To my dearest fashionistas,
As the holidays are fast approaching (Tomorrow), I can never make it through a thanksgiving without really thinking about the things I have been fortunate enough to have consistently in my life. Clothes, shelter, food, and loved ones. There are many things that we really consider on Thanksgiving, I’m sure we all have something we are grateful to have in our lives. But what about fashion, Evelynlouise? This Thanksgiving, I issue a challenge to you all my lovely fashionistas. Storm your closet!
That’s right! Storm the living crap out of it, pull out clothes you don’t wear, sweaters that are okay, but not your favorite. Coats that are still gorgeous, but you’ve moved on. Pull out your jewelry, be honest. Your shoes. All of it! When you have a sizable (because you know you have crap in there with the tags still on it and you’re never ever in a million years going to wear it) pile, remove the things with holes, broken clasps, missing buttons. Put those things in a bag for Goodwill, because they will recycle it. Then all the stuff you have (if it needs it) wash it. Wash it with your best scent boosting detergent, dry it, fold it nicely.
Go through that hoard of bath and body products that you have in your linen closet and grab all the stuff you’ve been collecting for the past four Christmas’s and give it a new home.
What’s next you say?
Get on the phone, call your local women’s shelter, your local YWCA, your local youth group home and ask them where you can drop off a donation of quality clean clothes and toiletries.
Why these places when I can just give it to Goodwill or Salvation Army?
Because while it’s a great feeling to rid yourself of the things you don’t use, these are still businesses who turn a profit from the clothes and donations you give them for free. All the way down to the ratty jeans you donate which they sell in bulk to companies to recycle and turn in to stuffing, insulation and industrial rags. But if you don’t have extra money to buy clothing, this means Goodwill too. Many of the individuals who live in shelters have jobs, they work just as hard as you do, and some are looking for something better.
When I volunteered at the YWCA in college many of the women who lived in the shelter were plus sized, and it was difficult enough to find them clothes at Goodwill that looked good on their bodies, and the money was a luxury many of them couldn’t afford. Imagine, that pant suit that you bought that’s still hanging in the closet with the tags still attached could be a fantastic interview suit and a new career path for a woman who has found herself in a place she never intended to be.
This is a challenge to give of yourself. Fashion for me is a shared experience that we all enjoy as a society and in my humble opinion we can share with those around us who also deserve as much as the next person to be pampered and treated. If you don’t have a lot to give, get your friends together, make it a group effort and when you’re done sorting and folding and putting together a care package for that local shelter, go out together and be thankful that you have each other.
If you have extra money to spare, ask the shelters if there are things they need. I’ve donated to shelters in the past and I always called to ask them what they needed most. Some of the requests were things I’d never thought of, such as crafting supplies, diapers, baby bath products, puzzle books, books, etc.
I think so many times of how grateful I am to have the things I do. This time of year I think all of our hearts soften just a touch. I wish more often it was a year round effort, and for some it is. This challenge doesn’t cost you a cent, but it could really mean the world to someone who needs it.
Spread some love, with the things you love!