I’ve always enjoyed the thrill of thrift shopping, building stories around discarded items, and searching through a sea of forgotten garments to find that perfect piece.
This treasure hunt, founded on the trash of strangers, has taken me to garage sales, market stalls, expansive op shops (Savers <3), and, most recently, suburban Melbourne: ’tis the season for hard rubbish, and my local streets are lined with everything from chipped 1970s crockery to taxidermy foxes to dining chairs easily salvaged with a simple reupholster or lick of paint.
As with dumpster diving (give it a go!), the amount of waste can be quite affecting. A ripped hem on an otherwise pristine evening dress renders it unwearable, a broken bell on a bike means it no longer works, and an iPod in perfect condition is tossed to make way for a newer model. The abandoned DIY projects of others, the items that required a little too much love and upkeep, are left on the nature strips of Brunswick, for people like me to enjoy.
On my most recent Saturday morning hunt, I found a few gems- a fantastically frilly apron with an embroidered portrait of a poodle, a pair of Adidas sneakers in mint condition and the right size, a few records, a few band posters, a set of dinosaur bed sheets straight out of a 1980s bedroom, a vegetarian cookbook with hilarious illustrations, a retro bread bin, a vase… the list goes on. The strangest find was a series of family photo albums, featuring multiple generations. I pocketed a couple of snaps of the presumed grandma’s trip around country England- they were just too sad and ghostly to leave behind.
I’m addicted to the hunt, to the sunny morning strolls, to the apple breakfast plucked from a neighbourhood tree, eaten as I rummage through rubbish in search of something wonderful. There’s just something so beautiful about re-loving pre-loved possesions- if you’re not already giving it a go, I highly recommend a walk around your block, or even just heading to the local op-shop. I can guarantee there are treasures to be found!
All the love,