I want your clothes… now now

Kat and I met in high school Spanish class. She was creative and funny (and still is, to be fair). A budding fashion designer even then, where her haunt was Value Village, finding the beauty in the discarded. She became, for me, the quintessential used clothing shopper. She could sew, had vision, and didn’t make a face at almost every item that was pulled (as I obviously did). I was none of those things, preferring the easier, better smelling, less creativity needed racks of clothes at the mall.

this is Kat

A lot has changed for me, since that time, and its been out of necessity really: I have lost weight while on a tight budget, living in an African country, where the cool clothes are few and expensive.

And so. I have become the used clothing shopper. A not so easy task here in Gaborone to be fair. Africa, just doesn’t do Value Village or Vintage well.

Point in case: I was looking through a used clothing sale that happens every Saturday in an open market – bales of clothing that are donated to Africa, and then sold in a market to locals and ex-pats alike. Picture me and Ondine: in the midst of piles upon piles of clothing, searching in the hot sun, on the hunt for that one perfect cardigan in the mass of sweaters from the 80s. I saw one item from the Gap, noting the date – 04/09 on the tag…

and it confirmed this idea thats been mulling…

I bet that I could get used clothing from people back home, way more current and in better condition and raise funds. Side note: I covet clothes from Gap and H&M. Seriously people.

So, here’s the plan: look through your closets. What haven’t you worn for months? What designer shoes did you get on sale, and then realised, in fact, they weren’t worth the “half-size too small” pain… package that, and contact me. We’ll talk about what you’re donating, and then I will give you all the info you need to send it, on our dime, to raise money for Tshedisa Institute. We are going to do a used clothing sale every month for three months so I want your best and most beautiful from North American stores. Oh, and is early August too soon?

Want to know more about Tshedisa? Then click on the words you are reading right now.

What are you doing still reading? Get thee to your closet!

I am sporting a cardigan from the open market. It's from H&M. And I love it. Oh, and this is my friend Sarah. Isn't she lovely?

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7 comments

  1. Sheila

    Thanks for passing it along Quinn! I’ll be able to send out the DHL number by tomorrow… so the sooner the better.

    Very interesting site! I’ve now spent quite a few minutes watching vids during work hours. I blame you.

  2. Sherry

    I have baby clothes I could send. Mostly newborn through one year at this point. Nothing too brand-name-y, but is there a need for general baby stuff? Probably won’t fit you, though. Sorry πŸ™‚

    • Sheila

      Sherry! Sadly I think we’re just interested in adult clothing… but next time πŸ™‚ Thanks for thinking of Tshedisa!!

  3. Pingback: On Counting our Blessings, or, 3 Things YOU Can do Today to Help Africa This Week | oaxacaborn
  4. Sasha Mountbelle

    African people in need of clothing, yet you don’t need clothes for babies?! Am I to understand that you get the “pick of the litter” before the needy?

    • Sheila

      Hi Sasha, Thanks for the comment. Tshedisa is planning a fundraising event to sell these clothes to raise funds to put back into the programme – Tshedisa among other things provides counselling to the community – many of whom are HIV+, and provides a centre for HIV testing, Alcoholics Anonymous and the Diabetes Assoc.
      All that to say, our clothing drive is hoping to provide much needed funds to offset the costs of running the centre. To be fair, that comment about me getting some clothes is true – I plan on doing some shopping at the sale! why not? it gives funds for an organisation I whole heartedly support!

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