts at the Goodwill- I saved them for "someone who needed them" or someone who get some good use out of them before passing it back to the Goodwill for me to find. 
Well. Not anymore.
If they're likely going to end up as rags anyway, they might as well end up as fabulous Kori-made underwear. :)
So I'm excited to not have to be as picky at the Goodwill, and digging through bins and bins of clothing at the outlet with Luci was a ton of fun.  A little competitive (but we look for different things in a tshirt... :)), and a great exercise in teamwork.  :) 
How about you? Any reactions to Cline's research or ideas? Are you a thrift store regular (donor or patron)? Please comment below! xoxo

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August 24, 2012


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