Piviniit society hopes to open store by autumn

Coming soon to Iqaluit: thrift-store chic


Iqaluit residents will not soon forget the city's ill-fated recycling venture, which was cancelled after municipal authorities discovered that it was both extremely costly and not particularly effective.

But a group of public-spirited citizens are determined to launch their own version of recycling and have every reason to expect that people will save lots of money while diverting useful material from Iqaluit's overburdened landfill.

Rather than dealing in cans, bottles and plastics, the Piviniit Society intends to open a store this fall selling donated clothing and other small items at much lower prices than these items would cost new.

"A lot of us had a real concern with the amount of stuff that was going to the dump and also the poverty levels in town and the number of people who couldn't really afford lots of things," said society chair Yvonne Earle.

The society will rent space in the new soup kitchen building that will soon be built on the lot that was once home to St. Jude's Cathedral, Earle said. With roughly 100 square metres of floor space, Piviniit decided not to deal in big items like furniture, focusing instead on clothing and small household goods.

"We already know that a bulletin board will be something that we'll have so people can post items that they have for sale." The group is also considering making a website for the same purpose.

Lest anyone think Piviniit's store will threaten the popular summer pastime of rummage sales, Earle says not to worry. There's plenty of used goods to go around.

"People will continue to have their rummage sales and garage sales and that's great."

The society held its first annual general meeting late last month and elected a board of directors, which was needed before Piviniit could make plans for the store, Earle said. She said Judge Beverly Browne deserves a lot of credit for calling Piviniit's first meetings.

"We're at the point now that we have to try and work out a business plan and look for funding," she said. "And to do anything like that of course you need to have officers… and all that sort of thing."

If all goes well, the store should open in the fall. In the meantime, the Piviniit Society is holding a fund raising sale June 23 at the Roman Catholic church hall.

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