The Goods on William Good


Some things get keep getting better with age: My So-Called Life episodes, wine, Dazed and Confused, sex. Another one to add to the list? Clothing from Goodwill, thanks to new San Francisco label William Good. From designer Nick Graham (the man behind Joe Boxer) comes what may very well be the first line of thrift-store couture apparel. Recycling clothing from the Goodwill discard bins, William Good designers piece together entirely new, one-of-a-kind pieces from cast-offs that might otherwise end up in landfills.

On Thursday night from 6-8pm, William Good celebrates the opening of its first boutique – and it’s in San Francisco. Woo woo! Located inside the Goodwill Fillmore Store (1669 Fillmore @ Post), the boutique will include items like the ones you see here – totally refashioned fashion. I love it! Check the SF Indie Fashion calendar for more event details. If you would like to attend the opening event, RSVP to marisa (at) wonderbrand (dot) com. 


  • levantate

    Nick Graham, Mr. Joe Boxer, made all of his money and success in overseas manufacturing and marketing. Applying this formula to a recycled clothing design company is not going to work. First of all, he does not uphold the purpose of recycling clothing as a global effort to save the world, he is simply backing a trend that is sweeping through San Francisco. Naturally, one assumes that the reason recycling clothing is so important is to avoid filling the landfill with materials that do not break down; rayon, nylon, spandex, and other synthetics. However, Nick, being the trendy individual he is, has removed all of these items from the line and insists that you use only naturally grown materials from plants and animals; cotton, wool, cashmere, etc. The trend being that 100% cotton is essentially “more green”, more people are choosing to wear it, the mental association is there when using plant and animal grown fibers as RAW MATERIAL. Isn’t the entire point of creative reuse to divert materials from landfill that don’t break down?

    Nick Graham is a very logo related individual. His marketing technique, according to the William Good business proposal written in December of 2006, is to view the label as “an amusement park, and the garment is the souvenir.” He is relying solely on the label to carry this product into popularity. Of course everyone believes this partnership is a good idea, that it’s important and necessary, and surely Mr. Boxer relishes all the attention he gets for being brilliant in the cause as he hands out his t-shirts with and cartoon dog sewn onto the back. The only problem, is that his garments are so trendy they won’t last a season. The shirts are priced very high, the creative technique very low, essentially giving the garment one season cycle before it returns to Goodwill. I was under the impression that to avoid waste and give people a high priced one-of-a-kind garment would involve not creating the exact same looking t-shirt a person could buy in the store brand new for half the price. This changes nothing about the way people view fashion, the impact it has on the environment, the impact on how we treat each other; for if the notion that one cannot be judged on the clothes they wear, because no two garments are alike, then everything about fashion that made people, especially women, feel bad about themselves would change also. Why the need to get a Gucci, when you can get a Gucci mixed with Dior, a Target brand, and a handmade scarf and you will receive compliments on it’s originality, enjoy a high quality material and construction, and no one can copy you. Though it seems that this is the direction of William Good, I assure you that the garments coming out the production room are the same as when they came in, except there is now some kind of “logo” appliqued to it, and maybe 15% of the garments are actually reconstructed.

    So, here’s how you divert materials to landfill, save the environment, and make a profit:
    Offer a partnership with all the boutiques and designers around the city and beyond to get in on this “recycled design” idea. Grant them access to the as-is bins in return for 10% of their profits for as long as they use Goodwill as their source. As the popularity grows in the bay area and LA on the underground scene and bigger corporations start to take interest, extend the offer to them at the same price, and, of course, have your own boutique. The idea of Goodwill executing this idea individually is apart of the same problem that made the fashion industry so wasteful in the first place. Everyone wants their own boutique, everyone wants their own line, everyone wants their own million dollars. Meanwhile, all the natural resources are being swallowed up and labor exploited around the world to keeps all the “me me me’s” happy. You cannot apply the formula that made that fashion industry a problem into the solution, nor should we pretend that it’s “at least a start…it’s a good start” because we weaken ourselves with this lie and it does not help the cause, it only nullifies it in the long run because history will look on Goodwill as an example of how creative reuse actually doesn’t work, and will turn to other sources that have made it work, and if Goodwill still wants it’s own boutique it will have to follow someone else’s example at a serious loss. Build your network, extend the offer to more people at a lower price, because it will attract people from higher positions to take interest, this is the way of the fashion industry—everyone following around the cool kid.

  • fontaine

    hi, do you think reuse of materials especially fabrics will be so popular, that designers will be looking to construct their garments by using re-use fabrics so as to sustain our landfill environment.

    Do you think designers can produce one-off garments to couture standards using recycling materials and do you think there is a market for it?

  • as a consumer, i would certainly be interested in clothing made from repurposed material and fabrics, but something tells me designers other than the small, independent ones will pass on it.

    I do think designers *could* make couture quality garments from repurposed frabrics, but there is always the problem of finding enough of any one fabric to create the garment – using recycled materials does limit a design in that it will have to be a design that can accommodate a mixture of fabrics or fabric sources. If you are creating a new shirt from the fabric of used garments from the goodwill, say, then you’re probably not going to find enough of one fabric to make a completely new garment.

    i love the idea of reworking existing garments and try to do that on my own whenever i can – to varying degrees of success – and i do agree as the first commenter says, that if William Good were truly interested in the recycling and altruistic, earth-saving side of garment reconstruction, it would offer its cast-offs to local designers for free – or at least for a discount. That said, in the real world, i don’t expect a company like Goodwill to do anything of the kind. I think it is clear that the company is trying to ride the wave of indie fashion’s current popularity in order to further its own mission, which is the rehabilitation of and assistance to those in need. And I think that’s fine. I don’t see William Good as a slap in the face to small, local independent designers. I guess I don’t see anyone as a true hindrance to anyone else. What you make of yourself and your designs is what *you* make of yourself and your designs. And as for access to free cast-offs, what about the giveaways lingering in all our friends’ and families’ closets?

  • fontaine

    thank you for your quick reply,it was most usefull.

    Fontaine x

  • Sure thang!

  • Emma

    hi there, On what scale do you think the garment recycling industry can successfully compete in the mainsteet fashion industry – Do you think they can produce garments that consumers will be enough into to chose them instead of shopping at e.g. topshop and do you think businesses will be able to produce re-made garments on a large enough scale?