Friday, February 17, 2017

Another "Not a Sewing" Post

Well, crap.

I already named this blog "salvage sewing" so it's definitely a sewing blog.  Yet there's so much I want to talk about and do.

Especially since we salvage more than textiles and haberdashery and we are only a small start-up couple at the moment.  I do think it would be nice, especially for others thinking about doing such things, to see how a beginner works out problems.  I also want to acknowledge those unspoken heros who know far more than I do who probably have known the answers for decades to what I'm only about to learn.

The second working Nintendo DS we found.
A picture of the second working Nintendo DS we found.

If my goal is honesty and transparency; I have to be honest I have no clue what I am doing. Which is resulting in some rather unfortunate hurdles I am facing as I continue to see where this takes me.  Deep down I know I am someone who values frugality and hates waste; but application I am not certain how that translates.

About a year ago, my partner and I's only mode of transport was stolen.  It was retrieved, but we have been unable to afford all the replacement parts so it's been an ongoing process.  Unfortunately a stolen part was a coded electronic panel that can only be purchased new from dealership unless someone gets into a mighty horrible accident but manages to save said panel on the same exact make and model of mine.  So for the last year, we haven't been able to get one.

It hasn't been an issue except it's meant our salvaging is curtailed to only what we can get to - which usually results in a single site.  This hasn't always been the case.

This does not mean my salvages are few.  In fact, we have too much and I am uncertain how to deal with it.  That's also what concerns me on a larger scale.  I know for a fact that there are multiple others who use the same sites I do; we come across each other in our salvages.  Since we sometimes collect different things, we often set aside the stuff for the others we know will be taken by them.

There's still too much.

We know of a second site, a slightly further walk, that boasts an even more impressive haul and is used by less people.  This is the one we found our vacuum in, loads of furniture, patterns (my last post the 1959 jumper shorts came from this bin) and expensive clothing.

I found this all in one night.  I didn't even keep 1/10 of what was there.
When I find hauls like the one above, it's both a fun and depressing moment.  This particular one three full garbage bags of brand new with tags clothing from Asos, Abercrombie, and various other shops. Judging by size and style, we assumed the donator was in the habit of online shopping during sales and frequently found things were not their style.

Oh right, I haven't mentioned that on this blog yet.

All of the stuff we salvage is almost exclusively from charity shop RUBBISH bins.

No really, the actual rubbish.  All those bags?  Were filled with clothes.  You can see me lifting out a working stroller.  It was one of three we found that night.

Moving along.  I don't know exactly how I am helping anyone by only hoarding what I find and can sell or redonate to someone who actually needs it.  I wish I had more resources! that of a Charity Shop.  I have more clothes than I need, more textiles than I could ever sew with before I find ten times more, enough bra findings to make over 50 bras.... I don't need this.

I want to start a sewing group where people can just rummage and learn to sew with what we have and find; but I don't think my experience really is sewing based.  I can make clothes.  And they're wearable.  And I like them... but teaching people to use a pattern they found with a coffee stain on it and cutting up found dresses with bad styles or broken zips to turn into what they want?  Well - I know I can to do it for myself; but that doesn't mean I can teach it.

It still leaves me with the problem of all I do have.  The image I posted earlier of the outfits was only a few days ago.  I had also joined a sewing group three weeks before in an attempt to sew myself a purely-salvaged sewing capsule wardrobe.  Next week I know, for a fact, is textile week at my solitary bin.  I know over 25 more bins in just my area alone that, should I have a car, I could get even more.

I have posted ads to give away and I do, frequently, but its not as much as I like.  I sell on Etsy, but since it can only be vintage or handmade things and salvaged doesn't always fall under that category, it can be tricky.  I am not a fan of Ebay, but I may have to try that.

When we did have a car, it often looked like this after trips.
If the bin is full, the shops will just pile perfectly useable clothes outside their bin.

Every single TV we have found works.

This isn't even the best stuff.  Or a quarter of the stuff.  Or a tenth of the stuff.  This is simply the stuff my partner uploaded to our tablet to sell I could find on the harddrive.  If this is what we find, well, I'd say this is weekly or so, then what about what we are leaving behind?  

The ultimate question I think I am asking to sum up this entire post is:

What do you do when you can only do so much?

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