Once I added thrifting for vintage Pyrex to my hobbies, I found myself wandering into the book and clothing sections of second-hand stores. And after I found a brand new pair of Banana Republic pants for $2, it was all over. I was hooked.
For me, recycling has never been so fun! Generally, every outfit I wear has at least one thrifted clothing item. More often than not, my entire outfit is from a thrift store. What’s on sale determines my style, and I’m just fine with that.
I now have my favorite stores in Denver (skip the Broadway Goodwill and hoof it out to Leetsdale for better selection and prices) as well as the mountains (do not pass up Summit Thrift and Treasure–check it: one pair of Nike running pants for $1 two years ago. I wear them for every race.)
When my brother first moved to the Bay Area, he talked about this massive Goodwill where clothing and other goods were dumped in rows in a warehouse and folks could pick through them and pay for goods by the pound. I found out places like this exist in Denver too. In fact, we have a few locations right in the metro area where items that do not sell at the retail outlets or are unsalable for some reason (grime, major wear, broken parts or items with missing pieces) come to be sold.
Goodwill Outlet World became my Friday afternoon destination last week with a girlfriend. The first thing we did was read this review. Then, I read more reviews to my momma over the phone. We laughed a LOT. Denver is host to such…descriptive writers.
We arrived around noon. The small parking lot was full and when we walked in, we were immediately overwhelmed. Though the space was probably the size of a regular Goodwill or Arc Thrift Store, there was minimal organization. Basically, five categories existed,
1. Clothes and other fabric items (men, women, children, linens, curtains, covers)
2. Shoes (pairs are zip tied together)
3. Wares (household, toys, game, appliances, tools)
4. Books (99 cents a piece – no bargains here)
5. Seasonal (in our case on Good Friday, Easter baskets, raffia, figurines, candy dishes, candles, tsotchke)
Despite there being a lot of people there, the chaos was generally under control. True to the reviews, when rolling carts are switched out for “new” items, everyone stands back. When the locks are placed on the bin castors, the attendants tell everyone it’s okay to dig and they go to town! There seemed to be quite a few families going through bins together, tossing items to one another and pushing clothing into carts. They wore masks and gloves and aprons. I wondered if they were looking for items to re-sell. There also seemed to be quite a few folks who, like me, were looking to search out a bargain.
Despite the quasi-organization, it was still overwhelming, mostly because there was just so much stuff.
Our visit really got me thinking about the kinds of things we Americans BUY and then throw out. Yikes.
But we did find some treasures, a beautiful wool Pendleton jacket for my girlfriend. Score!
And here’s what I purchased. Yes, that’s a mulberry-colored fanny pack. It’s made for distance running (which some day, I plan on doing more of–right C?) My best finds were a Columbia winter ski hat with the tags still attached, a Melanzana crew shirt (manufactured in Leadville, Colorado!) and a cotton bathroom rug.
Will I go back? Bet your bottom dollar.