I was at the Goodwill Outlet store in Portland; a place that many people call 'The Bins' during the winter of either 2008 or 2009.
For those of you who are not familiar, The Bins can be a rather dreary place with very scungy merchandize. You need to realize that this is the place where the stuff that is either rejected or unsold by other Goodwill stores in the are ends up.
So, amongst the piles of very old and worn clothing, I saw this pile of very clean heavy clear plastic. Looking at it closely, I guessed that it was either a large clear plastic slipcover for a sofa or several clear plastic shower curtains that were never used.
I took it. The cashier asked me what I was going to do with all this clear plastic. I told them that I want to make raincoats with it.
They charged me only fifty cents for the large bundle of clear plastic.
What you see here is one of two raincoat I made from that plastic.
I made these back in 2009. I wore one of them for about 2 years and the other I gave to a charity auction where it sold for about $150.00.
The one raincoat that I kept (which is the one in this picture) held very well for three years and showed almost no sign of wear. I have had store-bought clothing that did not last that long.
For about three hours of time and fifty cents worth of clear plastic, I cannot complain.
This was among the last of my unlighted raincoats that I made. My current clear rainwear all incorporate fibers optics and lights and are considered pieces of light art clothing.
There is an interesting piece of history with this coat.
I had loaned this coat to a friend who wanted to use it as part of a dance scene in a play that he was putting on.
He had told me that it may be torn because they were going to do some grabbing and shoving as part of the scene.
I said that would be no problem as I had had this coat for more than a few years and I would not mind if it was torn.
When they were through, I got the coat back and it looked like it was not even worn at all. It was pristine clean.
I was shown the video of the dance scene and indeed, the person wearing this coat was grabbed at and vigorously swung in circules by others who were holding him by only the coat. That plastic must have supported over 100 pounds of force during that scene.
Thank you for your understanding.