A ‘Trashion’ rack of trendy threads: Thrift Store upcycles clothing | News

Used clothing is being upcycled and made into fashionable attire thanks to three innovative people at the Open Door Thrift Shop.

For the last two weeks, Manager Candace Parish, Manager Londyn MacDonald and Donation Coordinator Ed Baxter have been repurposing clothing and have created a “Trashion” rack of trendy threads.  

While Baxter finds all the clothing “treasures,” Parish and MacDonald are the “distressors” and “bleachers” for the repurposed clothing.

“We get a lot of clothes,” Parish explained. “We have to have a vetting process. So, there’s some stuff that doesn’t make it out to the sales floor. It gets made into rags or we recycle it.

“The majority of this (clothing) is stuff that would have been cut into rags …” she continued. “So, we’re giving it a second life.”

She added the Thrift Shop adopted the slogan “look good, feel good, do good,” and she wants to stress to “shop with a purpose.”  

On Tuesday, the trio held up shirts, jean jackets and jeans that were fashionably customized with bleach patterns and distressed with scissors or razors.

“We customize them as much as we can,” MacDonald explained. “We do hand distressing, bleach, dyeing. We just take bleach and use different techniques to get different kinds of patterns and looks.

“We add things like throwing on some spikes or safety pins,” she continued. “Just really simple things that are going to make it new.”

MacDonald said the plan is to attract a younger set of customers with the Trashion rack.

“It’s going to bring new people in here,” she said. “We’re definitely trying to lure in a younger crowd. We always appreciate the elder folks who come in. They are very solid support.

“But, I’m trying reel in some young people from high schools and middle schools,” she continued. “Because they are very trendy people and (we want) to get them to be as sustainable as possible too. In that age group, fashion is really important … Well, you could support a local business, and your food pantry and buy some clothes here.”

Parish added they plan to do some patchworking and tie-dyeing on the clothing also.

Baxter noted they take clothes that may have a defect, a hole, or a stain and they work around the flaw to create something new. He added that each piece of repurposed clothing is one of a kind.

“We’re pretty proud of it,” Parish said of the Trashion rack. “We’re looking to have a gal we know collaborate with us. She does a lot of repurposing and she might do some sewing. She’s a customer here that’s agreed to work with us.”

On Tuesday, the group was getting ready to price and hang repurposed clothing for fall, such as long-sleeved shirts, sweaters and jackets.

“Before COVID and some staff changes, we were halfway planning a fashion show,” Parish said. “And this is going to be one of our fashion show categories. Nothing’s set in stone yet, but we’d like to see that in the future.”  

MacDonald added they are hoping to do an online store.

“Some sort of online selling at some point,” she said. “All of the money we make goes to the (Open Door) Food Pantry. The more money we can make, the more we can help out.”

Parish added the “sustainability factor is important.”

“We get a lot of stuff and we want to use as much as our donors give us as possible,” she noted.

Parish added the Thrift Shop offers volunteer opportunities and noted they couldn’t provide a service to the community without volunteers.

“We have a great, great group of volunteers here,” she said. “This is all possible because of them.”

For more information, visit the Open Door Thrift Shop at 612 S. Hancock Ave., call 660-829-0900 or visit the Facebook page.

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