Still Wearing Hand-Me-Downs After All These Years


| 4/12/2012 2:56:02 PM


Tags: reusing, secondhand clothing, 3Rs, Cam Mather,

I’ve noticed that when you call yourself an environmentalist people like to give you their old stuff. They don’t have the heart to throw it away, so they appease themselves by giving it to an environmentalist. Their thinking is something along the lines of, “He’ll have to do something with it. He cares about the planet. Take that “green boy!” They usually call this “recycling.” I have to explain to them that this is in fact better than recycling which is the last of the “3 R’s.” It’s actually “re-using” which is way better. And if we all “reduced” then we might not be filling up our landfills quite so quickly.

Don’t get me wrong. I love free stuff. And I love used stuff. Much of my clothing was worn first by someone else. I purchased some of it at the Salvation Army Thrift Store or Value Village, and some of it was given to me.

Like a lot of people I began wearing “used” clothing at a young age. They were called “hand-me-downs” back then. You would think with an older sister I wouldn’t have had to wear hand-me-downs, or I would have been wearing girls’ clothing. Nope… it wasn’t that interesting! Mom had a network of friends who traded clothes. Her friend Helen gave her clothing that her son Mike had worn. I rode the school bus with Mike and he was a couple of years older than me. And a bit of a loudmouth. And a bit of bully. So you can appreciate the dynamics of riding the bus every day with a guy who had worn the clothes that I was now wearing. This is where I learned to smile and wave at bullies. Resistance is futile.

I deserved to be teased about some of that clothing. I remember in particular some corduroy pants from him. One part of the pants was wine colored and the other part was gold. And they weren’t made of normal corduroy with evenly sized stripes; they had a fat strip and then a skinny strip. I still get violently ill thinking about them. I should be in therapy. OK, I’m kidding, I don’t think I really paid much attention to how I looked back in those days.


carla huffman
4/25/2012 6:48:56 PM

Hi Cam, Maybe turn your favorite sweatshirt inside out....just make sure the now exposed tag doesn't have the name "Hazel" or something like that on it :) At least use the inside out trick if you forget and wear it away from home someday. LOVE your blog! Carla H.




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