Clean Your Closet – Shred Your Threads Clothing Swap & Cash for Clothes

Looking to update your wardrobe on the cheap? Here is a great excuse to clean out your closet.  Check out this AWESOME event at TechShop on Sunday or some of the other ways you can exchange you can upgrade your wardrobe on the cheap.

Shred Your Threads Clothing Swap at TechShop

pittsburgh clothing swapThis Sunday, June 29, 2014 – TechShop Pittsburgh is hosting an epic clothing swap and workshop event.

This is a great deal too – $12 if you aren’t a TechShop Pittsburgh member and gets you access to the swap, to TechShop Pittsburgh (a day pass is usually $50) and a day of workshops on basic sewing, laser cutting, screen printing and other ways to upcycle your clothing.

You can come for all or part of the day.  The workshops are designed to build upon skills – so if you are intersted in learning it is suggested you plan to come for the whole day.

I know that TechShop has lined up some of the craftiest folks around Pittsburgh to help with this event.  I was talking with a felllow Pittsburgh blogger and fashion stylist about the laser cutting demo (I’ve heard rumors that they might try to laser cut a leather jacket) and was informed that laser cutting is quite the trend right now.

The event will begin with Day One, June 28th, for a Call for Clothes (people can drop off their unwanted items to our swap room).  We will accept your donations, whether you are planning to attend day two or not!
Then return on Day Two, June 29th, for a Swap Meet and UpCycling Sessions.  Tickets for Day Two can be purchased through EventBrite.  Tickets include training, instruction, and networking with local artists, seamstresses, and professional instructors as well as light refreshments and all equipment and materials.
The timeline for Day Two includes:
  • 9:00AM – 12:00PM: Clothing Donations accepted
  • 10:00-12:00PM:  SWAP!
  • 11:00AM: Basic Sewing Class
  • 12:00PM: Lunch Break
  • 1:00-5:00PM: Equipment demonstrations, hands-on workshops, take-it-home activities
Demonstration Stations including:
  • Laser-Cutting fabric
  • CNC Embroidery
  • Vinyl-Cutting Techniques
More details about the Shred Your Threads event and registration information is available here.

 Sell Your Clothes for Cash in Pittsburgh and Online

If you can’t make it to the clothing swap this weekend, there are lots of other ways you can trade your old clothes for new ones.

In Pittsburgh, these stores will offer you cash or store credit for your clothes.  You bring in your unwanted clothes and they will offer you a dollar amount for the items they want to buy.  I believe that both offer 30% of the item value in cash or 45% of the item value in credit to buy something else from the shop.  So if you bring in a shirt that they would sell for $10 – you would get $3 in cash or $4.50 in store credit.

Both stores offer a range of new, used, vintage and designer clothing for men and women.

They won’t take everything and often only buy for the current and upcoming season – so don’t go in expecting to walk out with empty bags.

ThredUp Sell Bag [Photo Credit: Amy's Savings Tips]

ThredUp Sell Bag [Photo Credit: Amy’s Savings Tips]

If you have more clothes to get rid of, especially items that are out of season, you might try one of these online resale websites.  I have used both Twice and ThredUp and had a great experience.  Both Twice and ThreadUp will send you a free bag, that comes with a prepaid postage label.  Fill up the bag and send it back.  You will receive an email with an offer for you clothing.  Unwanted items will be donated to Goodwill or you can pay a little extra to have the items shipped back to you.  Twice will give you an additional 25% bonus if you select store credit as your payout.  (From now until 7/31/2014 – Twice is offering a 30% bonus for store credit payouts).

  • Twice – only takes certain brands of women’s clothing and handbags @twice
  • ThredUp – accepts women’s clothing, shoes and handbags and kids clothes for boys and girls @thredup

Do you have any tips or suggestions for closet clean outs?  Are there consignment shops that you would recommend for selling clothes in Pittsburgh?  Share your experience in the comments below.

Wed. June 25 – Join me for THE GIVE and learn more about StartingBloc

sblogoTwo months ago, I traveled to Los Angeles to attend the StartingBloc Fellowship program – which is a 5 day workshop for anyone who is interested in social innovation, creating change and becoming a better leader.   I learned about StartingBloc from the guys who run ReWork, a startup that is currently located in New York City, but was started by two Pittsburghers.

Kabira showed me some of the more vintage electronics that Isidore recycles

Kabira showed me some of the more vintage electronics that Isidore recycles

I loved my StartingBloc experience and returned to Pittsburgh filled with new ideas and a network of other change makers from around the US. A few of the things I learned about at the StartingBloc Los Angeles institute include:

  • Polarity Mapping – a frame work for looking at problems as polarities and somehting that can be helpful for a variety of situations.  I think that polarity mapping could be a great tool for Pittsburgh to use to think about how to work with UPMC going forward.
  • LA Kitchen @TheLAKitchen – an incredible business that is run by Robert Egger @RobertEgger, who is the founder of DC Kitchen and doing amazing things to feed more people healthy food.  I was lucky enough to be able to join Robert and some of the other fellows for dinner while I was in Los Angeles
  • Isidore Recycling @IsidoreRecycles – is another incredible business that was started by Kabira Stokes.  Kabira spoke at the StartingBloc institute and was kind enough to let me and some of the other fellows take a tour of the warehouse where they are recycling e-waste and proving jobs for those who were previously incarcerated.  This is a model that I would love to replicated here in Pittsburgh (and I’ve already suggested Mayor Peduto stop to visit Isidore on his visit to LA.)

These are just a few of the things that I brought back to Pittsburgh from my trip to the west coast.

I feel very strongly that programs like StartingBloc are important to Pittsburgh for two reasons:
  1. Leadership Training – learning about leadership and best practices in leadership is very important.  I have learned so much not only about how to be a more thoughtful leader, but how to be a better team member.
  2. Sharing Pittsburgh’s story – these programs that bring together people from all over the country (and the world) provide a great place to let other young folks know what is happening here in Pittsburgh.  Lots of people have heard a little bit about Pittsburgh, but didn’t know much more.  It is so important to make sure we have some Pittsburghers at the table to continue to share the awesome things that are happening here.

StartingBloc Stops in Pittsburgh

My praise for Pittsburgh has paid off and I have convinced Cesar Gonzalez, who is the executive director of StartingBloc, to come to Pittsburgh to tell you more about the program.

I hope you will consider joining me on Wednesday, June 25 to meet Cesar, learn more about StartingBloc and learn some new things about Pittsburgh and giving.

Thanks to the StartingBloc alumni network – we will be hosting this event at the new offices for Repair the World, a nonprofit located on Broad St. in East Liberty (this is the same building where ThrillMill and AlphaLab Gear are located.

And on the suggestion of KivaZip’s Pittsburgh team – food will be catered by Salud Pittsburgh @PghSalud, a new Pittsburgh business that is making empanadas.

The GIVE: A StartingBloc Micer for Awesome People

When: Wednesday, June 15, 2014 6-8pm
Where: Repair the World, 6022 Broad Street
RSVP: Please rsvp on Eventbrite HERE
Event Hashtag: #TheGivePGH

Join us for an evening of awesome people and making moves.

Learn how being a giver is not only fulfilling, but also one of the surest paths to success.  We’ll kick off with a short talk based on new research by Wharton’s youngest full-professor, Adam Grant.

Cesar Gonzalez will share what separates effective givers from push-overs, as well as strategies that successful givers use in their work life.  We’ll wrap up with a group exercise in giving and time to mingle with other awesome people.

Bring the challenges you’re currently working on, a pen and paper, and a new friend you think is a good fit for the StartingBloc community. There’ll be time to visit with old friends, to make some new ones, and to meet Cesar, the new CEO of StartingBloc.

This is event is hosted by StartingBloc, a national Fellowship organization for social innovators working hard across sectors to build a better world.

Apply to be a StartingBloc Fellow

The StartingBloc institute takes place in various cities around the US.  There are 2 more institutes in 2014

I am committed to helping to make sure we have more Pittsburghers participating in future StartingBloc fellowships and I will help anyone who is interested fund-raise so that they are able to attend.

Thread Needs Your Vote!

vote-for-thread-ledburyPlease take a moment to help this awesome Pittsburgh startup (yes, Thread is a business not a non-profit) win $25,000 dollars.

Thread, a social venture start-up headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, takes waste from the poorest places in the world and transforms it into dignified jobs and responsible fabric. This week, Thread is in the running to win $25K in theLedbury Launch competition with a public vote. Each vote brings us one step closer to the sweet taste of victory (and much needed capital to help Thread grow our impact in Haiti).

Here’s what you can do to help:

 TODAY, June 24, 2014 – is the LAST DAY TO VOTE!

moop-thread-bagOnly 1 vote per email address, so dust off those old AOL addresses to vote twice and share the link ( with your friends, coworkers and family.

Check out the latest bags, that are made in Pittsburgh by Moop with a lining made from Thread’s recycled bottle fabric.

I was going to write a long-winded paragraph about why Thread is awesome and why it is important to vote for them, but my friend and incredible Pittsburgh artist wrote this Facebook post that does a much better job of summing up the situation.

Hey Pittsburgh massive and outlying territories. As I understand it the purpose of living in large organized societies is that not everyone is doing the same thing to survive ie: having two cows and a garden etc.

This skill diversity enabled societies to go beyond subsistence farming and go right into artisan coffee shops and space travel. It took awhile.

In short: we pay and support people to do things for us that we are too busy to do or simply can’t do. Like hang drywall, fix an aorta and create the “smartphone”.

So I ask you to please consider support the local Pittsburgh company THREAD. They are doing things you don’t have time for and can’t do: employ people in third world countries to turn trash into fabric.

So yes we can use the same capitalist system of specialization to reorder the flow of cash, opportunity and dignity to individuals. This is important work and really is “maker recycling” on the next level.

They are up for a $25K award right now competing against just TWO other companies. While the other companies are surely good I am asking you to VOTE for THREAD.

Read more about Ledbury here…

Read more about the Thread + Moop partnership here…

Pittsburgh Screening of startupland – A New Documentary Series

startupland pittsburghRemember how last summer the awesome readers of this blog generously contributed to my project so I could participate as a passenger on the Millennial Trains Project?  We’ll this is one of the many good things that came out of the trip.  I was thrilled to receive an email last week from two of the people I met on the train asking if I knew anyone that would be interested in hosting a screening of startupland in Pittsburgh.  My reply – yes- of course, Pittsburgh would love to host a screening.  A few emails later, TechShop kindly stepped up as the location for the screening.

Thank you to everyone who made my journey on the train trip possible.  I am so pleased that my fellow train passengers continue to think of Pittsburgh.  One of the mentors on the train, who joined our group for the last part of the trip from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC is Jonathon Perrelli who (in addition to offering me some sage advice) is also co-producer of startupland.  If you are interested in startups be sure to follow @perrelli on Twitter.

Pittsburgh Screening of Startupland

On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, Pittsburgh will be one of the many cities around the globe that will be hosting a screening of startupland a new documentary series about startups.

Click here for the screening details.