The Genuine Article: Reuse and Your Personal Brand


Whatever our taste in fashion, brands, design or style, what we chose to wear and carry is a meaningful and perceptible identifier of our own personal brand. What we chose is only the beginning. How we combine, match and mismatch is our choice of self-expression and contributes to our personal brand. We are limited only by our imagination, inhibitions and what we have at our disposal.

The Reuse Movement enhances this freedom as we continue the enjoyment and self-expression of preloved articles, with the added environmental, social and economic value that is inherent in reuse.   Reuse offers an enormous range of choices, styles and designs, in an economical fashion. The environmental benefits are compelling, as clothing, shoes and accessories account for over 26 billion pounds into the solid waste stream each year in the United States. Recycling for reuse keeps this material out of the landfill, avoids the need for remanufacturing and results in sizable savings of water, carbon and other valuable resources.   Socially, reuse connects people in the process, as articles carry the memories, stories and emotional attachments that we imbue in our articles. Preloved items carry a valuable contribution and only add to the style and value of these items. Consider, for example, a well worn pair of jeans, leather shoes that are beautifully broken in, or a handbag that just feels good to the touch. These are the unrealized benefits that we enjoy with reuse that extends to our own self- expression.

Each of us has our own style that we develop, nurture and express. It evolves and changes with the times and reflects our journey.   We get to make this statement in a real and personal way, sometimes without conscious effort. In an increasingly digital world, our personal presentation is tangible, tactile and enduring. It is part of what we share with others and how we seek to be known. Be yourself, express yourself and define your style as the genuine article.  Join the reuse movement and be your own brand.  

The Glorious Life of a Sneakerhead

Some call it a waste of money, others call it crazy.  I call it "The Life Of A Sneakerhead". For as long as I can remember, I have always craved the hottest or latest sneakers. Jordan’s, AI's, Lebron’s, Kds, Yezzy, are all part of my world. You name it, I've owned it, or desired to have a pair. This passion has fueled me and motivates me still to this day.   I cannot even count the number of Friday nights waiting in line for hours just to be one of the first people in the door Saturday morning to purchase that new "heat". To be sure, there have also been days where I have paid well over retail just for a pair of sneaks that I had to have. You would think, as I get older I would out grow this obsession.   But, no! It has been the complete opposite. Today, I own over 150 pair of sneakers and I am nowhere close to being finished.   Buying sneakers is more than some hobby. For me, it’s a lifestyle. Buying, selling, trading is all a part of my life. Every shoe I own has a unique purpose, or a unique story that I make my own.   Whether it’s the Jordan’s he wore when he played in Space Jam, or the sneakers he wore during the playoff game when he had the flu, or the sneakers he wore in his very last game, I get to share in this history and enjoy the ride.


- Munchy


When we acquire our clothing, shoes and accessories, we have a reason, intent or desire. Some purpose served in the moment or compelled by fashion, culture or personal branding.  It may not always seem like love at first sight, though it may be for some, we do care for these items in the moment, for a season or often for what seems like a lifetime. Regardless of the motivation or culture of consumption in which we live, we imbue in these items our memories, thoughts, and emotions. In many instances, these attachments are strong and define our personal fashion choices or style. We sometimes adore, fawn over, and share our items with friends, relatives and roommates. We launder, store and care for these items with particular attention and concern.   These actions and intentions are real and pronounced, and they are profoundly human.   Over time, these items carry parts of us and often show our feelings of attachment.   These are telltale signs of prelove.
Prelove is the predicate and the unique quality that makes recycling of clothing, shoes and accessories different. Prelove is a value that we as humans create. Not only the care and careful wear that shows well, but the content of memories and stories that are carried to the next person.   After all, when we have determined that these articles no longer serve our needs or we have outgrown them in some fashion, reuse is by far the highest and best use for both personal and environmental reasons.
By definition, the concept of reuse denotes a personal engagement or investment with a return that is enriching, smart and responsible.   Often without conscious regard or intention, when we engage in reuse of clothing, shoes and accessories, we are continuing the lifecycle of an article that we ourselves selected or which was selected for us.   These personal memories have an emotional currency that is unique to our belongings and to us and certainly transcend any relationship we could possibly enjoy with other recyclable. The personal connection between and among those engaged in the ReuseMovement is paramount. This is a personal and human event that creates value every time.     
Join the #ReuseMovement and make a difference.


The Percentages Are In Your Favor – Reuse with Benefits

The Percentages Are In Your Favor – Reuse with Benefits

In our effort to enlighten and delight, we have a few important numbers and statistics to share.  These will make you think twice about the value of reuse and we think you will be pleased and surprised. Not only are these numbers impressive (or good cocktail conversation points), they reinforce the value that you are creating and enjoying by participating in the ReuseMovement. Together, we are making a difference and you are part of the solution. Reuse has benefits for you, the planet and your pocket. 

Here are the numbers:

  • 26 Billion Pounds of Clothing, Shoes and Accessories are discarded each year in the US, the equivalent of over 80lbs. per person. Biggest number in the world.
  • Only 15% gets recycled, even though over 90% of this stuff can be recycled or reused.
  • Over 50% of surveyed Americans say that they are likely to reuse if they knew that each year more than a half trillion gallons water are used in dyeing textiles and that 70 million barrels of oil are used to produce polyester.
  • Reuse is the highest and best use of clothing, shoes and accessories and is more effective at reducing green house gas emissions than recycling plastic and glass combined.
  • Over 70% of the world depends on preloved clothing, shoes and accessories
  • The reuse industry employs over 100,000 jobs and over $1 Billion in wages in the US alone.

 Embrace the ReuseMovement today. Simple choices make a big difference for you and your community.  Plus, you will look good, do good and feel good. 




REUSE; Personal By Definition.

My son and I were recently talking about what the world would be like without the convenience and immediacy of Wikipedia. When I was growing up, my uncle worked for Encyclopedia Britannica and, consequently, our house was filled with all the latest editions. For anything I sought to learn, that was my point of reference. All of my early knowledge was drawn from single resources that seemed at the time rich in detail, pictures and, if you were lucky, really cool overlays.

In today’s world, nobody remembers Encyclopedias and Wikipedia is among the most top ten sites searched in the world. With that said, I was doing some research on “reuse” and wanted to share some basics from the newest source of all knowledge.

To reuse is to use an item again after it has been used. This includes conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function, and creative reuse where it is used for a different function. In contrast, recycling is the breaking down of the used item into raw materials which are used to make new items. By taking useful products and exchanging them, without reprocessing, reuse help save time, money, energy, and resources. In broader economic terms, reuse offers quality products to people and organizations with limited means, while generating jobs and business activity that contribute to the economy. (Wikipedia)

I was actually quite pleased to see the simplicity of this contrast. However, there is one critical piece missing: the personal and human connection that occurs with reuse. By far, this is the most powerful element and distinguishes reuse from recycling in the most unqualified way. Yet, there remains confusion between the two concepts. This is particularly true with the reuse of clothing, shoes and accessories.  

By definition, the concept of reuse denotes a personal engagement or investment with a return that is enriching, smart and responsible.   Often without conscious regard or intention, when we engage in reuse of clothing, shoes and accessories, we are continuing the lifecycle of an article that we ourselves selected or which was selected for us.   In many instances, we have imbued these articles with a part of our personal history, stories or events that have had a meaningful impact on our personal lives. These personal memories have an emotional currency that is unique to our belongings and to us and certainly transcend any relationship we could enjoy with other recyclable commodities.   While our clothing, shoes and accessories provide a particular utilitarian purpose, they define our fashion interests, our growth and other important milestones. When we have determined that these articles no longer serve our needs or we have outgrown them in some fashion, reuse is by far the highest and best use for both personal and environmental reasons.

When we reuse our clothing, shoes and accessories, something fundamentally human happens. These items are handled and treated differently, as they are destined to be in the hands of someone else in the immediate future, with the specific intention to reuse them and carry on the lifecycle. The connection between and among people engaged in the Reuse Movement is paramount. This is a personal and human event that carries an importance that gains in value every time.     

In short, then, reuse makes recycling personal.


April 24, 2016 by Ira Baseman


"A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels".
- Albert Einstein

Yesterday, we received a call from the executive director of a community thrift operation in St. Louis, MO. What began as a discussion about providing gently used shoes to their thrift stores, we focused on the group’s efforts to heal the city from the Ferguson riots and racial discord that erupted nearly two years ago by providing sport shoes to the local teens.  Presently, the plan is to have local police had out sport shoes to the local teens as a means of building trust and confidence.  The city and local region is still reeling from these events and so much needs to be done to restore a sense of humanity and trust. Sometimes, it is a simple conversation like this that reminds us that we are part of the larger picture.  And yet, this is a very local connection that is meaningful.  The simple connection between two people is an essential element to sustainability and serves as the foundation for much of what is possible. To my thinking, these local and personal  efforts are part of a larger sustainability that we embrace when we talk about people recycling for people. The inherent humanity of that connection is powerful and is part of the effort to restore and maintain sustainability.  Reuse is the bridge.  


“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ —a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

Fashion Has No Expiration Date

Every year people go through their wardrobe to clean out garments that they deem no longer "fashionable" or "trendy". Out of the thousands of tons of textiles thrown away every year, I'm sure 90% of them could be reused and find a new home. Have you ever heard the expression "one man's trash is another man's treasure?" I genuinely believe in that concept when it comes to fashion. 

Seasons in advance, fashion forecasting companies research and display what they believe will be trending in the upcoming fashion runways ahead. Designers/brands base their upcoming collections on these forecasts, proclaiming items that were once "in style" to "outdated". It is my heartfelt belief that fashion has no expiration date! There is no law that tells a person that they are no longer "in- style"; it is all about personal perception. Maybe I don't care about being trendy as much as I care about expressing myself and having a genuine connection to the items in my closet. I'd rather create my wardrobe out of pieces that have character than items that are considered to be "disposable fashion". My style is my own personal brand that I define. Only I have a say in what is "in" and what is "out".

Through a lifetime of building my own style, I have bought "brand new" items as well as pieces that are "new to me". To reuse a piece is not only giving it a second life, but also providing yourself with a new experience. Not only are majority of gently used shoes, handbags, garments, accessories, etc. in great condition, they have character and often an undisclosed meaning. Character is important trait for pieces in my collection. I own a pair of woven, embroidered boots from the Himalayas that have a burn hole on the back left calf. The man I bought them from said he found them among many other unique items at an estate sale in a box labeled "travel junk". When I first put them on I was curious as to where the hole came from. Who wore these boots before I did? Where have they traveled? Will I travel to new places with them? Through a simple hole I felt an unexplainable connection to another person in the universe. Although, we would never meet or know each other, we are linked. To me the burn hole was just character added to the boot's story. Buying reused items guarantees you a different experience than buying something brand new. I have a whole wardrobe built out of reused items and I wouldn't have it any other way.




November 05, 2015 by Lindsey Connor