Or, A Rare Tale of When Instagram Was Actually Helpful
There is something taking up an inordinate amount of space in my flat. I personally took the time and care to create this objectionable object and its contents are too important to drop in a bin. Yet there it sits, mocking me every Saturday morning…
an Ikea bag full of old clothes.
These clothes have done nothing wrong they’re just not my style anymore, or they don’t fit, or I was tired of keeping in the other Ikea bag full of clothes and I’m selling on Depop. My flat is tiny and space is precious but still I move this bag back and forth at the foot of my bed on a weekly basis to make room for the clothes drying rack. These clothes are good clothes that deserve good and loving homes, they do not need to contribute to our embarrassingly full landfills.
Thankfully a solution presented itself when I was casually scrolling through Instagram, which is quite a miracle since social media scrolling usually just makes me feel depressed and anxious. One of my favourite follows posted a photo of a pink bag that matches her pink hair and in her caption – I always read her captions – I learned the bag was full of her old clothes to be sent to a new online charity shop called Re-Fashion.
A Fresh Way to Charity Shop
Re-Fashion is a new kind of online charity shop that actually earns more money for they charities they work with than a traditional charity shop. They’re currently donating to Breast Cancer Care. To participate you simply request a bag, they send one, you fill up the bag, and post it back to them using the pre-paid postage sticker. The whole process is very effortless which is amazing for a lazy lady like myself! So, of course I ordered my bag straight away.
When I received my bag a few days later and I was quite surprised by just how big it is! I actually needed to pick out a few more items including a large sweater and a pair of jeans. Re-Fashion is a bit picky about the brands they accept as they want to keep their online shop classy and they send you a guide to the brands they most need. As their donation guidelines materials say, higher-quality brands make more money for the charity. And as a second-hand shopper myself, I really appreciate this kind of quality control.
Recently it seems like my favourite online second-hand shop is bursting with teenagers trying to sell their Primark stuff, or new “independent” shops supplying poorly made Kardash*an knock-offs. Thrifting online and off is always more time consuming that simply popping into Zara, but my hunt for a new-to-me winter coat has been plagued with nice thumbnail photos disguising terrible fabric blends and ultra-cheap brands.
Following along with the Re-Fashion mission of quality over quantity I turned my editing eye onto the clothing I plucked from the Ikea bag. I wasn’t simply checking the labels of the clothes, but also their worn condition to make sure I’m sending the best of what I’ve got. I could have fit about 30% more into the super-cute bag, but a project like this needs good participants to be beneficial to both the sellers and buyers.
Despite my curated efforts in filling the Re-Fashion bag my Ikea bag is still fairly full and still taking up space. And I still had to move it whilst doing laundry yesterday. But now it is much lighter and I’ll be able to walk it down to my local RSPCA without clenching my teeth and asking my husband for help. That kind of self-self-sufficieny is my favourite kind of sustainability.