Saturday, 24 September 2011

secret: testing testing: re-use-it centre blogging

originally, when i began this blog, i was intending to write about the thrift store where i work. it didn't end up coming together as i was seduced by the confessional nature of a personal blog. so i just went with that. but it's on the table, a blog for whistler community services society and the re-use-it centre in particular. so i thought i'd give it a test run here. practice makes perfect, after all.

i am a child of secondhand clothing. despite being the oldest child of three, my wardrobe was always a kingdom of hand-me-downs from older cousins, or family friends. i loved the worn-in, the pre-loved. i hated breaking in new shoes on the first day back at school. as i got a little older it was more of a statement, a rifling through of our "dress up" box which was really just mum and dad's old clothes. as a teenager in the country town where i grew up i moved pretty quickly past the brands and the replicas of each other. it was a lot to do with not being able to afford these brands, but i like to think i was attempting individuality.

my circle of friends in highschool was pretty like-minded, so we hit up thrift stores in town when we could. a lot of the time i lacked the patience to sort through all the racks and find the treasure that i'm sure was hiding there.

that skill came later when i moved to melbourne and studying arts at uni was all about thrift store chic. a statement of recycling (but only appropriate when accessorized properly) as fashion. the vintage and consignment stores where everything had already been carefully picked through by someone with an 'eye'; someone far wiser than me, undoubtedly.

just barely scraping through the poser-chic of university, i discovered my thrift store love had extended to secondhand books, mostly. i love books. i would live in a library if i could.

my favorite secondhand experience at this stage was the camberwell market. you paid a fee to rotary, who ran the market in a big carpark in camberwell every sunday, and filled up your spot with any and everything you had to sell. it was a haven of haggling, of the thrill of last minute bargains when everyone was keen to sell a few more bits and pieces before the end of the day.

i had a stall myself just before i left melbourne, to rid myself of clothes, books and shoes. it is hard to get rid of things you love, but it is harder still when you realize that maybe nobody else wants to buy it from you!

arriving in whistler, i had full intentions of checking out the thrift store in town. before i could wander down there as a customer, i found an ad. in the careers section of the Pique. the rest is history.

it's been a wild ride. it's confronting, the sheer quantity of stuff that gets brought to us everyday. literal piles upon piles to sort through, in a never-ending cycle. it ranges from whole bags of odd socks to new items, still tagged from where they were bought. there is so many treasures to be found. being behind the scenes does afford you first look at everything, but it also means there are days when the bag that someone had mixed up in their car on the way down to Function is actual garbage, donated at the busiest time of day and left under a pile of other bags for a few days in the warm weather.

everything balances out.

setting out to blog about the re-use-it centre, i have plenty to say, plenty to share, and plenty to show. thrift store shopping is not just for the trend-setters; items that would be snapped up for vintage stores in the city sit on the racks here sometimes for weeks. thrift stores help those on a low-income, young families, seasonal folk outfitting their homes away from home...

i love the whistler i know, and i want to share the things that happen to our little crew down at the store, as well as paint a picture for you all of the wider contribution made to our community here by any donations or shopping you do at re-use-it centre. it is our community, whether you're visiting for a week or you were born here. life is happening here!

stay tuned as i start up a re-use-it centre blog. i'd love your feedback and support.

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