Buffalo  Day 2: Jennifer’s thoughts

Welcome to the website! And welcome to the daily blog about our incredible venture! We started our journey in Buffalo yesterday, that is why I titled my post today: day 2. Yesterday was a really good introduction to our project. But today, we looked at multiple ways of keeping used items out of landfills.

We started with a tour at the Buffalo Salvation Army and their sorting facility given by envoy Bryden Swires. He showed us the ARC- adult recovery center, where adult men in a rehabilitation center live. The men who live in the ARC work at the sorting facility that we visited. The sorting facility sorts through on average 20,000 pounds of clothing per day. About 12,000 pounds of those clothes are seen as usable and are sold in the store where only a third of that is actually sold. The clothes that are not sold or that are not seen as usable are then put into bails of clothing to be sold by the pound. If there is still clothing that is not sold this way, they either give it to be recycled or trash the item. The bails of clothing are usually sold to secondhand sources that send the bails of clothing to countries such as Central and South America, and Africa.

Some other interesting facts that we learned while we were at the Salvation Army was that it doesn’t matter which Salvation Army store you actually shop at. Everything that is donated gets sent to a sorting facility and from there gets shipped to the stores regardless of where they originally came from. So if you live in a higher income level and you expect to find better branded items at that salvation army, you might not!

After going to the Salvation Army and learning about recycling, we took our troop to Anatomy, a bridal boutique in downtown Buffalo, where we met Ali Eagen. Ms. Eagen spoke to us about how she felt about sustainability as a designer and what she believes she does that is sustainable. She’ll have brides come into her boutique with their mother’s or grandmother’s bridal gowns and they’ll want the gowns tailored to them. Ms. Eagen will either alter the vintage dresses, add to them, or “modernize” them: make them into a whole new design using pieces of the old dress. It was extremely fascinating listening to her discuss from a designer perspective on how to keep old bridal gowns from going to a landfill.

After Anatomy, we then looked at yet another perspective of keeping old items out of landfills: upcycling. We met with the creator of Makers of Buffalo Gretchen Myers. Ms. Myers created a business that features recycling, reusing, and arts and crafts. She will be at parties or events and have people make crafts or other things, out of items around their home or old pieces that may seem unusable. Ms. Myers helped us with creating two items of our own: a necklace out of old vintage jewelry and a scarf out of an old t-shirt. It was really fun to create new items, but it was also interesting to see how to bring new life to an old item.

Today was very successful with showing how Buffalo recycles and reuses textiles. Until tomorrow!!

Salvation Army in Buffalo.

Salvation Army in Buffalo.

Salvation Army in Buffalo.

Salvation Army in Buffalo.

Salvation Army of Buffalo

Salvation Army of Buffalo

Anatomy boutique in Buffalo.

Anatomy boutique in Buffalo.

Anatomy boutique in Buffalo.

Anatomy boutique in Buffalo.

Anatomy boutique in Buffalo.

Anatomy boutique in Buffalo.

Makers of Buffalo.

Makers of Buffalo.

Makers of Buffalo

Makers of Buffalo

Lynn Boorady

Written by Lynn Boorady