Living waste-less comes with all kinds of challenges. Recently I came across one of the trickier challenges – needing to make a first impression. I recently had to spend a few weeks at a TV station where look matters A LOT.
The solution? Well it wasn’t perfect but I compiled whatever I could from my existing wardrobe, realising I needed mostly tops, maybe one pair of sandals and ideally some tailored pants. I hit up my local Red Cross store and paid a fairly exorbitant amount (by op shop standards!) for several tops, a dress and some tailored shorts. I wasn’t able to find any tailored pants in my size, but I did get lucky with pieces from labels like Country Road, Zara and some classic staple pieces I’ll keep. I also had some luck getting a pair of black and white scrappy heels from my local BSS Facebook group that perfectly matched a skirt I already owned.
I wasn’t the most cutting edge person on TV, but I did manage to pull together two weeks of looks for about $72. I also scooped up a long-line vest from my local Vinnies for $8.
To try and off set the extra clothing items coming in, I’ve gone through and had another cull. Anything that doesn’t fit well or doesn’t match majority of my wardrobe is in a bag to return to Red Cross. At the end of the month, I will thank each item that served me well during the month, and those that won’t get worn in my daily life will be heading straight back to the Red Cross. Letting go of items is really hard for me. I’ve been brought up in a waste not, want not mantra household. This has made me something of a hoarder. It does not serve me well to hold onto ill-fitting clothes. Giving someone else the opportunity to gain value from these items makes donating all the more worthy.
I also made a point of asking the volunteers at my local Red Cross and Vinnies what items they are particularly looking for. It’s pointless donating bulky coats coming into Summer. Op Shops simply don’t have the space to store out of season items. I also try to get rid of items directly to a new home. By this I mean selling/donating items via my local BSS, gumtree, eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Often I advertise the items so proceeds go to a favourite charity. This makes both me and the buyer feel good. It also raises awareness of the charity and it gives me back much needed space. And it keeps things out of landfill. Now that’s a waste-less approach.