Contributed by Monica Alves, Special Projects Worker
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller
A BIG thank you to the team from Canadian Western Bank’s Park Place Vancouver branch for their generous donations to Clothes Drop! Clothes Drop fosters community partnerships to build inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods. So, when I was invited to the Canadian Western Bank flagship branch’s family BBQ in the park, I saw the perfect opportunity. A sunny afternoon in New Brighton Park, countless burgers and hotdogs, and one clown show later…we collected nearly 200 lbs of clothes! But to understand the magnitude of these donations, let’s rewind a bit, shall we?
As a Special Projects Worker here at posAbilities, one of my projects is working with our clothing collection fundraising initiative, Clothes Drop. Through this, I’ve learned some very eye opening facts about our environmental impact on the world. Such as…
- 85% of recyclable clothing is being thrown away
- Recycling clothing and textiles decreases the use of natural resources, such as water used in growing crops and petroleum used in creating new clothing and textiles
- Each year, Value Village diverts 650 million pounds of waste from the landfill through bin collections, which is equivalent to 13,000 cedar trees
- More than 70% of the world’s population uses second hand clothing
On May 26th, 2006 the board of Metro Vancouver voted unanimously to adopt a Zero Waste philosophy. This philosophy encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused instead of thrown away (rcbc.ca/resources/zero-waste).
So how does Clothes Drop fit into all of this? Well, we believe the goal of Zero Waste is critical to solving today’s climate crisis. To encourage green culture, we set up our side street donation bins around Metro Vancouver to collect clothes that may otherwise be thrown away. Proceeds from these donations go right back into the community by:
- Strengthening posAbilities’ services to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities
- Diverting waste from the landfill and working towards a goal of Zero Waste
Before their event, I contacted the team from Canadian Western Bank and asked attendees to bring any clothes they wish to donate in support of Clothes Drop. On Friday, June 23rd in the late afternoon, colleagues and their families gathered under the sun in New Brighton Park to enjoy the hot summer day, Vera’s Burgers catering, and show off their adorable kids. We set up a Clothes Drop drop-off area under a shady tree and watched the bags of donations flow in. The support we received was far beyond my expectations. By the end of the day, we sorted almost 200 lbs of clothing into 15 full bags! This clothing drive was a clear success. It was heartwarming to see so many people contribute so generously and give back to their community.
With their help, items that may have ended up in our landfill are now being reused, recycled and repurposed. By donating to Clothes Drop, you’re not only helping people, you’re also helping the environment. So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Canadian Western Bank’s Park Place branch for all of their generous contributions and support. It is only by working together, that true change can be made.
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Clothes Drop is coming to Commercial Drive Car Free day on Sunday, July 9th! Stop by our posAbilities booth where we’ll also be promoting Don’t Sweat it Services, our recycling, moving and outdoor maintenance social enterprise. Play fun games, win awesome prizes and discover how we work towards a green culture of Zero Waste. Click here for more info.
Got stuff hanging around? Put it to good use. Hand in. Help out. Visit Clothes Drop to learn more and find a bin near you!