Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Clothing Systems and Storage Systems

I turned 30!!

So far I avoided doing any of this:

(Well, during my staycation I think about 30% of what I ate could be classified as dessert, but I was usually pretty happy about it)

Instead I've tried to adopt an attitude more like this:


Anyway, my staycation was great. I went shopping, hung out with my parents, had a bunch of friends over one evening, submitted an abstract for a conference, and organized my closet. 

I should say, organized my closet AND actually took bags of stuff out of the apartment. Much like deaccessioning in a museum, sometimes the hardest part can be the actual disposal of unwanted stuff.  This is especially difficult if you have read Overdressed and are racked with guilt about feeding into the used clothing trade. So in case you are interested, here is what I did:

-Took the nicest stuff to the consignment store up the street.  This keeps it local and I know that my stuff is going directly to someone who wants it.

-Gently used, in-season stuff that the consignment store didn't want went to Goodwill. There is no way to control where it ends up, but my hope was that it would be good enough to get sold in a store in Seattle. Or, at the very least, the clothing buyer in sub-Saharan Africa won't be totally insulted by it.

-Old running shoes went to the recycling bin at Niketown.

-Worn-out clothes went to H&M's new textile recycling program. I have no idea if this is any better or worse than giving crap clothes to Goodwill, but they make it sound all very nice on their website. They gave me a 15% off coupon for donating, which I tried to immediately lose, because buying fast fashion from H&M is how I had ended up with a surplus pile of crap clothes in the first place.

By the time my staycation was over, I was looking forward to being back at work. And that was BEFORE I knew that an amazing gift was awaiting me in the conservation lab.

While I was gone, Betsy and a couple of the interns had started making prototypes for a big shoe-rehousing project that I'm hoping to start soon. The results were so beautiful that I almost cried.

Just thinking about the day when every pair of shoes in the collection would have a mount like this...

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