Tuesday, 11 September 2018

5 Tips and Tricks Before You Thrift

Are you tired of your style? Would you prefer a more sustainable way to shop? Are your funds limited? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you're in luck! Thrift shopping is the answer to your fashion dilemma! However, before you go rushing to the nearest thrift store, here are five tips and tricks to guide you through thrift shopping.

                                                         Photo: Cindy Caturao

1. Set a Budget

Limit your spending! With prices reduced to almost half, sometimes even three quarters of the original price, it's quite easy to get carried away and buy clothes and furniture that you don't necessarily need. Ask yourself: Do I need it? Will I actually use it? Is it worth it? Setting a budget will help you to not only narrow down the things that you need but also keep your spending in check. 

2. Shop Around 

Edmonton offers a variety of consignment boutiques, thrift shops, and many second-hand stores. Various neighborhoods will also carry different items. I suggest going to multiple locations for an eclectic mix to shop from.

3. Sign up for memberships 

I understand, there is nothing more annoying than constantly receiving promotions, newsletters and just overall spam mail from different companies but sometimes it's worth it to subscribe. Occasionally, places such as Goodwill and Value Village will email members 40-50% off coupons. 

4. Shop with an open mind

Refrain from sticking to one area of the store. The beauty of thrift shopping is that most of the time, the items that you find are from the most unexpected sections of the store. Keep your options and selections ample and explore different areas of the store outside of your comfort zone!

5. D.I.Y.

Occasionally, you may find a garment that's not your ideal size or style. Making some quick and easy alterations allows you to see beyond the original purpose of the item. It opens up the potential and possibilities to reuse and repurpose garments. 

Thrift shopping is a sustainable way to dress without breaking the bank. It promotes reusing and repurposing garments that might otherwise end up in landfill creating more waste. Lessen your carbon footprint and shop at a thrift store. You never know what you might find!

                                                                                       - Cindy (Volunteer)

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Fun Crafts from Knitting (or Crochet!) Scraps

Knitting and crochet both have a lot of benefits as autumn craft activities: they can be enjoyed alone or with friends; they're portable for holidays and road trips; and kids can join in the fun (particularly with techniques like arm knitting or finger crochet). These pastimes are also great from a sustainability standpoint, as needles/hooks are durable and rarely require replacement and yarn can be purchased (or found at the Reuse Centre) in a variety of eco-friendly fibres.

One of the reuse challenges that I encountered when I started crocheting regularly was what to do with the many scraps of yarn that I accumulated from different projects. I found that the easiest solution was to wind each piece into a small roll and store them in a mason jar or on an empty paper towel tube. Here are 3 fun ideas for how you can put those scraps to use.

1) Ornament or Hanging Mobile

Yarn scraps can be wrapped around styrofoam balls to make individual ornaments or a stunning hanging mobile. This project provides the opportunity to be creative with color, size and arrangement, making the finished project suitable for anywhere in the home, in any season.

2) Wall Hanging

Source: A Pretty Fix

This is another versatile home decor project, requiring yarn scraps and a piece of dowel. Different colors and textures of yarn can be used in combination and the dowel could be replaced with a branch or piece of pipe for a more rustic or modern look, respectively.

3) Gift Wrap

Although this example is for a Christmas present, the idea is great for any time of year. Alternatives to conventional gift wrap are important from a sustainability perspective, plus a fun and personalized package is sure to bring a smile to the recipient's face!

-Karlene (Volunteer)