Ama Gozo McIntosh

Do you throw away old clothes? Some people do. Others give them to organizations like Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Then thrifty shoppers buy the clothes for a fraction of their original cost and give them a second life. Vintage clothing fans, like me, look in thrift stores to find styles — like mini-skirts and bellbottoms — that were once popular and now are considered retro. But I go an extra step: I customize these old clothes with paint, feathers, lace, or leather.

She does her own sewing, and everything she wears is beautiful.
Proverbs 31:22 (CEV)

I hope to start a business in which people bring me their favorite old clothes for a fashion transformation. I could turn an old dress that is stained or too small into a new style that someone would be proud to wear. Finding new looks for old clothes that might otherwise be trashed is eco-friendly and a lot of fun. But, for me, it’s more than that.

The fashion industry tells us that we need a certain look to be accepted. I am interested in fashion because I believe it can help us to discover what we think is important and how we can be more truly ourselves. When we change our look, we get a chance to try out new styles that reflect the different ways we act and think, which can help us learn more about who we are and perhaps about who we were created to be.


EXPRESS YOURSELF: Recycle old clothes. Create new styles with paint, feathers, buttons, patches, and lace. How does this makeover express something about who you are as a child of God?

– from devozine (September/October 2009). Copyright © 2009 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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