Daily Illuminator

June 14, 2024: Thrifting For Good

Here in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, we have tons of ways to acquire previously-owned items at a low cost or even for free.
I recently attended The Clothing Exchange in Fort Worth. This 1:1 trade allows you to bring adult, teen, children, and baby clothes, shoes, and accessories to trade for items brought by other attendees. If you donate one full trash bag, you can take home one full trash bag of treasures that are new to you! The twice-a-year event, two of my favorite days, is special in that it gives you the opportunity to change out clothes that no longer fit or you no longer want for ones you'll now enjoy. The best part is that any extra empty bags can be donated back to the Exchange so that anyone who isn't able to donate can fill those bags with whatever they need, no questions asked. Afterwards, leftover items are donated to local charities. In this age of fast fashion, practicing clothing sustainability is a win for everyone!
In my city, we have dozens of thrift stores, and most are locally-owned. The mission of many of these stores is to sell items to raise funds for others from various walks of life who are in need of special services including job training, physical resources, affordable housing, temporary shelter, and more. 
One of the very best ways to acquire things you can use and help others with what they need is to join your local Buy Nothing group. Buy Nothing is unique because no items can be traded or sold – everything must be given away for free. You can request items such as supplies for a new baby, or you can donate extra food to others. The possibilities are endless, and people in these groups are there to support each other through person-to-person donations. 
It feels amazing to give previously-loved items a brand new home and a second chance for use. We're helping others by sharing our belongings with them and helping the planet by keeping things we no longer need out of landfills. 
Please consider searching social media and meetup sites for local groups where you can give to others and support those in need. We're all in this together!

-- Michelle Richardson

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