Bargain shoppers have a new retail location to visit

MCC rePurpose Centre opens in Elmira

Bargain shoppers now have a a new location to visit. The MCC rePurpose Centre opened March 1 in Elmira, Ontario. This is a shop with a difference.

With community and caring for creation at heart, the MCC rePurpose Centre is a new initiative where, along with retail sales, recycling, reusing and repurposing materials will be a high priority. Like all MCC shops, the rePurpose Centre will be run by a small staff with day to day positions filled by volunteers.

The first stage is to provide a retail structure where shoppers pay by weight. Clothing, footwear and accessories will be sold for $1.88 a pound, housewares and books for $0.88 a pound and jewellery for $5.88 a pound. “So if you’re a young parent and in need of infant clothing you can come and purchase a large bin of infant clothes for $1.88 a pound. There’s a lot of baby clothes in a pound!” said Karla Richards, MCC Social Enterprise Operations Manager.

Piles of gently used clothing are waiting to be bought by the pound.MCC photo/Ken Ogasawara

Textiles which aren’t sold will be made into handwoven rag rugs, wiping rags and comforter patches while e-waste and metal will be recycled. The MCC rePurpose Centre will also experiment with shredding material like books which, when mixed with straw, can be used as animal bedding by farmers.

The MCC rePurpose Centre will support all MCC Thrift Shops across Ontario by collecting unsold and excess donations and assist shops in balancing stock and alleviating back-room congestion through planned redistribution and holding services.

Last year MCC Thrift Shops in Ontario kept over 600,000 cubic feet of items from the landfill and with the MCC rePurpose Centre’s projects this number will increase substantially.

Alice Penny, Assistant Manager of Production, is thrilled to help a happy customer.MCC photo/Ken Ogasawara

Jan Martens Janzen, MCC Ontario’s Director of Social Enterprise said, “The rePurpose Centre will help MCC care for creation and practice good stewardship by making better use of the donations entrusted to us. It is being intentionally and thoughtfully designed to maximize the value of donated goods. On our opening day we sold over 1-1/4 tons! This is another step in making the landfill the last choice.”

MCC Thrift Shops across Canada forward over $20,000,000 annually to support Mennonite Central Committee’s relief, development and peace work locally and globally.