Sunday, May 19, 2013

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

So. D'ya miss me?

Long time, no post - I know. I have two iron-clad excuses - a serious medical event in the family, and a new job which has about doubled my working hours. Between the two, my free time is minimal and my emotional/creative energy almost non-existent. I've only just picked up some sewing again.

But now I'm back, and I'm back with a rant.

During this online silence, I was kindly sent all the boxes of stuff I left at my parents' house when I went off to uni. This is something of a mixed blessing. While many precious items have emerged from the dusty depths of the mountain of cardboard boxes, there is now a major disagreement between Volume of Stuff and Available Space. This conflict is playing itself out across the sofa, the dining room table, the bedroom floor and on top of the wardrobe, as well as every possible square inch of cupboard and shelf space.

To minimise bloodshed, and prevent my extremely minimalistic boyfriend from strangling me with a superfluous scarf, I held a cull. About one third of my entire wardrobe went into one of those huge blue Ikea bags, and off I trotted to the local Oxfam. Space for me, clothes for charity. Or at least, that was the idea.

Oxfam didn't like them.

Don't get me wrong. I've heard horror stories of charity shops dealing with 'donations' of soiled underwear. Every item of clothing was clean, with no stains, holes or missing buttons. There was nothing wrong with any of them - I just had more clothes than space. T-shirts, skirts, jumpers, jeans - practical, comfortable clothes, and some of them from not inexpensive shops.

Oxfam still didn't want them. Oh, but this nice pretty top here, we'll keep that. Oh, and that one. But the t-shirts, no thanks. Not fashionable enough - they won't sell. I was not impressed. Surely any clothes too 'uncool' to sell could be distributed to the homeless and refugees? No, they don't do that. Doesn't Oxfam send clothes to other countries? Yes, there's a big shop on the other side of the city. No, we can't coordinate a transfer with them, you'll have to take the bag there.

Now, I don't expect grovelling appreciation for a bag of clothes. At the most, I might get a 'Thanks very much, have a nice day', but I do expect it to be straightforward to give good-quality clothes to a charity shop. I don't expect to be treated as though I'm bringing them a problem, rather than a gift.

I still have too many clothes, and I will continue to cull - but now I'm on the hunt for someone who will accept good-quality but 'uncool' clothes, and make use of them.

1 comment:

  1. I know that the Save the Children in Cardiff had an arrangement where they could send stuff unsuitable for sale off as 'rags'. Obviously, your stuff is in better condition than what they would get rid of this way, but at least they were a) making some small amount of money from this and b) recycling it. Maybe phone up other charity shops to make sure they won't turn you away before you lug clothes around the city.
    -Kaylie (no, google, I don't want to sign up to make a blog, I just want to comment on this one!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...