This week Elk Valley residents will see the grand opening of the new Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society’s 100 per cent not-for-profit and volunteer run organization committed to sustainability and giving back. The new thrift shop, located in Sparwood aims at reusing and recycling everything from paper office supplies to plastic, and their no dumping policy will mean all items donated will be used for a good cause.
“We are quite different from what most people would expect from their usual thrift store experience. Everything is clean, organized and in great condition,” says Katrin Taylor, store manager. “We have something for everyone, and carry everything from clothing and shoes to kitchen items and gifts. If clothes come to us with a tear or rip, we fix it; if something is a bit stained, we have an onsite washer and dryer so everything is clean and neat. Absolutely nothing, unless it is completely destroyed or damaged, will be dumped or tossed out. We even have a section for those clothes that are unsalvageable, and they are turned into rags. We will put in the elbow grease to make sure all our items are in great condition.”
To keep with their no dumping policy, items that do not get on the racks in the thrift shop go to the Mustard Seed Bin, which will go to clothe the homeless in Calgary, or to the Salvation Army/Hospital Auxillary Bin which will then go to Cranbrook.
“We believe that everyone can be helped in some way, whether its locals shopping here and saving money, or some of the clothes that we choose not to shelve are going to programs to help people in other areas or even around the world,” said Taylor.
A big steel box will soon be available at Race Trac Gas in Elkford, to be used as a drop off bin, to better accommodate residents. The Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society also offers free pickup of items in the area and hopes that all residents will never have to consider taking their unused clothes to the garbage.
“Shoppers are sure to have a great experience with items sorted and sized, clearly priced, and even the kids have a play area to keep entertained while their parents look around. We just want to give people an alternative, and the peace of mind to know that when they make their donation of clothing or other items, it will go to good use,” said Taylor.
The grand opening of the Elk Valley Thrift Shop society will take place on Thursday and Friday from 10 am – 4 pm. Regular hours will be Monday – Friday from 10 am – 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm. Currently, only cash is accepted, but a debit machine is a likely possibility for the future.
“We welcome everyone in the valley to come check us out, and to keep us in mind when getting rid of old or unused items. We are really proud of this store and our sustainability practices,” said Taylor.
The Elk Valley Thrift Shop Society is located at 127 Centennial Square. For more information or for item pick up, contact Katrin at 250-425-3884, or contact the store at 250-425-0853.