Last night I was digging around in a dumpster looking for some magazines to read. This particular bin is always filled with magazines and newspapers. I always find a few magazines that interest me and will later recycle them.
This time I found an extra goody: a pair of Dockers pants in excellent condition.
When I got home, I tried them on and they fit perfectly. Yay! I wash clothes immediately upon returning home in hot water to sanitize and get rid of any bugs that may have tagged along.
Even if the pants hadn't fit, they still would have been worth pulling from the dumpster. There is no need to allow good usable material to end up in the landfill.
First since they were in such awesome condition, I could have taken them to a consignment shop to try to make a couple bucks. One of my friends dumpster dives in nicer neighborhoods and sells any clothes or accessories she can't use to a consignment shop.
I could also ask my sisters or a couple friends if they wanted them. One of my sisters is still wearing a great leather jacket I pulled out of a dumpster in Edgewater a few years ago.
There was a thrift store a couple blocks away, and I could have just dropped the pants off. Someone would have loved them and the thrift store would have made a few extra dollars for a good cause.
I also will sometimes take clothes that aren't in pristine condition. There is still the possibility of altering an item (cutting off the bottoms of ragged-bottom jeans to make jean shorts), using the items for chores/painting/gardening or to use for crafting (unraveling a sweater for the yarn or cutting denim quilting squares from old jeans).