Angie Heinz is the owner of Beansprouts children’s store, operating on Main street for the last 14 years, where she’s seen an attitude shift towards consignment and recycling for children’s clothes. This month at her clothing in-take day, she had over 200 consigners.
“There’s an emotional attachment to those items. Most of the families would never think of throwing clothes in the trash.”
Yet textiles in our landfills have become a priority for recyclers in Metro Vancouver, after a 2015 landfill assessment found the average resident throwing 19kg of clothing away each year.
Consignment gives families some money back, but only the best pieces can be re-sold.
In one day, Angie and her team looked at far more good, usable clothes than she can fit in the store. She tries to choose something from everyone, but looks for items that retain their resale value, in fashionable styles, that she knows will appeal to her customers. Families are supposed to return to collect the unselected items, but sometimes they don’t. At some point Angie will donate it.
“Sometimes they just want it out of the house.”
On Nov. 20, those consignment store rejects have a second chance for a second home because we’re hosting our 5th anniversary swap party, where all items are $1, and the money, and leftover clothes, go to charity. You can bring any un-needed children’s clothes or accessories to 950 West Broadway by Nov. 18 to get your first 10 items free.
Details at broadway.buddings.ca/birthday-swap.
For clothes beyond sale or swap, check the links below
The H&M Clothing Recycling Program accepts up to two bags of clothing at any store in Canada
The Vancouver SPCA accepts old towels or linen for animal bedding.
Downtown East Side non-profit Our Social Fabric turns textiles and rags into yoga products and sells larger unused materials to crafters.
deBrand Vancouver offers business-to-business service, shredding and repurposing textiles for uses like insulation and packaging, with guaranteed confidentiality.
The City of Vancouver Waste Wizard is an online tool for recycling resources.