The Thrift Festival in the UK is getting geared up and ready to go! We're excited. Also in Last Week in Thrift we find a story that highlights one of the biggest problems every thrift store faces and a great recommendation for anyone trying to remove a bit of clutter in their life.
"An enthusiastic marketing undergraduate who helps to run a family farm alongside her studies is working to spread the word about the Festival of Thrift. Jo Martin, a final year student at Teesside University, has joined the team behind the award-winning event that is being held in and around the grounds of Kirkleatham Museum and Village near Redcar on September 17 and 18."
"After returning from the extended holiday weekend Tuesday, volunteers found more unsellable items, including a flat-screen TV that didn’t work and a dirty couch. The discovery meant several more trips to the landfill."
"I have a large plastic bag that sits on the kitchen floor. In it, I place items that are meant for the thrift shop. When it is full, I will take it over for someone else to make better use of the stuff and, in this way, I keep the clutter in my kitchen down."
"We recognize that there is a place for thrift stores in every community, but like everything else, if there are too many, this is cause for concern with respect to public perception, and for those anchor businesses that don't necessarily want their business located in what is fast becoming known as a 'thrift store downtown,'" the letter reads.
"A nondescript motor oil box was dropped of at Somebody’s Attic in May, one more donation among the many collected by the nonprofit thrift store in Logan — but the contents of the box makes volunteers think the box was left by mistake."
"I was not really impressed by the idea of working with the project. At that time I had to deal with my own prejudices, the standard prejudices against Roma: they are dirty, they’re the ones who steal and they’re lazy. But none of this is true. Nothing."
MCC photo/Matthew Lester
Damir Vrbanec works with students Remżija Zejnulovski, left, and Edvin Dramaku. Vrbanec has been a teacher with MCC partner Bread of Life Belgrade for more than 10 years. He works with Roma students before and after school, helping with language and other homework.
From passionate Thrift couture in Calgary to Ethiopia and how shopping at MCC Thrift helps support kids in kindergarten during the drought.
"At the thrift shop I am not required to engage in such foolishness, and the prices can’t be beat. As someone who has moved back and forth across the ocean a few times and lived out of a suitcase when the occasion demands, these places have been a lifesaver, especially as the clothes I do have seem to attract spilled coffee and grease stains to an unusually-high degree."
"Gillian Skupa is one of those energetic people not suited to a downtown office tower. Bored with her IT job, she found a fun escape popping into thrift stores on her way home to satisfy what she describes as an addiction to bargain hunting for second-hand clothing."
"All of the food is purchased locally. Meals include traditional healthy foods such as injera with shiro (chickpea powder made into stew), rice or spaghetti with sauce, vegetables, bread and milk."
Children at Remember the Poorest Community School enjoy their hot lunch.
Remember the Poorest Community School photo/Samuel Assefa
We check in with the ReFashionista herself and see what $1 at an MCC Thrift Shop can do in some very creative hands. Also - we're hiring all over for Thrift in Canada and US. Maybe you're next to join the team!
"Eight years ago, a Cocoa woman decided she'd had enough of rampant consumerism, of watching perfectly good items dumped in favor of the latest and temporarily trendiest.
Now, Erin Baird-Jack's spacious home in the woods on the Indian River is a memory-filled testament to her commitment to reducing her carbon footprint and reducing, reusing and recycling."
"Frugal fashion queen, Jillian Owen, is on a mission to change how we think about fashion.
Concerned with the rise of fast fashion brands that are sacrificing ethics for easy production, she set up a scheme to make amassing a fashionable wardrobe cheaper and kinder. She began to hunt around thrift stores, finding cloth relics that had good bones despite their size and unflattering shape.. Some of the purchases were around $1."
"There are very few artists today who are working in the medium of thrift store clothing. In fact, there might only be one. That would be Richmond, Virginia-based sculptor Noah Scalin. He recently went to a local thrift store and picked up a couple bags of used clothes."
"Each morning while getting dressed, pay attention to the things you wish you had. Make a mental or physical list of all these things as a guideline for the next time you walk by a consignment shop. For example, if one you’re all "I need a silk robe like Rihanna as a seasonably-appropriate light layer," then add it to the list."
"We checked it with Claire who is looking for 150 plates, from MCC thrift shops, for her wedding. The wedding is almost here, so she's busy getting the plates ready for the big day!"
"He climbs into our vehicle and navigates us around bushes and small trees, across almost dry riverbeds, through sand that’s ankle deep. It reminds me of driving in the snow and slush after a winter storm in Winnipeg, as the tires spin and try to find traction."
Why did the kitten cross the road? Why to get to the Thrift shop! No seriously. That and MCC's efforts for World Refugee highlight this Last Week in Thrift.
"After he switched gears, Al’s role in the cat rescue community grew. Animals in Need started off featuring adoptable kitties on weekends, but soon people came in all week looking for cats. Then Al started getting calls from individuals who wanted to surrender their cats for adoption — and some people simply dropped their unwanted pets off at the store."
"The buildings they occupy are not free. There are mortgage payments to meet. As well as insurance on the building and upkeep that must be done."
"We are in the midst of a global refugee crisis. June 20 is designated by the United Nations as World Refugee Day -- a day to commemorate the strength, courage and resilience of refugees around the world.
Join in marking World Refugee Day by planning a worship service to listen, learn, pray, give and be inspired to offer hospitality and hope to refugees."
Turns out with a little planning you can save upwards of $400,000 USD over 20 years by shopping Thrift. A 29 year old teach has a plan in Last Week in Thrift. Also, there's a Festival of Thrift? Yes please.
Mikel Welch is an interior designer with his own company based in New York City, Mikel Welch Designs. As set designer for Steve Harvey, he has also created greenrooms for celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Halle Berry.
With his gifted eye, Welch shows ABC News how to spot those rare treasures on your next thrift store shopping trip. Watch the video above for tips on how to score some great finds!
"She takes enjoyment in saving money - but has kept her savings plan secret from friends until now.
Mrs Richardson said: 'I try to live by the phrase 'Living the good life on a budget'. I'm not missing out on anything and we still like to get to do lots of fun things but we're also careful with our money."
"A large-scale, family-friendly event, it features leading and emerging artists, demonstrations, stalls, talks and workshops offering thrifty advice, tips and tricks as well as innovative and tasty food and drink.
Stella Hall Festival Director said: “We’re taking the Festival on tour this year after three very successful years in Darlington."
Jan Martens Janzen is the MCC Ontario Thrift Development Officer. She says, 'Every single day, our volunteers make a huge impact at their shops and around the world. They’re helping support clean drinking water and food security, peacebuilding education, trauma healing, sustainable development and disaster relief in over 55 countries – not to mention helping to create a fun and welcoming place for people to shop.'
MCC Photo/Alison Ralph
Fildred Mudenda working at the Spence Street Thrift Shop, where she works as part of MCC's International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP).
We found a handful of great blogs this week to teach you how to Thrift like a pro (from Dainty Jewell) and rather spot on 10 Tips to Thrift (from Brooke Courtney). This is of course in addition to the a spectacular young pianist who wow'd people randomly at a Thrift shop and a first round NFL draft pick visiting his local Thrift shop as a first order of business after a multi-million dollar signing.
"The teen wasn’t looking for any recognition but when he saw a piano for sale, he couldn’t help but play something for the shoppers. The boy who was shopping alone, sat at the wooden piano and played his version of Chopin’s famous Waltzes... 'As he played for me I stood there speechless with tears streaming knowing that I was amidst God’s favor.'"
"Tip #1 – Make a list before ever leaving your house of things that you need in your closet. A black blouse, a green cardigan, whatever it may be, write it down! Once you get to the stores you will have some guidance for what to search for, and whether or not the things you are being tempted to buy are things you need at all."
"Artists Chris McMahon and Thryza Segal used acrylic and/or oil paint to blend new monsters into old paintings as if they were always there. The textures are obviously hard to match, but the end result is actually way more interesting than the original, and I think it’s a really innovative way to repurpose old junk."
"Not many thrift stores have bragging rights to their own designer label, but St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County does... The brand name is ENVIA, and it’s the project of local designer Mitra DeMirza Chester, who has been designing clothing and jewelry using recycled fabrics and other accoutrements for more than 15 years."
"And like I said above, before I learned these things about myself from shopping at thrift stores for a few months, I would go into every store and feel like it was all junk. I couldn’t see past the ugly items and certainly didn’t know what I was looking for."
"Other than a new ride and a new horn, Nkemdiche said he doesn’t need much. He recently went shopping at a thrift store to stock up on XXXXL and XXXXXL shirts. 'I’m not a pretentious guy,' Nkemdiche said. 'I’m a regular, down-to-earth dude, so I don’t really have a lot to spend it on because I don’t really need much.'"
"Life changed dramatically for Rosa, a 43-year-old mother of four daughters, in 2009. Her 14-year marriage ended when her husband was Rosa arrested and imprisoned for domestic violence, following an incident that nearly killed Rosa. While the violence and abuse was over, Rosa now faced the daunting challenge of providing for her children as an undocumented woman in the U.S."
MCC photo/Krystal Klaassen
Rosa, (name not used for security reasons) laughs with new friend from West Coast MCC, Crystal Fernandez, Staff Associate for Immigration. With the help of West Coast Immigration and Documentation program, her case was recently approved and she is able to remain the U.S. as legal permanent resident with all of her daughters.
"For their morning shift of volunteering, Gillanders said the staff had the volunteers doing a variety of different tasks. He added the volunteers got a quick tour of the store when they first arrived."
Two MCC Thrift Shops made the newswire this last week. One for their incredibly extensive expansion and another was the subject of a satirical piece from the Daily Bonnet. Both are definitely worth reading.
“She cleaned us right out,” says thrift store volunteer Brenda Toews. “There’s literally nothing left. Just look at the shelves.”
Kornelson’s grand total of $197.65 is the largest recorded purchase made at a thrift store to date.
“(The store) was created to reduce the county’s carbon footprint and meet our strategic plan objectives focused on waste reduction,” said Jim Provenza, chairman of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. “The repurposing of items through this store will save valuable landfill space, and the proceeds will be used to further educate residents on related programs.”
Once the bills for the store are paid, the proceeds go to the Mennonite Central Committee, which is an international relief organization. Over the last five years, the non-profit store has given about $300,000 to MCC per year.
Construction has already started.
What happened in the thrift store was the most spontaneous religious experience I’d ever had.
Nada, a Lebanese mother of three children, said she suffered psychologically when her husband became disabled by a heart attack at 50. As a result, she said she would lash out harshly with her children, especially her oldest son, Mustafa. His grades deteriorated and his attitude became worse so she punished him harder.
Photo courtesy of LOST
This sheep and lamb are coming to live at the home of Sabrine, centre, and her aunt, Kamilla, left, in eastern Lebanon. Sabrine, a single mother, will use the sheep’s milk to provide nourishment for her family and to make yogurt she can sell for a small income. Sabrine and her three children live with Sabrine’s aunt and parents, who all deal with chronic health issues. Mohammad, a local worker, is helping to deliver these sheep. Last names are not used for their security.
This last week in Thrift was a busy one with some shops expanding (in Souderton PA) and others closing down to help those affected by the wildfires in Fort McMurray. We found a great list of 10 things you must know before hitting the MCC Thrift Shops and one "Thrift shopper for peace" who put those principles into action and came out with a brilliant embroidered dress (featured above). Lastly we highlight MCC's work in Nepal and a great story out of Rosthern Saskatchewan where a group of ladies, that call themselves the "Basket Cases," are using an MCC Thrift Shop as a means for therapy.
"In the meantime, the warm weather we are experiencing again on the West Coast means I gotta wear something! So I went on a bit of a mission last week when I was in Mission, BC. I visited the MCC Thrift Shop there and came home with two fun things..."
"Spring is supposed to be about rebirth and renewal. What better place to embrace that notion than with your garage or attic? Renew that space, and clean it out."
Video: After 40 years of operation in the Souderton area, ther Care and Share Thrift Shoppes are expanding.
"The owner of Penetenguishene’s Thrift Boutique is closing up shop and donating literally everything in her store to the people of Fort McMurray. Betty Compton, the owner of the store, has decided to close up and donate everything from clothing and shoes to those affected by the wildfires."
"Sometimes it’s hard to know whether something is not just a deal, but valuable. And while we probably have a greater chance of getting struck by lightening than ending up on the evening news for finding a $1.2M piece of art, I’d rather increase my odds of finding the art. HA! Wouldn’t you??"
"I don’t get help from others because I don’t have a husband. My children were crying out with hunger. After a few months, I left my village and came to this café, begging for work. Now I work here as a dish cleaner, and I have a room and my kids stay here too."
Photo by: Matthew Sawatzky
After receiving winterization materials, Rama Chepang of Bhasbhase village in Dhading district, Nepal, hikes back up the mountain to her home.
"Calling themselves the Basket Cases, a small group of women meets monthly for a fibre arts challenge at The Clothes Basket, a Mennonite Central Committee thrift store in Rosthern, Sask."
This last week in Thrift saw fashion designers trying to 'step up' Hawaiian shirts found in a thrift shop. At $995 a shirt you can be the judge of whether or not that was a success. Also a few guides to reinforce your thrift shopping prowess, some students spending service and volunteer days with some MCC thrift shops, and a brilliant story about immigration in New York City and how MCC helped to make it happen. The photo above is of the Rockway Mennonite Collegiate students at the New Hamburg Thrift Centre.
"But designers love a challenge. And lately they have tried to repurpose this fashion don’t as a luxurious must-have, with surprising results."
Note: One of these new is priced at $995.
"There was a time where I didn’t shop at thrift stores — in fact, I never even gave them a thought. I was so used to my go-to places, even if I spent more at these stores than I should have. But once my finances became tighter after moving to a new city and planning my wedding, I had no choice but to give thrift stores a chance. Once I did, I never looked back. "
"Thrift stores have become this strange mix of fringe and mainstream culture. They’re not quite department stores and not quite a malls but all of a sudden they’re kind of trendy. It’s probably because they’re timeless and exist for everyone. "
"Flores’s goal is to help as many of her community members as possible gain legal immigration status. 'Who knows – maybe some will choose to turn around and help others, like I’m trying to,'she said."
MCC Photo/Rachel Sommer
Gregoria Flores serves as an intake coordinator at Evangelical Garifuna Church, a Lancaster Mennonite Conference congregation in the Bronx, N.Y.
It's not uncommon for students to spend their day serving with MCC at one of our many Thrift Shops. This past week both New Hamburg Thrift Centre and the Care and Share Thrift Shoppes in Souderton PA had students come through their doors to do amazing work. Thank you all for your effort!
This last week in Thrift we follow an estatic Kelly Dougher on her quest to find a complete outfit at a Thrift Shop for under $10. She chronicled her discoveries with InStyle magazine. Also a few stories about how shopping Thrift makes a huge difference next door helping those with disabilities and beyond with MCC's work with Syrian refugees.
"This week, I managed to spend a total of $7 on the bottom half (a skirt and boots) of an outfit. If only I had managed to find a $3 top to round it out. That's my goal for next week — a complete outfit! ... I regretfully turned away from the cool oxfords that I mentioned earlier, I was rewarded for my restraint with a pair of like-new H&M ankle boots in my exact size."
"Here in the U.S., disposable clothing is still as much of a problem as it was when Cline published Overdressed four years ago. Fashion was recently named the second-most polluting industry after oil."
"I've been an avid thrift-shopper for the past three decades. Beyond a simple hobby, I have to admit thrift-shopping is a bit of an obsession for me — it channels my inner treasure hunter and provides an endless source of entertainment. (I'm a cheap date.) And besides saving me thousands of dollars over the years, it's also helped me learn a few important financial principles, too. Here are seven money lessons I've learned from thrift-shopping."
"Iman, who fled from Syria with her husband and six children, ages 5 to 24, was accustomed to sewing for herself and her children in Syria and is looking forward to beginning to sew for neighbors and relatives. 'I can say now that I have good skills,' Iman noted. 'Some say we are too old for this training, but no, I am always ready for new skills, new training.'"
MCC photo/Matthew Sawatsky
In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Syrian refugees such as Iman, whose last name is not used for security reasons, participated in an MCC-supported sewing training.
"In reality the store, which is part of the Center for Autism and Dyslexia, provides interested students with the training and experience they’ll need for a future job. Students Kenny Christensen, Blake 'B.H.' Hollinger, Cy Wright and Gavin Lowery earn a paycheck by working in the store twice a week.
'These kids want to do a good job,' said store manager Eileen Kehler. 'They want to please you. They want to make sure they’re doing it right, and that is such a pleasure.'"