A warehouse seems like such a commercial thing…
Our WEARhouse is all about what can still be worn, shared, changed, transformed, passed on and such. It has been a huge undertaking to save literally tons of garments from the landfill. A very small team of volunteers (Mainly Jean Nichols from Art for the Heart Gallery and Studio) have made the effort to sort through bags and bags and boxes of donations to send them in the best direction.
Best direction? First, Clothing Helping Kids is a great non-profit in NM. They resell clothing we and many others donate to them and offer grants and scholarships to children for various programs. Ours, Art for the Heart, supported a violin school, summer camp and kids portion of the Annual Glam Trash Fashion Show in Taos (going on a 13 year tradition).
Secondarily, we have artists who are creating a vintage apron line, weavings, quilting, assemblage art submissions, the list goes on. Managing what we send where and making sure we are thoughtful of the few items we do actually send on to the transfer station takes a good deal of effort.
Who helps volunteer? Theater groups. We help supply costumes for 3 local theaters in our very rural area. We are blessed to have so many talented people choose to move here and keep arts alive. Additionally, designers and anyone who needs work clothes can come and help. At the end of the day, they have found some treasures and we have sorted through many more donations.
Below you will see Bette Bradbury and myself. Bette has been an amazing mentor from WESST. She came to see our site and was overwhelmed at the amount of sorting we had at hand (View the background!) She took away with her several outfits for inner-city school teenagers in the Business Program they support. The bottom photo is the cast of a play looking through the thousands of outfits for costumes for their next play.
This is a labor of love. A big part of that love is love of our environment and the arts. None the less, Jean and myself are dedicated to finding ways to keep great donations coming in and making sure they are passed to the appropriate resources.
If you want to see the operation in person, have ideas or resources, please use our contact page to send on your ideas and thoughts.