What do you Wear to a Recession?

The fastest growing clothing retailer in that area is Goodwill Industries!
This is from an article in The National Clothesline (http://www.natclo.com/0904/content.htm) that cites the Chicago Tribune.

The article also stated that Americans own more clothes than any people on the planet!

Contrary to the trend among other retailers who are scaling back and even closing stores, Goodwill plans on opening 5 new stores in the area this year. Breaking from the mold of its appeal to edgy art students and hard-luck hobo's. And it appears to be working. While sales at major chain stores fell 2% during the last three months of 2008, Goodwill store sales in southeastern Wisconsin and metropolitan Chicago rose 8%!

I googled the head line "What do you wear to a recession?" and to my surprise, there were at least 5 news articles with this headline (including: http://www.observer.com/2008/arts-culture/crashion-what-wear-recession). Perhaps one silver lining of our current economic turmoil will be the acceptance of second hand purchases! Not only is it easier on our pocketbooks, it is good for the planet - in my opinion, new items always impact our planet more than reusing items. After all, where does your old clothing go if no one buys second hand? By giving clothes a 2nd life, we are promoting sustainable living.

Consignment shops come in many varieties - you can find couture used clothing or typical thrift store fare. Often, when you donate, they will give you a receipt for tax purposes.

I have a few thoughts on this trend:
  1. When you buy 2nd hand clothing, send it to your cleaner before wearing. Many thrift stores cannot afford to clean clothes before putting them for sale.
  2. If you are donating - please send clean items (see #1)
  3. If you are uneasy about going to a 2nd hand shop, consider having a clothing swap party. Everyone can bring items from their closet they no longer wear (I know I have lots), and make a party out of it!
Some cleaners will accept clothing donations, clean them at no charge and then distribute the clothing to different organizations. Ask your current cleaner for advise.
They say that difficult economic times foster creativity and new business models. I hope that this trend will continue after our recovery:-)

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