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    What to do with Used Clothes: Savers – A New Local Solution

    What happens when your new dress becomes yesterday’s news? For a lot of Americans, it means the dumpster.

    The EPA reports the average North American throws out more than 80 pounds of textiles each year. That adds up quickly in the landfill, but a new store in town wants to help you be smart when it comes to getting rid of and finding a new home for your unwanted goods.

    Savers, a thrift store chain with nearly 330 locations, will FINALLY open their first Pennsylvania store in Willow Grove tomorrow, Thursday, April 7th, which is appropriately timed with Earth Month and your closet Spring Cleaning.

    The cool part about Savers is that they do more than you’d expect for your average thrift store. They’re a purpose-driven company that realizes the potential in every item to create meaningful good through the power of reuse, and will take your used clothes and home goods on behalf of local nonprofit organizations.

    To collect the items they sell, the Willow Grove Savers partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters Clothes for Kids’ Sake, an organization that raises money to support local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies. Savers pays Clothes for Kids’ Sake for the used goods they collect, even if the items don’t make it to the sales floor.

    In addition to Clothes for Kids’ Sake’s home pick-up service, community members can also donate their used goods directly to the organization by dropping them off at Savers’ on-site Community Donation Center. The money Savers pays the nonprofit directly supports local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, including Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region, which served 3,500 youth in 2015.

    And the clothes you loved so much that they’re no longer in near-new condition? Savers is here to the rescue.

    They’ll take items that can’t be sold on their sales floor and work with their recycling partners to repurpose what you thought might be trash into something usable like washrags or insulation. Plus, Savers’ mission goes beyond recycling clothing. They work with partners that strip down and find ways to reuse plastic, metal and other materials. The company’s commitment to reuse and protecting the environment has added up over time. Savers prevents more than 650 million pounds of goods from reaching landfills each year – equivalent in weight to more than 3,000 Boeing 737 airplanes.

    “A tremendous amount of inventory comes through our doors every day and while not every item we receive is appropriate for our sales floor, we do our best to find ways to minimize the amount of items that go into landfills,” said Tony Shumpert, Savers Vice President of Recycling and Reuse. “We work with a large network of partners who share our passion for reuse, and as a result, we keep more than 90 percent of all clothing items we receive each year out of landfills.”

    Savers encourages everybody to rethink reuse by donating used goods to its nonprofit partners instead of throwing them away. Whether your clothing and household items are new, gently used or have seen some serious wear, chances are Savers can find a way to reuse them. Here’s the full list of what you can and can’t donate. (Just don’t use this as an excuse to dump your trash or let someone else go through the dirty work…). Then, stick around to see what you can refresh your closet with.

    What to Expect in Willow Grove

    It’s no secret how much I love shopping secondhand as an act of ‘green’ to keep more resources out of landfills. Just last week I picked up two shirts and an item for a craft project at a thrift store for a whopping $6.00.

    This new thrift hotspot in Willow Grove will offer shoppers a refined secondhand shopping experience. Savers isn’t your run of the mill thrift store – you won’t find cluttered piles and broken equipment on the shelves. This spacious store guarantees over 100,000 items on its sales floor at any given time, carrying everything from clothing and accessories, to housewares and electronics. Plus, they add merchandise to the tune of up to 10,000 new items each day.

    “We’ve been working incredibly hard to prepare the store for opening day and can’t wait to share all we have to offer with the Willow Grove community,” said Vanessa Ross, Savers’ store manager. “We look forward to providing our customers with unbelievable deals, but we also take great pride in doing our part to protect the environment through our purpose-driven practices.”

    Savers’ Opening Week Celebrations

    Savers is also celebrating its arrival with special activities for local customers. You may have spotted the larger-than-life Eco Family last Friday at the Willow Grove train station. (It wasn’t an April Fools’ Joke!)

    Eco Family Willow Grove

    This 8-foot-tall family showed people how much 80 pounds of clothing actually looks like and encouraged consumers to donate their used goods instead of trashing them.

    Other events to note this week: 

    Ribbon Cutting Event (Thursday, April 7, 8:45am): The store officially opens its doors to the public. This is your chance to snag those deals before anyone else!

    Community Parking Lot Party (Saturday, April 9, 12-5 p.m.): Enjoy free food & drinks from a taco food truck, DIY craft station & a bounce house for kids. WMMR will be on site to keep you entertained, too.

    Savers Surprise Prize Packages (Thursday, April 7 – Sunday, April 10): If you hit Savers’ opening weekend through Sunday, you may win! Every 100th shopper at the cash register will receive a special prize pack from Savers including fun gifts and Savers swag.

    Store Information

    The Savers Willow Grove store and Community Donation Center is located on 300 York Road and will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, you can call (215) 659-1726, visit www.savers.com, or connect with Savers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

    ** TVI, Inc. d/b/a Savers is a for profit professional solicitor accepting donations of secondhand clothing and household goods on behalf of Clothes for Kids’ Sake, Inc., whose mission is to provide programs for the aid and assistance of children.

    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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