Saturday, 21 November 2009
Can I recycle, recycled clothes?
A new piece of furniture has come into my life. A lovely oak wardrobe from the late 1940s. It smells like chestnuts and has wonderful brass hooks and a heart-shaped lock and key. But its arrival has caused heartache, it’s been filled already by my robust collection of new and vintage clothes and shoes.
(LEFT: the wardrobe)
So, contemplating a life with no more purchases, I’m seeking some advice … can you recycle recycled clothes?
When you buy second-hand, it’s almost like giving an unwanted puppy a home. Shoulder-padded jackets, embroidered shift dresses and heavy winter coats with big brass buttons demand to be loved again. It’s this tangible sense of memory and history that you can hold in your hands.
It always seemed as if I would be the person providing a “final resting spot” for an item that had been disregarded. They would be resurrected again as part of my daily Dynasty and 1950s fashion fantasies, a glorious “autumn age” for an unwanted garment.
So, I unloaded the wardrobe and laid everything out on the floor. If I was going to do this, there would be some sort of fair process to it. There laid before me was a shimmering anthology (yes, literally shimmering, I have a thing for bright, shiny things) of the last few years. I couldn’t throw out a faux-fur lined cropped jacket from Fat Helen’s (Chapel St) or a red-leopard print shirt (with a scoop neck) from Grey’s Op-Shop in St Kilda.
Neither the shirt with the pearly embroidery around the collar, a bright green dress (in at the waist, out at the hips) or this cropped long-sleeved black lace top from Brunswick Salvos. Every item had some excuse, and some vague sense of attachment and story.
A blue top (which I had hacked from a dress) reminded me of a boy I once kissed and a crumpled red jacket of the time I left my car lights on at Coles and ran the battery flat on a rainy day. So there I was, reliving my own memories in other people’s unwanted clothes.
I’ve repacked everything back into the wardrobe. It remains a crowded, musky space. I’ve considered wearing as many clothes as I can during the day to maximise the amount of space in my wardrobe. Though with the current heatwave, this seems like a sweaty and uncomfortable option.
Can I send recycled clothes back to the op-shop? Will they be loved again? What should I look to throw away first? I’d love to hear thoughts from anyone!
love and regards,
(p.s - I'm new to I op therefor I am, so thanks for reading! come check out my blog http://recycledmelbourne.blogspot.com if you have some time!)