22 January 2008

An exciting endeavor!


After a three-day weekend of fielding friends' and family members' "are you moving to New York?" questions and "you're totally knocked up, aren't you?" concerns in response to the "exciting announcement" I alluded to last Friday, I'm beginning to wish I'd chosen a slightly less emphatic adjective to describe what I'm about to describe.

But then again, what I'm about to describe is, in fact, pretty darn exciting.

For those who know me personally and for those who only know me blogospherically, the word "green" only enters into my vocabulary in the context of that which comes after yellow and before blue and that which tends to make for a stunning hue of evening gown for those with fair skin and mahogany hair.

Put simply, the notion of being green, making green decisions or even thinking about being green or making green decisions is not something with which I've traditionally concerned myself.

But then, shortly after I wrote what one DC blogger rightly referred to as my "Closet Cleaning 101" post, I had the pleasure of being approached by and then spending a couple of hours with the author behind DC's newest green-living blog, "Righteous (re)Style". As a result of that delicious Cake Love meeting, I've now been set straight on my theretofore belief that caring about the environment would somehow shapeshift me into a paunchy, balding, friend-to-the-stars Democrat. Now I understand that just like there exists an avocado, a mint, a kelly and a hunter on green's color spectrum, so too are there gradations when it comes to living a green life.

And so, my first baby step in the direction of doing right by the environment is to co-coordinate (with Ms. Righteous) a one-day consignment event that will embody all things green and all things fashionable. We still have a few details to work out, including the date, location and what color cash register to rent, but what we do know is this:

  • The clothing at this event will be high-end, and by that we mean only the gentlest of gently-used professional, cocktail and formal clothing will be accepted
  • The only customers admitted to this event will be those who donate between 5-15 items
  • Pricing will be the responsibility of each individual donor
  • Major credit cards will be accepted
  • Shortly after the event, you will receive a check for the exact amount of money the sale of your clothing earned
  • You will have the choice of either reclaiming those items of clothing that aren't sold or donating them to a to-be-determined DC charity (this decision will need to be made at the time of your drop-off)
  • There will be a reasonable admission charge to cover costs, the excess of which will be donated to a to-be-determined DC charity
  • You will be welcomed to an event that is controlled in attendee size and chaos level -- no bargain bins, no makeup-stained messes, no food* and oh yes, cordoned-off private areas with at least one full-length mirror in which you will be able to admire yourself before making a final decision

Not only will this event provide an intimate opportunity for the style-minded women of Washington to co-mingle but it will also serve as a reminder to those who haven't made much of an environmental effort in the past (pointing at self), that by doing something as simple as extending the life of your clothing through consignment, you're making a contribution to the greater cause of a healthier, greener future.

Now, before Ms. Righteous and I choose a venue, we need to gauge the interest of our respective readerships. We want to know for just how many of you participation in an event like this is something that doesn't just interest you but will actually motivate you to stand in front of your closet, select the highest-quality items of clothing you no longer fit into/need/want, price these items, and drop them off on a pre-determined day at a pre-determined time.

This event is extremely important to both of us, and we want to make it as fabulous and well-coordinated as possible, so please, in the form of a comment or an e-mail, let either of us know as soon as you can that you'd like to join us in making our beloved DC a little bit greener and a lot more stylish.

best,
Johanna


*clear, green-minded cocktails, however, are on our must-have list...

40 comments:

m said...

I think this is a great idea, but I have a couple of questions: Are shoes and bags included? How "high-end" are we talking?

I'll be pawing through my closet tonight!

Johanna said...

m-

by "high-end" we mean no casual clothing and no clothing overly worn (faded, thinned, pilled, etc.). We're thinking of having a special section for premium denim, however.

We'll accept shoes and handbags, but we request they be in immaculate shape. I'd recommend capping the heels and repairing any other problems before consigning them.

We basically want this event to feel as much like a boutique -and not a garage sale- as possible.

best,
J

dc lawyer said...

fabulous FABULOUS idea! I'm so in! will send an e-mail right away!

Anonymous said...

Is there no way in for those of us with no high-end gently used goods to donate? I would LOVE to come, but my wardrobe simply does not contain high-end donatable items!

Anonymous said...

I live in Paris, not DC, and so I'm definitely out, but this sounds wonderful. Rock on.

Johanna said...

Maybe I'm not being clear with my definition of "high-end" here. I'm not saying it must be Dior, I'm just saying it can't be in sh*t shape. We want every piece included in the event to be something a woman could pick up and get excited to wear to work or out in the evening. We don't want people to have to pick through chaff to get to the wheat. We also wanted, in the name of reigning in the chaos, to edit the type of clothing to include professional "and above" only.

Don't get me wrong, this is not about name brands, it's about the *quality* of the item.

Well, for premium denim, it may be about the brand, but you know what I mean...

best,
J

old friend said...

what a fantastic thing to do! I'm so proud of you for taking the initiative like this!

wish I could be there but uh Chicago is kind of far away...

priya said...

I'm in! Love the idea of a "controlled" experience. No more Sample Sale craziness.

Oh...dear me said...

wow Joanna this is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE- can't wait! While I do love the controlled idea, would a wee bit of vino (or long-necks for you) and a mini-quiche platter REALLY ruin the situation? I would be willing to pay a bit more for my ticket, and I can assure you, my credit card gets used quite a bit more when a glass of red is in the other hand.

m said...

Thanks for the clarification, Johanna. I have some very cute, gently worn stuff that just doesn't fit.

This sounds like a lot of fun!

Righteous (re)Style said...

Hi all! I am excited about the positive response. We ARE planning on serving cocktails made with organic liquor and organic mixers (all colorless, as to prevent catastrophes from tipsy spillage).

Catherine said...

I am so in.

philly fan said...

I'm so upset, I wanna come too :-(

Anonymous said...

why don't you just donate clothes to charity instead of this half assed attempt? how very elle woods of you *eye roll*

karen m. said...

this could not have come at a better time! i was just thinking about taking all my won't-wear-again items to a consignment shop! this will be so much better, and not just because I'll earn more money. can't wait to meet you and other women in the District who'd be interested in participating.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you don't mean Dior, but I still don't think anything in my wardrobe counts as high-end. 80 percent of everything I own comes from H and M or Forever 21 (my salary is suh-mall) and while I have some never worn H and M suits that are too big for me, I'm guessing that wouldn't make the cut...

crafty kim said...

I can already think of the first 5 pieces I'm going to include. This is such a good idea, J. So cool that you're partnering with another blogger too!

I have at least three pairs of premium denim I've either never worn or worn once when I was at my skinniest. At a consignment shop I was offered $35 for a pair of $250 Genetiks. Just couldn't do it. Maybe for $100 at this event however.....

lila m. said...

dynamite idea, girls! am totally in!

reluctant fan said...

I definitely wasn't one of those weirdos making comments about your elbows yesterday but I'm also as my name implies, a reluctant fan of yours on most days. *However* anything that will help make more women in this town take note of style is something I'm down for. it sounds like you've really carved out a cool and very "you" way to do something old. look forward to hearing more (date, place, etc.) soon.

Marissa said...

Definitely a cool idea, however, I am a little scared of what kinds of items DC will produce...Can we count on a "no Uggs allowed" rule, either for sale or, um, worn on the premises??

But in all seriousness, I will inventory my own stuff and spread the word. One question: is this for females only or can well-styled men get in on this too?

PS -- Thanks for the linkage!

Anonymous said...

I think this sounds like a great idea. I am, however, a size 12 and feel that I would not be welcome at such an event. Are sizes higher than 4 going to be accepted?

a fan said...

and here I thought what I hated most about you was that you write the way I *wish* I could, but now I find out you really are a Republican?? J, nooooo!!!

etcetera said...

i'm dropping off my gently used crocs!
xo

Gabrielle said...

I'm interested, but most of the "high end" garments I'd consider donating are dated to the point of being completely out of style (if not downright fugly). If "high end" = "stylish" I doubt there's much in my closet I'd be giving away (also, I'm slightly afraid of your reaction if I showed up with a bunch of butterfly-collar blouses).

Anonymous said...

tell me when and where and I'll be there with all my (sniff, sniff) size sixes I know I'll never fit into again. can't wait to see the handbag selection at this thing.

brown rowergirl said...

look at you, Miss Environmentally Conscious!

you're making friends with do gooders and being all Al Gore like. I'm proud of you!

by the way, I'll bring my goods and crash on your couch the night before this thing, 'kay?

C said...

To the person who rolled her eyes at someone attempting to have fun (heaven forfend) with such a charitable event, I'd wager that by folks selling their clothes and opting to donate that amount to charity, they'll end up giving more than if they just handed over their old stuff to Goodwill.

katie said...

I'm so glad you're keeping this to professional and formal clothing. It's in these areas that I need a bargain. For casual, it's super easy to just drop by Zara or Banana or wherever, but for work and cocktail parties, it's a different story. They're all at Sugar Daddy prices!

N said...

Man, I cleaned out my closet a few months ago. I guess the bridesmaids dresses won't be accepted...they are formal wear...

etcetera said...

"NO BRIDESMAID DRESSES" RULE!

penny said...

I think it's terribly elitist to only include brands of denim you deem "premium". I've always found Lee and Merona (from Target) to fit just as good or even better than your $200+ pairs.

Anonymous said...

If I want to buy Lee or Merona I'll go shell out the $29.99 myself, rather than buy someone's used pairs. And the point of this is to go boutique or else it's a garage sale.

N said...

Etcetera, I wouldn't dream of it. I mean, you'd just look silly without the rest of the matching dresses.

jackie said...

and bridesmaid dresses are so practical, anyway -- just shorten it and you can wear it again!

this event will be just what the young professionals in DC need!

TammyK said...

Just de-lurking to say I'm in!

Anonymous said...

Surely absinthe is the most appropriate drink choice?

fso said...

Depending on when you have it, I'd love to be included! I'm in Manila until the last week in March...please keep us updated!

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking of a way to sell my premium denim (hudson, paige, tr, j brand) since my 28s and a couple 27s are too big now. It sucks because I only wore 2 of them a couple times. I would love to switch for some 27s/26s.

Darling said...

This could be really fun! I've got half a closet full of formal & semi-formal dresses that have only been worn once--set a date and place soon!!