I've just spent a very successful weekend - fashion-wise, so to speak. It was time for my bi-annual closet-clean-out! It was time to change from summer to winter - get the big sweaters down from the top shelves and put the shorts etc. up there. It's not just a necessity, since I can't keep ALL of my clothing on eye level, it's also a good way to keep one's closet in shape - I can only recommend it!
What do it take?
1. Time! This ain't done in an hour...
2. Power food - an energy drink, a cinnamon roll and some gummies (I KNOW this isn't healthy, but hey, energy is what this takes!)
3. A duster and the vacuum cleaner
4. A trash bag and a big paper bag for clothing still good enough to go to charity
5. Enough fresh anti-moth paper
6. Good music! Recommend - good girl stuff like "Voilà" by Belinda Carlisle or "The Bridge" by Melanie Fiona...
So what I do is basically - get the stuff the winter stuff down, vacuum and dust the shelf, replace the anti-moth paper, and look through both the stuff I'm taking out of "storage" and the stuff I'm putting up there. Why? There might be stuff I still wore last winter, but looking at it now, "from a distance", I realise how bad it actually looks. So worn? How the ***** could I still wear this?! Out! Otherwise, there's summer stuff that I realise I haven't worn all summer, and maybe once last summer? Might be a good time to chuck it out! What's totally out of whack goes into the trash bag, what's still nice, but for whatever reason, not a keeper, goes into the bag for charity (rule: only clean stuff, no damage, no underarm staining - this is not a cheap way of getting rid of one's clothes, someone's actually still going to want to wear this!). It's a piece of work, yes (everybody who knows the size of my closet knows what I'm talking about...), but it's worth it. It also helps me remember what stuff I actually have! I can only recommend it!
So I have two big paper carrier bags full of stuff to take to the Caritas charity shop around the corner and down the road. I admit, I couldn't be happier that I live so near to one of them *g*. Gotta bring them some new stuff, since I did a bit of extra retail therapy there this Saturday, on the way to my weekly grocery shop. It's become sort of a habit - I look in there most of my "shopping Saturdays" - it's on the way anyway, and what do I know what I might find... Doing a quick calculation, I think I can safely say that there's no other clothes shop where I spent so much money this year, than the Caritas. Why?
All clothing that lands there won't land in a land-fill or wherever in the trash. Yes, it probably will some day, but for every piece I buy there I probably buy a piece less new. Fact is, they run a nice shop, everything is clean, the personnel is always nice... yes, there might be cheaper places here in Zurich, but that's where you'd find the dingy stuff (ok, you might just find that hidden treasure too, but that former subterranean carpark turned thrift shop that is the Brocki-Land makes ALL clothing they sell smell damp - ugh!). Still, they have reasonable prices - but not the prices the "trendy" vintage shops in the inner city have. An as-good-as new Ann Taylor pure cashmere sweater for 30 CHF, anyone? No kidding, that's what I found on Saturday. No way I could afford this new. I'm not looking for "names" or labels, but I know when I'm holding something that's good quality. I'll probably have this sweater for a few years... And it's not just people who can't afford to shop anywhere else who buy their clothes there - believe me, I see people of all ages and from all walks of life shopping there! Besides, they usually have a big summer sale - and beautiful shop window displays that change monthly. Quite the boutique! Of course I'm always looking for vintage - but I'm ok with finding new stuff at low prices too. Who cares? If it looks good and it fits... Yes, 99% of their stuff is pretty much every day, but in the two years and a few months that I have been a regular there, I've also found the some true vintage treasures - like the 1950s Dior by Vivier shoes... for a mere 60.-. And there might always be the odd home-made or otherwise one-of-a-kind piece - like the lovely shantung silk evening dress for 55.- that I found on my last "raid". No better way to stay well dressed and wear beautifully made stuff that no one else has (BIG point for buying vintage!). And the other nice "side-effect"? These shops give jobs to people who might not find a job otherwise. At least part of the money I spend there goes to Caritas projects here in the city - after all, I do want this to be a live-able place not just for those who have enough money. And if I take my old clothes there, I know where they're going. They're always sorting through stuff when I go there.
So there you have it. I can't buy everything at this shop, but I think there's loads of good reasons, especially in these crazy times of consumerism that we live in...