For the past year, I've been blessed to have the opportunity to help the local northern San Diego community through volunteering at the Community Resource Center (CRC). My Thursday mornings are spent in their Encinitas resale store merchandising donations, keeping the store tidy, and now serving as a blogger for their monthly "Re-Style" newsletter. Below, I've suggested three reasons to consider shopping at resale stores, especially those that benefit non-profits. Please read on and consider visiting one of the CRC's north county locations to support their efforts to assist the local homeless population and families faced with domestic violence.
Three Reasons to Shop at the CRC Resale Stores
While there are many wonderful ways to support the Community Resource Center, shopping at the resale stores not only generates essential funds for CRC programs, it also yields great benefits for customers. Here are three reasons to consider visiting one of the resale stores.
To Find Unique and Exciting Merchandise
Volunteering in the Encinitas location for the past year has shown me that the resale stores are full of one-of-a-kind treasures. You’ll find things that are simply not available in traditional brick and mortar or online sites. Merchandise of all kinds including best-selling and unusual books, rare records, antiques, beautiful costume and fine jewelry, designer clothing and vintage garments, household goods, as well as gently used sporting equipment and electronics fly off the shelves every day. The CRC sells these items at a fraction of the cost of regular retail prices.
Many customers frequent the stores on a regular basis to find fun and unique items. They seem to leave with delightful treasures each time they visit. In fact, one of these loyal customers told me that she’s shopped with the CRC for over two decades! That’s a testament to the merchandise, CRC’s employees, and the generosity of the community who donate their possessions.
I’m a personal wardrobe stylist. As such, I’m drawn to anything related to fashion. There are a myriad of items that pique my interest every time I’m in the stores. One of my favorite purchases is a Jackie Kennedy coffee table book. Besides exquisite pictures, it chronicles each item that Mrs. Kennedy wore in her official capacity as the First Lady of the United States. The designers who created her official wardrobe, the materials used to create them and date each garment was worn is outlined in the fantastic book. Its detail and historic references make it one of my most valued possessions.
I’ve also bought many brand new items that I would have purchased at regular retail stores such as Urban Decay & Trish McEvoy makeup. I felt fantastic about spending money with the CRC instead of a mass merchandiser. Valuable vintage items, like a Gucci belt I acquired, are routinely donated. In the case of the Gucci belt, I would never have bought this luxury item at full price. It makes me happy every time that I wear it! There is literally something for everyone in the resale stores.
To Protect the Environment
How can shopping at CRC do that? It’s simple! Bear with me for some background on the garment manufacturing process.
Clothing is the most common item donated to the CRC. Purchasing used clothing aids your wallet while helping circumvent the environmental disruption of the fashion industry. While it may shock consumers, garment manufacturing is a less than eco-friendly, clean process.
Garment production requires vast quantities of water and electricity. The prevalence of cheap, quickly produced garments has led to higher consumer clothing waste and shorter clothing lifespans. For example, 2.6% of all global water is allocated to grow cotton. On average, it takes 700 gallons of water to produce a single cotton t-shirt. Stop and think about those figures.
Four percent of global landfills contain clothing and textiles although nearly ninety nine percent of used clothing is recyclable.* If you want to help the environment and CRC’s constituents, purchase clothing at the resale stores. Save money, find quality clothing at reasonable prices, help others on the path to self-sufficiency while helping the planet? Sounds like a winning proposition! Giving clothing, and other merchandise a second chance, reduces waste and supports program that help our community.
To Support CRC’s Programs
Fueling the engine of empowerment occurs when you purchase items from the CRC’s stores. The resale stores generate significant income each year. In fiscal year 2015, over $2.4M dollars from sales was reinvested in the local community. CRC serves over 1,500 families annually. That’s a material impact! Donations to the resale stores, and resultant sales, make this possible.
Further, the resale stores provide employment opportunities to many individuals returning to the workforce or entering it for the first time. Many employees remain with CRC in other capacities down the road. CRC’s staff includes several incredible members who started in the resale locations.
We invite you to visit one of the resale stores to support CRC’s mission to create paths to safety, stability, and self-sufficiency. Donations are gratefully accepted at each of the CRC resale store locations in Encinitas, San Marcos or downtown Carlsbad.
*Source: Conscious Company Magazine, published July 2015 by Emily Roberts. APPAREL INDUSTRY BY THE NUMBERS Infographic.