Tattooed Mom Boss Saves the Planet - Chapter Four: Reuse, Repurpose, Resell, Repair and Respect
To finish off the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle segment of Tattooed Mom Boss Saves the Planet, I want to go over how you can reuse. There are so many different terms that mean reuse but sound better. In the past it was hand-me-downs, secondhand, and gently used. Now it's reselling, repurposing, thrifting and upcycling. These words all mean the same thing which is buying someone else's used shit and making it your own. Going to rummage sales, dirty donation drop sites and thrift stores is not only the responsible thing to do, but the cool thing to do.
Let's start with reselling. This is one of my favorite ways of reusing because I can make money. One of my side hustles is to resell clothing online. I go to thrift stores, pay by the pound outlets and rummage sales to find items that people have donated or are selling for a low price, clean up the clothes, make any repairs and list the items for sale on sites such as Poshmark, Ebay or Mercari. If you have a little time, an eye for what sells and knowledge of clothing designers, you can actually make a lucrative business out of this method. You are helping other people to reuse by buying used!
Repurposing is another trend that I adore. There are different levels of repurposing though and some of it can be very girl scout crafty versus something premium and upscale that you would want to put in your home. Repurposing is to change something so that it can be used for a different purpose. An example would be in the industrial home decor trend where galvanized pipes that
are normally used for your plumbing are used as shelves, or like the photo, old metal barrels are made into really cute patio furniture. If you are not the kind of person who wants to make things there are other options. You can sell your "crafty" items on Etsy under the Crafts, Supplies and Tools section. You would be shocked at the items that people buy to use for their crafts. For example,toilet paper rolls...
Thrifting is as it sounds, going to thrift store to buy someone's used shit, but not all used items are gross. I like to go to the areas of town that
are fancy. You know people who basically wipe their ass with one dollar bills. In these areas, Goodwill or Salvation Army have great finds. Also, rummage sales in those areas have really prime items. I have found designer purses, shoes and scarves that look brand new at these stores/rummage sales. Sometimes I keep the items and others I resell. Either way, I created little to no waste stream instead of buying new.
Now let's talk about upcycling. The definition of upcycling is to process so to produce something better from the original item. The difference between upcycling and repurposing is that upcycling is to use an item for
the same purpose it originally had. For example, you find an interesting unique table at Goodwill but the paint is chipped and a leg is broken, so you take it home and fix the leg and repair the table. You have upcycled it. Upcycling can be really fun because you will have different items than all your friends who have the same Crate and Barrel couch and coffee table from West Elm. Furniture can also be really expensive and is typically not make of solid wood anymore, so upcycling an old item will usually mean that the quality of the item is better than a brand new item.
Last but not least, I want to talk about repair. No one repairs anything anymore. A zipper breaks on your Joe's Jeans and you donate them, a heel separates from the shoe on your Marc Jacobs wedges, so you toss them in the trash. Your lamp stops working, garbage. Your button comes off your favorite shirt, donate. You get what I am saying? People used to get things fixed or to fix items themselves. This needs to make a comeback. I personally have my shoes fixed by an amazing Russian man who even puts these metal pieces on the under part of my pointy toe pumps to keep them pointy. Remember, you do not have to wear designer shoes to get them fixed. A dry cleaner/seamstress/tailor can fix any clothing items and there are many small businesses that will fix appliances, electronics and other items for a small fee. This is not only a money saver, but creates a much smaller waste stream.
I am sensing a trend with many of my tips for reuse and that is money savings also! Who doesn't want to save money? Along with saving money, upcycling, repurposing and thrifting allow you to have more unique items in your possession. All of that being said, I almost forgot, if you have something that is not completely trashed don't just throw it away because you do not want it any longer. Schools are always taking office supply donations, organizations for the homeless are always looking for clothing or cosmetics and your trash could be treasure to a reseller, repurposer or upcycler. Respect the earth. Don't be trashy. Donate!!