Toni Keesee

Hi there,  I’m Toni, founder of Reclaimed Clothes Box. Thank you so much for being here.

I founded Reclaimed Clothes Box (RCB) to empower other women with an alternative to fast fashion. By wearing reclaimed clothes you can help slow down the cycle of our overconsumption and throw-away culture simply by re-wearing clothes others have discarded and extending their life.

Where My Sustainable Journey Began

My passion for ethical clothing started with the desire to learn more about the people who made my clothes, how they were treated and the belief that my buying power matters. (Yours does, too! So much!) My journey took off when I learned about fair trade companies and all the transparency that they along with other ethical organizations are striving for in the slow fashion movement. Making sure people are treated well has always been a driving force for me.

Transitioning to an Ethical Closet

I made a commitment to transition to an ethical closet, and started to make my own rules to live by. I decided to buy from fair trade shops or companies with high ethical standards when possible (aiming for companies rated 4 stars or above on Good on You). A third option was to look for pieces made in the USA at local boutiques since our factory standards are, at a minimum, average compared to standards in developing countries. I also love supporting small business owners, and it gives me a chance to talk with them about why I’m buying something made in the USA if they don’t have fair trade options. Secondhand was another option on my list, and it took a stronghold on my buying habits after I watched The True Cost.

My Secondhand Epiphany

Secondhand clothing made its big debut in my life after I watched The True Cost and discovered that textile economies in developing countries are being stifled because of our overconsumption. Loads and loads of excess clothes get exported from the States and are sold at prices local makers can’t compete with.

I was deeply saddened when I realized how much our throw-away culture is hurting others. I started to look at every piece of secondhand clothing I bought as a piece saved from the “pile” and one less piece to be exported.

I’m Proudly Turning into a Treehugger

Throughout this journey, I started to learn more and more about how fast fashion is not only hurting people but also our planet. There are piles and piles of clothing and textile waste filling up landfills. I’ve read enough to understand the gases and chemicals being released by the creation and decay of our clothing is terrible for our environment.

For me it’s always been about people. And the planet is pretty dang important to us people and our existence! Almost always the degradation of people and planet are intertwined. Excess trash and chemicals hurt our planet and they hurt the people living with them now and those that will have to live with them in the future.

I have a long way to go, but I’m working on being a better world citizen with each day that passes. I’ve learned to not focus on perfection, but instead to be proud of progress and keep pushing to be better. I love sharing this journey and passion with others.

Something Bigger than Myself

As I’ve learned more about slow fashion and the movement, I have been yearning for an opportunity to do something bigger than myself. My desire is to have an impact and to help grow this movement through Reclaimed Clothes Box. I’ve been shopping for secondhand clothes for friends and for an eclectic resale shop in Cape Girardeau, MO, now for about a year. After a while, I had the “aha” moment that I could share this love for secondhand clothes with people across the country (and maybe even the world someday). I have been tirelessly working on the idea since the day I dreamed it, and now it is coming to life. I can’t explain how excited and grateful I am that you are here with me.

Let’s change the world one piece of secondhand clothing at a time!


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