BTW: My local friends started the local recycling center which also has a thrift store...just like you were talking about: http://www.cartm.org/
I'm seeing a lot of this spirit here in my small community on the north Oregon coast. It is, in fact, one reason I moved here. I garden on my friend's land and help other people find places to start gardens. In fact, there is a lot popping here with regards to local farming and gardening and land-owners offering un-used land to be farmed in exchange for a share of veggies/fruit/meat/eggs. Also, we have a local email list where we can access free/cheap resources, rides back and forth to portland, jobs, rentals, etc. I seldom have to purchase any clothing, furniture, pots and pans or garden supplies new anymore. Why do that when I can get it free/cheap?
Here's a link to something brand new in our community: http://nvft.org/