The Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store Makes a Green Fashion Statement

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By Maryann Ridini Spencer

For over 100 years nationwide, The Boys & Girls Club’s mission has been to provide a positive environment and quality programs for all youth, especially those in need, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

“It’s an honorable mission and the club provides such a valuable service,” says JD, Founder and Operator of The Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store located at 222 Ventura Avenue.  “At the thrift store, our focus is to promote the reuse and recycling of clothing, household items, electronics, office supplies and many other valuable items that can be sold, reused and repurposed.  This recycling not only helps others, it directly impacts the waste going to our landfills.”

Set up as a LLC, the thrift store is categorized as a commercial fundraiser with 10% of the gross sales off the top going back to the Boys and Girls Club.

“We have such a large range of clients,” said JD.  “There are families in need, who come to outfit their families with clothes, school supplies and work tools.  Then there are the kids that want to look cool and hip with retro clothing.  We also get folks who like to go antique hunting and designers who are shopping for the shabby chic look. Some of our buyers even come in specifically to purchase an item so that they can repurpose it in order to resell it in the marketplace.”

JD also admits to repurposing a number of items to make in order to make a sale.  “We found that it was tough to sell old skis. So I came up with the idea to repurpose them into tables and benches. It’s become quite a popular item. So I know we’ll be making more.”

JD is on a constant quest to learn about recycling and repurposing.  As a result, the store also works with a variety of local partners, such as Gold Coast Recycling, Essay (Scrap Metal pick-up) and Standard Industries who assist the store in recycling practices.   “If we can’t sell something, we want to make sure it gets recycled the right way.”

For clothes and other items that might come to the store damaged, or just won’t sell, the thrift store compacts and bails the goods and sells the inventory to brokers who transport it abroad to developing nations that can  benefit.

”It seems we are continually learning the sorting process and how to better recycle and repurpose the goods we receive, “ said JD. “It’s really satisfying to know we are contributing to such a valuable cause as the Boys and Girls Club as well as making a difference in the waste that goes into landfill.”

To donate items such as: games, clothes, furniture, lamps, electronics and other personal, household and office items, Call, (805) 667-8855.  Also visit the store at 222 Ventura Avenue, Ventura.

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