#BreakFreeFromPlastic with Goodwill NYNJ

By Goodwill NYNJ

You may have missed it, but Monday July 3rd, 2017 was International Plastic Bag Free Day. Don’t be too upset though, it’s a holiday where you’re encouraged to celebrate it before, during, and after its established date. We, here at Goodwill NYNJ, want to help relish in the holiday for at least a little while longer.

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@PlanetBrandee LIVE! From the 72nd Street Goodwill Boutique

@PlanetBrandee LIVE from NYCThrifting is all about the thrill of the hunt, and for me, even though I travel far and wide across the country for the best designer, unique vintage and stunning one of a kind finds, nothing tops the hunt at home in New York City!

This week I’m recapping the great 72nd Street boutique on the Upper West Side of NYC. This flagship store boasts everything! From burnished leather Frye boots to swinging floral dresses, there’s always something fabulous on the racks here!

72nd Street Goodwill Boutique clothingThe incredible fashion wizard at this location, Miss Tatiana has a fabulous eye for energetic visual merchandising so the store always looks great! AND not only does my favorite ex-staff style great, but they work hard and with heart to promote recycling. See how we did with this video spot produced by the New York City Department of Sanitation! From cross body leather satchels and arm length opera gloves the goodies are sure to pop up. Grab a coffee at Grandaisy Bakery and get to kicking! This location also has a wonderful tie in to Ann Taylor, so you can occasionally find exquisite A-line work appropriate pieces that easily translate from runway to board room.

Housewares and books are another token favorite at this lovely locale, so stack up on old school hardcovers and vintage dishware, but bring a double lined bag, because it’s easy to get some much-fun stuff, you literally need a second pair of hands to haul the treasure home. Tea party for two or champagne flute brunches anyone?

72nd Street Boutique tie rackAnd I’m not one to shamelessly plug, but be sure to sign up for your Goodwill Rewards card as well and reap the killer points you kickback everytime you make a purchase. It’s super easy to find yourself with an armful of goodies dancing the whole way home AND all while saving a chunk of change in the process.

72nd Street Boutique shoe rackWhether “nuevo” Ann Taylor or old school polyester jumpsuits, Goodwill’s 72nd Street Boutique has something for everyone. For this edition of “LIVE! from”, I’m off to Central Park to Imagine my upcoming summer escape! Join me next blog as my secret travel journeys from runway to highway continue to fuel my search for the best food, fun and fashion the world can offer! Till then, see you on the streets! Follow the adventures on Twitter! #planetbrandee #fashion #NYC

Brandee Sanders is a writer, creative lifestyle and thrift enthusiast. Brandee’s work has been featured in Bill Cunningham’s New York Times style column, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, AOL and Time Out NY. Follow her runway meets the highway adventures and travels @PlanetBrandee 

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

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3 Chic & Easy Ways to Upcycle Your Clothes

Earth Day is April 22nd and to honor this day I want to share with you three easy and fun ways you can take your old, unused or unwanted clothing and upcycle or turn it into something new!

t-shirt bag

1. Tee shirt tote bags
You probably have a ton of old tee shirts sitting in your drawers. You may be holding on to some of them for sentimental value or in hopes to one day wear again, but if its been a few years already it may be time to find other uses for your favorite tees. A tote bag is an easy and fun way to turn your old concert tee into a shopping, gym, grocery or beach bag! Here are easy to follow step by step instructions and if you want a no sewing required option then you can watch this easy video tutorial

lamp shades

2. Recover a lampshade
Giving your home a makeover doesn’t have to be costly and sometimes all you need is a few small changes to spruce things up. You can change the look of your lampshade by recovering it with a new fabric that can be found right in your own closet! You can use a dress, top or skirt in whatever print you would like to easily give your lampshade a new look. Here are the step-by-step instructions.

shirt to cardigan

3. Turn a top that’s too small into a cardigan
If you’re like me you probably hold onto pieces of clothing hoping to one day wear it again and then before you know it, it doesn’t fit you anymore! Now you can take those old tops and turn them into long or short sleeved cardigans with no sewing required!  This idea is also great for kids since they outgrow their clothing so quickly. You can find the instructions here.

If DIY (do it yourself) projects aren’t your thing then you can always donate your clothing to your local Goodwill. You are not only making a charitable contribution, but by donating your old garments you are helping to eliminate waste. Goodwill will offload clothes or shoes that are not suitable for sale at Goodwill stores to textile recyclers. Goodwill knows that its customers expect a certain level of quality clothing. In an effort to keep usable goods out of local landfills, these vendors either ship them to Third World countries where they are given a second life or sort and resell them to textile “de-manufacturers” who turn them into other usable materials such as insulation or industrial carpeting. At the end, all donations fund Goodwill programs to empower individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. No waste is equal to financial support for Goodwill services – all contribute to help the community.

Forty-five percent of recycled clothes are sold to other countries, 30% are turned into cleaning rags and 25% are turned into fibers for stuffing insulation, according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Association. So think twice before you decide what to do with your old clothing!

Find the nearest Goodwill Store to you here.


Nicole Colon is a lifestyle blogger and designer from Long Island, NY, who is reinventing what it means to be “bad” by empowering women to discover their inner B.A.D. Girl and be Beautiful, Authentic and Determined. She provides her readers with tips, advice and fashion that aim to inspire them to get what they want out of life. Check out Nicole’s blog at www.stylemebad.com

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

Latest Where The Goodwill Goes Post:
Individuals with Autism Practice Yoga at Goodwill

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Calling All Kids: Goodwill’s New Donation Match Game

Think a classroom is the only place kids can learn? Think again! Just in time for the tail-end of summer, Goodwill Industries International’s Donate Movement has launched an awesome new online game to teach your kids the difference between what to recycle and what to donate.

Click above to learn, play & maybe even win a laptop!

And the fun doesn’t stop there – if you play our Donation Match Game, you’ll be playing for a chance to WIN a laptop! Gather your kids, check out the game, and take a shot at bringing home a fantastic prize. To play, just visit https://bitly.com/DonatePlayWin or click the image above. Good luck and Happy Summer!

The Donate Movement Sticker Contest

What message do you carry in your back pocket? Levi’s put the Donate Movement message in their jeans. Looking around our own home, we’ve been thinking it might look good on a whole slew of other Goodwill-worthy items: cocktail shakers, coffee table books, even the coffee tables themselves.

Where will you put the Donate icon? Sweaters, coats and jeans? Kitchen gadgets? Home décor? Your old laptop and mp3 player? Mark ‘em with the official Donate icon and share it with your network and the world. If you can find something so creative or one-of-a-kind that’s deserving of the Donate icon, Goodwill International will award you cool prizes.

So, what deserves the Donate icon at your house? Tell Goodwill International by entering today!

String Along Some Goodwill: Make a Beaded Necklace

Good news, crafty readers: we’ll be featuring a weekly column by GoodwillNyNj Style Icon David Morgan all about secondhand fashion and DIY style. This week: how to string together outfit-makin’ accessories from unexpected thrift finds…Enjoy!

A beaded necklace inspired by a Goodwill find!

If you haven’t noticed already, I love crafts. I especially love recycling things to give them a new interpretation and opportunity for reuse. Back in January, I went thrifting one day and found an old, 1970s beaded seat cushion. Without a seat to actually place it on, I decided to take it home anyway and have some crafting fun.

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Goodwill and BurdaStyle: Boutique You

Hey August, where did you come from? We hear you’re in kahoots with September, October, and all the rest of buttoned-up fall. Well, we’re not leaving our carefree summer without a fight, and we still have beachy getaways to plan before the season’s end. With that in mind, this week’s Boutique You is tailor-made for sunny weekends and laid-back vibes: the Anna Boho Bag.

A roomy bag like this week's Boutique You pick is perfect for lazy summer afternoons. Get 'em while they last...

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The Donation Movement

Big news from Goodwills all over the world: we’re starting a movement – the DONATION MOVEMENT. Grab your (upcycled) tie-dyed tees and your incense, folks, because this one’s going to be big.

From here on out, we’re teaming up with countless partners to make the impulse to DONATE as second-nature as the impulse to RECYCLE. The same way you know your recycling is important to our earth’s future, we want you to know your donated goods have the power to make a difference in people’s lives, strengthen communities and create a healthier environment.

We’ve even got a logo for our movement. Check it out:

Eventually, you’ll see that little D on anything and everything you can donate to Goodwill, from jeans to computers to video games.

To check out the Donation Calculator (which is pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves) and learn more about the Donation Movement, click here.

Now go sing about peace, love and reusability with flowers in your hair, movement-makers – the Donation Movement has begun!

Style Icon Interview: $30 Project’s Lindsay Hood

As a mtvU Music Blog editor/contributer and Goodwill fan, Lindsay Hood caught our attention with her playful fashion sense – but when we realized she also founded $30 Project, a site about reducing consumption and honoring budgets, we realized this girl was one serious GoodwillNyNj Style Icon.

mtvU editor/contributor, $30 Project founder & GoodwillNyNj Style Icon Lindsay Hood

We were recently lucky enough to chat with Lindsay – and her take-a-chance & make-a-change approach to fashion, finance, and fabric waste has us 100% convinced that this outgoing, inspiring woman is every bit the perfect GoodwillNyNj Style Icon.

We hope you enjoy Part One of GoodwillNyNj’s newest Style Icon Interview:

Hi Lindsay! For all our readers who may not know (shame on them!), what is the $30 Project?

The $30 Project is a blog I created when I decided not to spend more than $30 on any single clothing items for the entire year of 2010. I wanted to keep track of my progress and purchases, as well as share my experiences and pick up tips from others.

What inspired the $30 Project?

Honestly… being broke! HA. Not terribly destitute but definitely in need of a financial budget and a way to curb my spending habits.

I’ve had my other blog Post-Its and Chicken Scratch for over two years and writing is kind of second-nature. I thought if I could turn my $30 decision into a project, something that I would need to pay attention to and write about daily, then it would be much easier for me to stay committed to this choice. It’s definitely the source of my dedication because now the project doesn’t feel like a burden or a restriction. It’s just something fun I get to work on.

What does “style” mean to you?

Oh man, this is a tough question because my understanding of style has changed so much since I started the $30 Project. It used to be nothing more than a vague passing interest. I would see gorgeous outfits, but I distrusted my ability to put anything together. Before this year, you would rarely see me in a skirt or a dress.

Now style has become another way to express myself; how I feel on a particular day or an aspect of a certain time-period I like. It’s become both a challenge and a puzzle I have to solve – how can I create the look I am going for within my budget?

Overall, style is something that I have freedom to mess around with in lots of different ways, so it inspires more creativity in my life overall.

Who do you wish would donate their entire wardrobe to a Goodwill near you? (Supermodels, big sisters, rock stars, and politicos are all fair game…)

I’m kind of obsessed with Mad Men at the moment as I just finished watching the third season on DVD. So I wouldn’t mind if the casting directors dropped off both Betty Draper’s and Peggy Olson’s wardrobes so I could go nuts. I also would love snagging Marianne Faithfull’s outfits from the 60s or anything Jane Birkin’s ever worn.

What’s your favorite Goodwill find?

My favorite Goodwill find was a one-two-three punch actually. I found an entirely perfect outfit in the same location on the same day; Eddie Bauer shirt, JCrew skirt, and Michael Kors heels. The whole bunch cost me a total of $41. You can see it here. If I was forced to chose JUST ONE though, I’d have to go with the JCrew skirt. I’ve worn it many times over now.

Why do you shop at Goodwill?

I really think it’s important to find ways that we can cut down on the excess of materials that we all use in our lives. When you thrift or mix up your wardrobe, I definitely believe that you’re sending a message (however small at first) that we consume and use FAR too many resources and that it’s unnecessary to have this abundance of “stuff” when so much “stuff” is already out there. Plus it fits very nicely in my price range.

Have you ever donated to Goodwill?

Sure have; many times!


There you have it: proof you can find Lindsay’s adorable, affordable style on a Goodwill rack near you! And don’t forget to check in next week for Part Two of the interview. In the meantime, keep sharing your great finds and style tips with us on Twitter and Facebook – we love hearing from you!