Kudos from the Glebe Zero Waste Committee

Samantha Tierney started her business, Rekindled Thrift, in an effort to foster reuse of items otherwise destined for landfill.   Photos: Katie Tessler

Kudos to Samantha Tierney

By Katie Kessler

Samantha Tierney is appalled to see so much being thrown away, and her latest effort to try to change that is the new thrift store she has opened to encourage reusing and recycling.

“Living and working in the Glebe over the past 10 years,” she said, “I’ve observed the amount of waste that residents and businesses continue to throw away, a significant amount of which are things that could easily be donated, reused or repurposed. Unfortunately, they are on their way to a landfill.”

In an interview, Samantha said she’s always tried to do her part by buying used goods and donating items she no longer needs.

“Buying second hand, participating in the local Buy Nothing community, donating used home goods and clothing to Diabetes Canada and newcomer families in need are practices that are important to me.”

The shocking amount of waste she sees and her strongly held commitment to diverting waste led Samantha to start a new business, a store called Rekindled Thrift that opened this fall.

“While some might think opening a retail business during COVID-19 is unwise, I believe that a lot of people are gravitating towards environmentally conscious thrift shopping in order to save money and our planet.”

Samantha says her aim is to address “the need for small independent thrift stores in the city” and to make reasonably priced books, clothing, household goods and children’s items accessible to those who need it. Donations of gently used items that are clean and in good condition are accepted during store hours. The store will also do pick-ups.

It is clear in this consumer-driven world that advertising attempts to convince us that we desperately need new, freshly produced products and to make us believe that buying second hand is second rate. However, many of us are aware of this industry strategy and what it is doing to our planet, and we choose to reuse, repurpose and repair. Rekindled Thrift and other thrift stores help to keep products circulating in the economy and out of the landfill longer, a strategy that could help us cut back on waste.

When asked to name the most unique donated items at her store, Samantha listed “a Boru-Jimmy Hourihan wool cape from Ireland and a vintage crystal candy dish from Germany.” Sounds like there are great things to find there. All Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 guidelines for safe shopping are in place so drop on in at 2201 Riverside Drive, Suite 99, at the intersection with Bank Street. Check out the store website for stores hours at rekindledthrift.com and follow it on Instagram at @rekindledthrift.

Thanks, Samantha, for your work in reducing waste in our community by donating your used goods and by making used items accessible to others who need them.

If you’ve been making efforts on this front, the Glebe Community Association’s Zero Waste Committee wants to hear about it. We may feature you in a future column. Please send a short paragraph explaining how you are reducing your household or business waste to environment@glebeca.ca, attention Katie.

Katie Kessler is a member of the Glebe Community Association’s Zero Waste Committee, a subcommittee of its Environment Committee. Its goal is to learn more about waste reduction and raise awareness of simple changes in daily living that can have a big impact on the environment.

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