Fast Fashion Awareness: Swap and Thrift Shop at St. James Collegiate


After a successful “thrift shop” event hosted during Earth Week in the Spring of 2023, our school’s sustainability team- the EcoJimmies – decided that we wanted to have a more permanent thrift shop that students could access throughout the school year. Our school is located in an area that serves a community of lower socio-economic status families in Winnipeg and accessing basic necessities such as food and clothing can be challenging. We wanted to be able to accept donations throughout the school year that could be distributed to students regularly in a dignified way. Students are able to acquire items from our thrift shop at no charge, although we do collect donations if students want to or are able to for a local organization, the Bear Clan. Our team has been discussing Fast Fashion and the impacts on our environment for a few years now and having a “thrift shop” is a meaningful action that helps us address our goal of awareness and action.


With our LSF grant, we purchased a heavy duty clothing rack and bins to hold all the items in an organized fashion and allowed us to continually accept donations throughout the school year. We had our first event on Buy Nothing Day on November 24 and the clothing rack has been set up since then for students to access throughout the school year. Before the winter break, we had a holiday event where students were able to select and wrap donated gifts for their friends and family. On April 25 , we held another big event “Thrifty Thursday” during our Earth Week events. All clothing and other items are primarily donated by staff, families and community members but many students contribute to the rack/bins as well. Currently the rack and bins and housed within a classroom since we do not have an empty space in our school to house our “thrift shop”. Every Thursday, the items are moved out into the hallway for students and they are notified that they are always welcome to visit our “shop” any day in the classroom.

Reflection & Celebration

Hundreds of clothing items, shoes, games, art supplies and toys are being distributed through this initiative. All athletic shoes and sports wear that are donated allow students to participate in physical education and on school teams. Donated winter gear ensured that many students could participate in outdoor education comfortably. With the addition of this equipment obtained with the grant and a stellar group of volunteer students who make sure the rack and bins are fully stocked and organized, this has been a well-received initiative that will carry on for many years to come.


Check out a few of our Instagram posts here: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4  !

1. No Poverty
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