The GGA Project -- Day #4 "Recycled"

I love thrift stores.  Except the parts about them I can't stand.

What I love about thrift stores is the pure possibility.  The knowledge that at any given moment in a thrift store, I might happen upon a singular score, an amazing bargain hidden in a mountain of crap.  I think back with a twinge of pride to a little black dress from I.N.C. I found in what seemed to be new condition at a thrift store for $7.  I wore that thing with a special sense of accomplishment, and for years.

What I don't like about thrift stores is that there is no filter.  YOU are the filter, 100% responsible for making sense out of the madness and providing the hand sanitizer.

I had a select group of old faithful, go-to thrift stores I would visit when I lived in San Jose, but since moving to the East Bay I've been kind of at a loss, and not really in the mood, either.  You have to be in a hopeful and confident frame of mind to embark on a thrift store adventure, and until recently neither of those words seemed to apply much of the time.

So today, after a long session of Christmas shopping (a big feat for a short-haul shopper like me), I decided to reward myself with...more shopping.  But I was excited about it because I've passed this thrift store at least 100 times and have always been curious about it.

Today's New Activity: ecothrift!

I don't know what I thought I would find there.  Something about the prefix "eco" made me think this might be some kind of special, select thrift store, with extra earth friendly goods.  I don't know.  But really, all thrift stores are pretty earth friendly, given that their WHOLE purpose is to enable their shoppers to make new uses of old things.  That's why, no matter how much money I am able to amass in my life, I will never poo poo the occasional (or the frequent) thrift store treasure hunt.

Inside, I found what was a pretty typical second-hand germ parade.  The difference was that this place was unbelievably organized.  Nothing strew about on floors, flung over racks, or stuffed into other things.  And so much of it was color coordinated.

You had your
Bag O Stuffed Things

Lingerie for the Ladies

Fryin' Pans
And let's not neglect to mention (your favorite and mine)

Endless Black Work Shoes
All in all, ecothrift was not worthy of the anticipation I'd built up in my mind, but it was a solid thrift store, with a huge variety and actual thrift store prices, not the ridiculously inflated numbers they're asking at Goodwill and the Salvation Army these days.  I know, it seems *ridiculously* cheap to complain about the prices at not-for-profit thrift stores, but I am a big time pricer (I know in my mind the standard price of every single thing I typically purchase for groceries, toiletries, etc.), and I swear a lot of the asking prices and those two juggernauts are more than the stuff costs new.  Craziness.

The payoff at ecothrift?  I managed to make it out of there with a black pencil skirt (99 cents) and this funky belt

for 3 bucks and change.

Not a bad way to close out the evening.  :)


  1. I used to get "in trouble" (which means hearing a ration of shit!) when I shopped at Goodwill. My mother thought it was soooooo beneath us, but hey, it was the '60s, and it was the hippie in me. And it's never worn off. I LOVE this kind of adventure! My sister found a first-edition, signed book by Stephen King. She bought it for $.69 and it's worth almost $600. SCORE!

    But here's the amazing thing in your story: You actually KNOW what daily things cost! I am so absolutely and incredibly impressed! You would have made the Big Bucks on The Price is Right...

  2. how did i miss this gem? "a pretty typical second-hand germ parade." ha ha! i had to go back and revisit your first blog posts since we're coming to the end of the project! i avoid thrift stores because of the disorganization and filth but this one looks like one i could manage. ;)