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So it seems that Charity shops are the new front line in the reusing, recycling and repurposing of your pre-loved items. Not content with simply selling as much of the donations that we receive the shop has taken upon itself the aim of minimising goods that we have to send to landfill.
Step One of course involves our donors. All of us are asked to carefully consider wether the items we are donating can be resold or are they really destined for the scrap heap? Remember, charities have to pay to throw things away too. Every item we or the Friends or Brainwave send to landfill takes money away from our charitable cause.
Step two is to find ways to make sure items find a new home. In this article Jane Williams explores how this is being done at the COMMUNITY CHEST
First and foremost we run special events
The shop for Sturminster is always delighted to contribute to the fun in town and the vintage vehicle event on the first Saturday is a great opportunity to join in. Cheryl and the team bring out vintage clothes and all sorts of retro items to display in the shop which opens all day on those Saturdays. It is a lovely way to entice visitors to that end of the town especially when our neighbour shops extend their hours too. The word has spread and we see customers from near and far who are loving the quality of everything at the Community Chest. The 7th September will be the last of the vintage days till next spring but watch this space for other events – Cheryl’s always planning something! The shop will be open on the Cheese Festival weekend too so if you are visiting for that, take some time to pop into town; you’ll find a warm welcome.
We keenly look for every opportunity to trip the three R’s
Here at the shop, we are very keen recyclers, re-users and re-purposers. Although some donations are unsuitable for sale – our standards are high! – we hate throwing anything away. In line with increasing ecological awareness we have systems set up to keep disposal at a minimum.
We send good quality clothing that needs a button or a bit of mending to a wonderful local lady who is a wizard with a needle and she returns them to us all fresh and ready for the rails.
Last week I sent a parcel of bras to ‘Smalls for All’, (which bemused the Post Office staff!).
Other suitable clothing items are donated to two different charities for the homeless. The charities concern work with us to make sure their clients needs are properly respected and addressed.
Other completely unsuitable stuff is popped into the textile bank at William Barnes School (with their agreement). They sell this on which helps contribute to their coffers.
We save broken jewellery for one creative customer and damaged woollies for another; we collect buttons and zips off clothing past its best. Mechanical items like broken cameras and watches are sold to a company which mends the items.
Books that we can’t sell go to a company who distribute them around the world or if their condition demands it they recycle them as paper.
In all these ways we do our best to keep things flowing and throw away as little as possible.
If YOU have any other ideas or expertise in the matter of recycle, reuse repurpose, we would be happy to hear from you. Find us in Market Cross, opposite the museum.
What are we doing with our profits?
We are regularly asked what we are doing with our profits. So this blog gives me a good opportunity to give some answers. The staff and shareholders of the charity recently decided on a couple of new initiatives bringing our current activities to six.
But we don’t want to stop there.
There is a suggestion box in the Community Chest and we would love to have your ideas.