Where right shoes and mismatched curtains find a new life

After skimming Marie Kondo’s book about the life-changing magic of tidying up I tackled the area of our basement known as the storage room/my office. I discovered that a huge chunk of the clutter was made up of items like stained bibs, worn and torn baby clothes, a left shoe that lost its right match long ago, and Leo — a stuffed lion who is now balding, tailless and creepily watches me while I work.

I donate or sell as much as I can but I always end up with items leftover that have no clear new home, especially with the introduction of Halifax’s new garbage rules. I went in search of an alternative way to dispose of clothes that can’t be reused and came across AFTeR.

AFTeR (Association for Textile Recycling) started in 2013 and is made up of six local organizations: Canadian Diabetes Association Clothesline, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Salvation Army Thrift Stores and Value Village. These organizations were already collecting and reusing clothing to fund social causes and they decided to join forces to spread the word about what they can do with those textiles that can’t be reused.

Joanna Dunn is the manager of the Nova Scotia and PEI Clothesline Programs and the President of AFTeR. She says to give your tired, your worn, and your survivors of the laundry’s sock abduction program to AFTeR.

“The textiles we accept include clothing of any size, season, or gender as well as footwear, linens, bedding, purses, bags, and accessories such as belts, ties and scarves,” Dunn says, adding that they can’t accept mattresses or items with chemical stains, mold or mildew...