Really, Really Free Stuff

Once a month, Treasure City Thrift hosts Austin’s Really, Really Free Market (RRFM) at Chestnut Community Park. Now that I’ve stopped frequenting thrift shops so often (because it’s too tempting to buy crap I don’t need), this is the one time that I can still get my shopping fix. So much stuff, and all for the low low price of free. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and rummage through crates and crates of clothing to find your treasure.

Austin Really, Really Free Market

Unlike many thrift shops, Treasure City Thrift is dedicated to zero waste and tries to make the best use of donations, even if that means giving them away free to people who will actually use them. Most of the goods at the Austin RRFM are thrift store donations that didn’t sell, even at their 25¢ sale. So I can feel good that when I find anything I like here and put it to good use I’m actually conserving resources.

This month I kept my haul pretty light but came home with a button-down shirt, a skirt that I may refashion into a shirt, a pair of mixmatched warm socks for the winter weather, yet another cloth napkin, and some interesting pattered cotton fabric for my yoyo quilt.

Things I’ve picked up in the past at the RRFM:

  • A cute onesie and cloth gift bag to present it in to my newborn nephew.
  • Tshirts and button-up shirts that I wear regularly.
  • One pair of jeans I wear regularly and one pair that’s slightly too big and which I only wear on weekends.
  • Underwear and socks. Hey, I washed them!
  • Cloth napkins. These are actually pretty common. If only I had known before I made my own set last year.
  • Lots of tshirts, used as tshirt yarn to make rugs and baskets.
  • Lots of jeans, used to reupholster my ottoman.
  • Pillow cases.
  • Lacy tablecloth for side table.
  • Straw baskets.
  • Patterned cotton fabric for my yoyo quilt.

But honestly, for me the best part isn’t the items that I’ve found here and made use of. The best part is the ease of returning the items that I picked up and ended up not really wanting. The shirt that doesn’t fit quite right. The felt I planned on using for some craft project but later realized I wasn’t that interested. Normally, I’d either have to surpress my shame returning the items to the store or otherwise go out of my way to find another home for them. But with the RRFM, I just set it aside in a bag ready to drop off at my next visit. No questions asked. Getting my shopping fix with absolutely no buyer’s remorse is totally worth dropping by even in the peak of summer heat or on a chilly day like today.

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