Melbourne  Buffalo: Day Two

Day Two in Buffalo and it is still cold!

First up today was a visit to the Salvation Army sorting centre in Buffalo, which serves 9 stores in the Western New York area. Here, Envoy Swires took us on a tour through the facilities, teaching us about how the clothing that is donated to the Salvation Army is sorted and distributed to stores. The sheer volume of donations is mind boggling – an amazing 18,000 pounds a day – however, only a small portion is usable (roughly one garment per pound). It was amazing to hear that very little is sent to landfill, with unsaleable products sold and sent overseas in bales, and badly damaged items sold as industrial rags – both of which generate revenue to fund the charity operations.

salvation army

Bales of unsellable clothing at the Salvation Army sorting centre in Buffalo










The afternoon consisted of a class with Gretchen Meyers of The Buffalo Makers, where we took t-shirts we had purchased earlier at the Salvation Army store and transformed them into infinity scarves, giving them a new life and purpose.  We also made statement necklaces from various vintage jewellery finds, such as clip on earrings and brooches, adding only minimal new inputs such as satin cord and fastenings. The class was incredibly fun, and it was so interesting to see how easily we could completely transform old and unwanted fashion pieces into something more modern, which speaks to ease with which up-cycling could become a mainstream reality, allowing us to conserve resources while still having the fashion pieces we desire – and having the satisfaction of having made it ourselves!

buffalo makers

Everyone enjoying a class with Gretchen from Buffalo Makers


Lynn Boorady

Written by Lynn Boorady