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Treasure, Redesign, Charity or Trash

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

Years ago I worked in an upscale department store with a young lady from the Ukraine. She would often proclaim in horror and disgust at what customers, her coworkers and the store placed in the trash bin. "You filthy rich Americans!", she would proclaim, shaking her head and often with the hint of tears in her eyes. She shared stories of poverty, hardship and her struggle for a better life in the USA ...even if it meant marrying for citizenship. Even though we are in the heart of Babylon, many are far better off here than many in other countries.....With this in mind, I share what I learned from my elders when carefully inspecting an article of cloth before throwing it in the garbage. Some Assessment Questions 1. Is item still in good or fair condition? 2. Is item faded or stained? 3. If item is unsuitable for give-away, Can item be cut/torn and used to clean? 4. If unsuitable, can hardware (zipper, buttons, hooks & eyes and etc) be removed and reused? 5. If still in good or fair condition, what individual or organization could most benefit? 6. If still in good or fair condition, can item be sold or bartered? 7. As a crafter/sewer, can item be used in arts & crafts, quilting or fiber yarns projects. 8. (You)As a seamstress, can item be redesigned or repaired (if need be)? 9. If item was a favorite that fit really well, can you deconstruct it and use it as a pattern? 10. Assess if the item is an asset or liability? Does it add to your wardrobe or take away? Is it modest, functional, complimentary and does it convey your core beliefs and lifestyle? Is it a natural fiber? If the word "no" is echoed for each category in number #10.... you already know what is to be done unless item can be refurbished into an interior or exterior home design item (like a couch pillow, table mat, curtains, ornate well hanging- as item pictured- and etc.) - Carol Powell Lewis aka BonnieCarol

Photo by Carol Powell Lewis

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