Recycled – Buy It Here!

Posted by Jill Chivers in My Story

Hello and welcome to the most glorious Friday morning. We are up to post #45 and today I’d like to talk about recycled clothing. I arrived early to meet a girlfriend for a coffee the other day and got browsing through a home/interiors magazine. Just love those – even the old ones are fun!

 Recycling for Reinvention. There was a one-page story on using recycled things for decorating – things like taking an old crumbling lampshade and painting it in fresh contemporary colours. Or taking someones old correspondence and putting it into an old frame, which could be repainted — how’s that? An electricity bill from 1975 would look sensational in a silver painted frame!

Or how about a collection of old jars and containers as grouped decorator items – nothing like an old IXL jam tin together with a milk bottle and tobacco tin to really grab the eye. But we’re forgetting about the visual impact that stacking old tattered books together with old balls of string found in grandpa’s shed has. The options are endless. Head down into the kitchen or shed of someone who was born before 1939 and you could pick up all kinds of decorator items that, if craftily restored and displayed, could revitalise your interiors!

Buy it here! But what really caught my attention and made me laugh was how all of these recycled old things could be purchased! This piece had a little stockists box at the bottom of it, listing every item in the photograph and how much it was for sale for! “Rusty old metal lamp base that will give you gangrene if you catch your finger on it – $250” or how about “corroded tobacco tins with traces of original tobacco from 1946 – $39 each” or “pile of bills from old Mrs Hackett’s garage sale, found in bottom drawer of Laminex telephone hall table with genuine Naugahyde seat, all bills dated the year 1977 – $3 each or $99 for the lot”.

Slightly exaggerated. But only slightly. Ok, I’ve made all of those up – it wasn’t as bad as all that. But it was still hilarious — all the old things in the article were for sale from a decorator shop! Isn’t the point of recycling that you don’t purchase anything “new” — “new antiques” being an oxymoron? Isn’t recycling about discovering truly old things that someone considers to be rubbish, and revamping them? You don’t go looking for recycled things at an interiors store. Do you? Recycle is a verb, isn’t it? It’s something that we do, not something that we purchase. And the rather scary part of all this was the underlying message that recycling is a decorator phase – it’s “bang on trend” to have recycled stuff in your house.

Recycled clothing. Which brings me to this challenge and recycled clothing. Is buying second hand just a phase? Is it even a phase? In blog #41 we talked about Not Quite New Clothing and how there are many options available if one wishes to add ‘new’ items to one’s wardrobe, but doesn’t wish to purchase new. There’s a 4th options — clothing exchanges — which I’ll talk about in a separate post coming up.

For now, I’d like to take a moment to consider what recycled clothing really means. It’s not a trend, or if it is, we’re all missing the point. Right?

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