Thrifting with Mountain Projects Resale

Written by Judy Dykes & Katie Ray

Every week, we volunteer at the Mountain Projects Resale Store. For several hours, we sort through, quite literally, mountains of donated clothes and household goods. We separate the gently-used and ready-to-sell from the served-its-time and must-be-recycled, and off and on, all morning, we open up bags and we find treasure. Three pairs of Talbots corduroy jeans in different fall colors. A beautiful hand-crafted pottery bowl. The cutest little black cocktail halter dress (if only we were 30 years younger). The perfect pair of trekking poles for hiking. And every time we find one of these treasures, we can’t wait to put it out on the floor where some lucky person who needs or wants just that can find it.

As anyone who shops in thrift stores knows, “thrifting” really is like going on a treasure hunt, but in addition to how much fun it is, there are other good reasons to shop in thrift stores.

First, thrifting is good for the environment. So many of us these days are trying to make greener, more sustainable choices. We carry our own bags to the grocery store, use cloth napkins instead of paper, and refill our water bottles when they’re empty. Whenever we can, we up-cycle, recycle, and re-use. And while many of us donate clothes and household goods we no longer want or need to local thrift stores, not nearly enough of us are shopping for things we need in those same stores. To be effective, the recycle equation needs people working both sides of it, contributing and consuming, because whatever doesn’t sell will eventually end up in a landfill.

Think of it this way. Thrifting is more about exploring possibilities than simply meeting needs, but once you’re committed to the principle of consumer recycling, shifting your shopping habits is not that hard to do. It may take a little patience and searching, but you don’t have to compromise excellent taste and quality to shop in a thrift store.

Finally, don’t forget that every time you purchase something in a thrift store, you support some local nonprofit organization that does a lot of good in our community and beyond. You can buy yourself a like-new LL Bean winter coat and make a donation at the same time—it’s a win-win situation!

So before you jump online to put in yet another order for something, why not jump in the car instead and head out to one of the many local thrift stores in Waynesville: Mountain Projects, Within Reach Resale Shop, Haywood Christian Ministry, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Second Seasons, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, to name just a few. In fact, grab a friend—or two or three—and make it date. Once a month, have lunch and visit as many of them as you can. After all, you never know what treasure might be waiting there for you!


Caption: Pictured here, Roxanne McCarthy, Katie Ray and Judy Dykes ALL wearing clothing and jewelry from the MP resale store.