The Kildonan Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) gets mountains of donations every week. The clothing spends six weeks on the rack before being sold for rags.
But seeing the perfectly fine clothing ripped up for rags inspired a new clearance centre to open in January. The concept: selling those extra items and clothing for $1 a pound.
“You can still purchase beautiful clothing at affordable prices, without putting them in the landfill,” Robin Searle said.
The store, located on 396 Edison Ave., is the first of its kind in the province. So far around 50 customers buy just under 100 pounds of clothing sold daily.
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For expecting parents Jewel Hunt and Amanda Fehr, the new store is cutting costs for their growing family.
“We can get a whole big garbage bag here for $8 dollars, so it’s pretty crazy. You can come three times a week and spend maybe $20 for months and months of clothes,” Hunt said.
The couple estimates they’ve picked up hundreds of new items for their baby girl that’s on the way. The closet full of outfits setting them back $50.
“I think it’s good for people, especially people who are low income, I’m not 100 per cent low income but there are people who are and they really, really need clothes and for like $5 you can have a ton of stuff,” Fehr said.
“Well it’s my first baby so I’m pretty excited, I might have over did it. But it’s exciting coming here because it’s something we can afford,” Hunt said.
The MCC stores are run by hundreds of volunteers. Gustavo Albertam is one of the people who started as a volunteer two and a half years ago to improve his English skills. He has since become a hired employee.
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“They are here to help people like me and many others and newcomers,” Albertam said. “I’m so proud to work in this place because even though I’m working I’m helping people too.”
Buying items from the clearance centre or other MCC stores help people around the world.
“The Mennonite Central Committee as most people know have various programs all over the world that assist in relief, development and peace,” Searle said.