Celebrate Earth Month with Seattle Goodwill

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
April 7, 2017

At Seattle Goodwill, we deeply value sustainability. We partner with local organization and programs like Threadcycle and eCycle Washington to ensure donations we can’t sell are properly recycled. We use SmartBins and have a LEED Gold Certified Administrative Services building. Last year, thanks to generous donors and shoppers, we kept over 53 million pounds out of landfills.

So—when Earth Day rolls around—we like to celebrate… for weeks. This year we have donation drives, a concert, an online vintage sale, and two weeks of daily giveaways to celebrate. All month long, we’re inviting you to join with our community, and #BreakUp4Good with the… stuff… you don’t need anymore.

Check out what’s coming up, and tune into our Facebook page for updated information:

Uber + Goodwill Donation Drive

UBER DONATION DRIVE: Saturday, April 8, 10 am – 4 pm
If you live in Uber Seattle’s footprint, from 10 am – 4 pm this Saturday, you can request a donation pickup in your Uber app. It is 100% free of charge—you just pack up your clothing donations, request it on the app, and meet the driver at the curb. Click here for full details.

EARTH DAY GIVEAWAYS: April 10 – 21, Monday – Friday
Seattle is full of awesome, local, companies, organizations, and restaurants—and we’ve partnered with some of them to bring you two weeks of seriously awesome giveaways. Check back on our blog on Monday for a full list and schedule of giveaways—and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (Pssst. We won’t tell you the whole prize list yet, but we will tell you that it may or may not involve tickets to go see Lady Gaga when she comes to town. And the Sounders. And donuts. And awesome, locally and sustainably produced things from local businesses.)

ONLINE VINTAGE SALE: April 11 – 21, Online Only
Did you know that Seattle Goodwill sells online? About 3% of our total donations go to our online stores—and that includes some vintage jewelry, clothing, and accessories. From April 11 – 21, we’ll be celebrating upcycling & sustainability with an online sale, including discounts of 25 – 50% on select vintage items. Check back regularly! New items get listed each day of the sale.

Sustainable Sounds: #BreakUp4GoodSUSTAINABLE SOUNDS with KEXP: April 20, 8 pm
Join us and KEXP on Thursday, April 20 at Tractor Tavern for a night of breakup songs, celebrating our #BreakUp4Good campaign. Proceeds support our local, free job training and education programs. Local acts CataldoSISTERSGoodbye HeartAcapulco Lips, and Prom Queen will be performing. Get your tickets here:

We are SO excited to celebrate Earth Day with you! Here are some resources to help you #BreakUp4Good this month:

Find a Goodwill Donation Site | Donation Guidelines | Cleaning & Organizing Tips

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Expanded vintage selection at U-District!

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
February 18, 2015

The [insert decade] called. They want their [insert clothing item] back. 

In recent weeks, we gave a few hints on Facebook and Instagram about expanding the vintage selection at our U-District store—and guess what… it happened! Over the past few weeks, we’ve stocked the loft area with a totally tubular (or groovy, or copacetic, or awesome, depending on what decade you’re from) selection of vintage goods. Anything over twenty years old is classifiably vintage. (Which, by the way, now includes anything made in or before 1995.)

What can you expect from this selection? University District store manager Marcus McCoy said, “As far as popular eras, we typically receive donated items that qualify as vintage as far back as the 1940’s. We can have pieces from every era—but we see more and more 1970’s and ‘80’s items. Neutral tones and denims are popular.  We have the occasional “LOUD” pantsuit. 1980’s neon snow coats were a prevalent hit this winter.” The selection is refreshed weekly, so like many seasoned thrifters will tell you, checking back regularly is the best way to find that perfect item.

Marcus has some insight into adding some vintage flare to your existing wardrobe. “The key for shopping vintage is really mixing it in with your existing wardrobe.  The general rule is to keep your outfit 50% vintage or less—otherwise you run the risk of looking costumed.  That being said, our store has been a destination for UW’s Greek Row students looking for vintage items for their themed events.  “1980’s Aspen” was a theme this winter—bright sweaters and leg warmers sold out that weekend.  For guys, the Hawaiian shirt or standard Pendleton wool shirt are popular.”

Take a peek at the new and improved U-District vintage selection below!

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Glitter Gala Interns: Jenn

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
October 17, 2014

“I think I’ve got all the good time periods,” Jenn joked.  Jenn is is a senior Costume Design student at Cornish College of the Arts and one of our two Glitter Gala Fashion Show Interns. She’ll be designing the outfits for some of the segments in this year’s “Reinventing the Future” themed fashion show.  “The 1920s are very elegant—and the 1950s/60s are kind of spacey—and I LOVE scifi—and the 80s are all video games—and I like video games.”

Jenn hails from Hanover, PA, and found her way to Cornish after getting involved with theater productions in high school, and researching one of her favorite costume designers Colleen Atwood, who also went to Cornish.

Her spunk is unparalleled, and her face lights up when she talks about ideas that she and fellow intern Sonya are working on for the Gala. “I love getting to go through storage and shopping—you find really cool stuff and get inspired from there.” The evidence of her inspiration will be made public on November 1st at the Glitter Gala.

Outside of her internship, you might find her delving into the world of comic books and playing video games. She loves dinosaurs and aspires to attain a white fringed leather jacket just like the one Sloan wore in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

When asked what she would like to do once she has finished with her degree. “My hopes and dreams?” she replied, “To be Wonder Woman. Other than that, I plan to be a successful costume designer—but I’m very open. I love working with vintage stuff. I’ve thought about working with a vintage collection at a museum—or designing costumes for dance theater.”

See Jenn’s work at the 9th Annual Glitter Gala Fashion Show!

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Auburn Museum exhibits historic shoes from our Vintage Fashion Collection

by Seattle Goodwill, Seattle Goodwill
August 12, 2014

By Christine Palmer, Curator of the exhibit and volunteer at Seattle Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection

My mother and I marvel at how she wore platform pumps in 1944, I wore them in a revival in 1974, and in 2014 young women are wearing them again. A new pair of shoes can make a woman feel great, and they last longer than a box of chocolates.

When you look at a pair of vintage shoes, you are also looking at a piece of someone’s past. The exhibit “Sole Obsession” at the White River Valley Museum in Auburn features several pairs of historic shoes from Seattle Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection, and reveals that throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, women relished wearing attractive shoes. All shoes in the Auburn exhibit are “dressy”—there are no saddle shoes, hiking boots, or Uggs.

Each pair of shoes on display was carefully researched, and is shown with an interpretive information panel on the wall so visitors enjoy the history of the shoes on view. The staff of the museum has considered a women’s shoe exhibit for some time, after successful exhibits featuring women’s undergarments, hats, and swimwear, and is now proud to present this dazzling assemblage.

Vintage shoe collectors, who often shop at Seattle Goodwill stores, look for brand, model, condition, material, and color of the shoes—in addition they seek stylish footwear which represents a particular era. If you’re looking for the value of vintage shoes visit the websites of museums that have historic fashion collections to see what shoes they have acquired to give you an idea of what shoes are valuable—and what shoes are just old. The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is an excellent resource.

Sole Obsession” will be on display through November 9, 2014 and Museum admission is $5. The exhibit includes some of the Seattle Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection historic shoes on display. Please visit the White River Valley Museum's website for more information.

Shoes in the exhibit also came from the White River Valley Museum’s vintage shoe collection, Seattle Children’s Hospital Bargain Boutique Historic Fashion Collection, Supercalifragilistic Vintage Fashion Show Collection, the Eastside Heritage Center, the Renton History Museum, and four private local collectors. 

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A Century of Shoes

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 18, 2014

The idea of covering one’s feet has been around for millennia. From early civilizations’ sandals to Mesopotamian foot-wraps, for almost as long as people have been around, some sort of foot-covering has been around. In the last 150 years, however, leaps and bounds have been made in regard to the functionality, fit, and fashion of footwear.

This June 18th, White River Valley Museum will open an exhibit highlighting 100 years of women’s shoes—and Seattle Goodwill is providing a large portion of the exhibit from our Goodwill vintage collection. Longtime Seattle Goodwill volunteer Christine Palmer will be curating the exhibit, appropriately titled: “Sole Obsession: 100 Years of Women’s Shoes from Kitten Heels to Power Pumps.”

With over 100 pairs of shoes on display, you’ll get to see fanciful and dressy footwear dating back to 1910. Some highlights will include a pair of 1950’s Springolaters, handmade hounds-tooth plaid power pumps from 1969, and a pristine pair of 1910 white beaded leather shoes. Women’s footwear has evolved and developed in such a way that allows this exhibit to tell the story of two World Wars, The Great Depression, and countless cultural shifts and fashion movements—and in some instances, even the women who wore the shoes.

Christine has been volunteering with our Vintage Fashion department for years. She has extensive knowledge of historic clothing and valuation. She told White River Valley Museum, “Shoes are a particular passion of mine, as their styles can be powerful, seductive or fanciful, depending on the era, materials and designer.” She worked with Seattle Goodwill, the largest contributor to the exhibit, as well as other vintage fashion collectors to put together the show.

The White River Valley museum is located in Auburn and is about a thirty-five minute drive from downtown Seattle—well worth the journey for such an extensive display! There will be a number of special events geared toward kids as well as adults where you’ll be able to explore the exhibit with Curator Christine Palmer. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the history of women’s shoes!

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