We are dreamers! We began our project with a dream and a card table in an empty lot. Over the last 10 years we have grown tremendously, but we realize that we are just scratching the surface of the waste problems. Our big wish is that people will begin to recognize the connection between overconsumption and our current climate crisis and wake up to the fact that without a robust circular economy that rivals new retail we are not going to make the big change that is needed to protect this amazing planet and all the life that it supports.
We want shoppers! We have lots of great stuff and in order to complete the recycling loop we need shoppers to buy our used supplies instead of buying new! The purchases made at our store generate the income needed to operate a store like ours including money to pay our very hard working staff a living wage.
Box Truck, pickup truck, and/or trailer for pickups. Many items are left curbside because potential donors don’t have a way to bring large items to us. Increasing our pickup services will help us better reduce the bulky and usable material going to our landfill and instead keep it functioning in our community.
A warehouse to store large bulky items! We often have to turn down donations because we don’t have the space to store them. We’ve been asked to accept 150 desks beds at a time. A storage warehouse would enable us to accept and protect bulk donations like this while we seek out bulk buyers or market them over time in our store.
Big Box Store! The volume of usable material being trashed daily is enormous. Large mega stores have proven to be successful because people want a one stop shopping experience. Thrift stores need to expand in size to provide the same sort of convenience to customers so they know they will get the items they need in one stop. We need to expand reuse and make it as easy as buying new if we want to create a circular economy that keeps materials in use for longer. Non-profit thrift stores do not have the financial backing or startup capital to purchase large buildings and rent is unaffordable. If a philanthropist were able to purchase a large big box store to function as a mega reuse store it would be an amazing model to see and build upon.
A strip mall! Our big reuse economy dream is to operate a strip mall made up of various REUSE stores instead of the endless national chain BIG BOX strip malls that dominate our landscapes. Example: used building material store (instead of Home Depot), used clothing store (instead of Ross), used electronics store (instead of BestBuy), used craft store/Repurpose Project (instead of Michaels), used party supply store (instead of Party City). If we were given a strip mall, we would build this reuse model for all to see in hopes of it spreading across the country. Dividing the merchandise into specific categories with their own stores will help store staff better organize and market the material, plus customers are familiar with the format. What a dream! ….and it just might happen some day!
Dollar Store Thrift Store (Satellite Stores) in underserved locations! We’ve dreamed of operating smaller storefronts similar to dollar stores. It’s clear by the recent dollar store expansions all over the country that rural areas need access to stuff and there aren’t many suppliers. The supply of used material is overwhelming and there is no shortage. We would love to operate convenient used shopping opportunities in underserved areas. We want to bring the needed materials to the places and people that need them the most! If we were gifted a rural storefront in proximity to our store we feel confident that we could staff and stock it. It would be a wonderful experiment that could spread across the country if successful!