Wednesday, October 7, 2009

#74-Goodwill/Salvation Army

Businesses like Goodwill and Salvation Army exist to provide an under resourced and disadvantaged community with affordable goods needed to clothe their families and provide resources for their children.
But ask any Pentecostal what their local Salvation Army is there for and by golly they’ll tell ya “To make me fabulous, for CHEAP!”
The Pentecostal romance with the musty racks of the local “Sally’s” and “The Will” go back for decades. In the late 80’s and early 90's there was a resurgence of the “vintage” look and Goodwill’s became the go-to place for affordable retro looking clothes.
Never mind the fact that the Goodwill’s are there for people who can’t afford the off-the-rack prices most of us can, we need our throwback tee’s and we need them for thirty-six cents (plus tax)!
Of course I was guilty of this, but who wasn’t? The coolest tie I’ve ever owned was a vintage Dior tie from the Goodwill by our district camp ground I bought for $1.25. My favorite tee in high school was a Hard Rock San Francisco tee I purchased from a local Sally’s, and doggone it I wore that thing like it was hand designed by Domenico Dolce himself!
The humor isn’t in the obsession, it’s in the irony. Our religious subculture is more saturated with fashion crazed vanity than any religious subculture this side of The UK, yet we have no problem putting on the attire of someone’s dead  grandmother that when we purchased we actually uttered the phrase “oh the cleaners will get that out.”
Pentecostal convocations are the only place in the world where you can find a girl wearing $200 Isaac Mizrahi stiletto’s, $35 fishnets, a $300 Elie Tahari skirt and a $4.50 button down from St. Vincent De Pauls.
Ironic? Yes. Tasteless? Absolutely. Fabulous? UBER Fabulous!


  1. I'm really starting to wonder your intentions and targeted destination of your sarcasm with this blog.

    For those who don't want to look like mannequins, and quite frankly can't afford to, thrift stores are the ideal place. It's good stewardship. Are there some who lack taste? Yes. But it's quite a blanket statement to assume all those frumpy prom dresses you see the last night of conference are thrift store merchants. I'd venture to say they are those who lack creativity.

  2. The point was not to mock those who shop at goodwill but to show the irony behind those who overspend yet pair their overpriced clothing with secondhand clothing. It was also to point out the misuse of their service. They are not there so that church girls can be chic, they are there to provide clothing to the under resources and disadvantaged in our communities. There is nothing wrong with shopping at Goodwill if that's what you can afford. But if you're shopping there for "the vintage look" then go somewhere else.
    The irony of the vanity was the goal of this blog.

  3. To anonymous,

    I agree with you.

    I like cheap clothing, it is very practical stewardship .... plus what is better than a vintage look wherein the clothes are actually from a vintage time?

    Bless you all (except for Glen),


  4. K here is my opinion- good will and all those thrift stores are not ALL that cheap AND they are NOT there to provide clothes for the underpivledged, supposeivley the money the make from those thrift stores are supposed to go the foundation they are representing. ANd yeah people do spend ridiculous ammounts on clothing...

  5. Mary Frances, that's correct. The underprivileged, and anyone looking to save money, may shop there. Customers make the world go 'round. I'm sure those nonprofits don't mind the business. And it would behoove others to quite using their credit cards at the mall, and find something that may take work to find, but is more affordable. Just my "2 cents."

  6. Jessica, Central OhioOctober 12, 2009 at 7:48 AM

    Hmmm...Thrift Stores use the money they receive from sales to help the Underprivileged and to train and employ those who may not be able to make the bar set by mainline employers. They could care less if we bought the $3 clothes just to set a bonfire, as long as we pay them the $3. I frequently shop at Thrift Stores and also recycle my own unwearables there!! Being a good Steward includes taking care of our earth and recycling is a huge step in that direction.

  7. I first thought when I read this that Joel Riley was turning rather metro-sexual with a blog about fashion. When I seen Glen at the bottom of the page it all made sence. ( I shop at goodwill for all of the above reasons and have paired a $125 dollar tie with a $15 dollar suit and yes, it was all about vanity!)

  8. My wife asked and this is what the local Googy said "we encourage all customers. They exist to SELL donations then use the proceeds to fund their operations. The stores aren't meant to provide discount clothing for less fortunate or income disadvantaged folks"