COVID-19 forced many Canadians and organizations to find creative ways to earn an income. Following this economic strain in 2020, Adeara Recovery Centre, a faith-based rehab that houses women and their children, realized they needed a more consistent source of revenue to continue offer the same level of programming and support.
They were offered the ownership of Treats n’ Treasures, a thrift store that rose funds for seniors living in Shepard’s Care facilities. Taking over the thrift store meant Adeara would have another valuable income stream for their recovery centre. The store has since rebranded to More than a Fad and has launched two more locations. As of recently—two weeks ago— they decided to pivot their business model, designating the Kingsway location as an outlet. All merchandise will cost no more and no less than a dollar, and its earnings will continue to help women recover and heal from addictions.
“[Adeara has] helped over 600 women with addiction, and it’s a really cool recovery centre because their children are able to stay with them while they go through the program, and obviously that’s huge because a lot of people don’t want to go through rehab programs because they are separated from their families,” said Matthew Signore, the Kingsway store’s general manager.
Opening a third location at Kingsway, the Fad management plans to rotate stock and alleviate their locations burdened with donations.
“We’re hoping the more people who come, the more money we can raise for Adeara but also just more impact in the community. Now that we are a dollar store, helping more people who are in need will come by and are able to afford a couple things. We’ve been so blessed to help people off the street,” he said.
Aside from More than a Fad, other thrift stores, including Krazy Binz, Value Village and Goodwill Impact Centre, donate to charities and support good causes. “You’re not necessarily throwing money at big business. You’re throwing money at people in need, that sort of thing, which is awesome.”
“Thrifting is so fun because you never know what you’re going to find, and you might find a really good deal, many good deals or you might not find anything.”
Signore believes thrifting is becoming popular because of the experience that comes with it. Rather than quickly making a purchase and returning home, people are instead driving to several stores and shopping around for deals. From what he’s observed, it’s an activity.
“I do think our less than ideal economy is contributing to that sadly, but I think also just more people are hearing about, more people are doing it so they’re going with their friends, their family and they are trying it out. Some people spend the whole day going to different thrift places,” he said.
He’s also noticed that many thrifters share a similar mentality: to be less wasteful and repurpose items. These shoppers view second-hand clothing as ensuring less waste in the environment.
“Clothing is given a second life. Even after that, someone might redonate it. It’s cool to know that as well that we’re, in essence, recycling without having to really process anything,” he said.
“[Adeara] is changing the city. It is changing the province, and it is touching a lot of lives. It is cool to be a part of that. It makes it easy to come to work every day because you know what, even if I’m having a bad day, I know every dollar we make is going towards a really good cause.”
Signore hopes to partner with NAIT in the future and attract more of the student body to their Kingsway location, located at 10131 Princess Elizabeth Avenue. They are open Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
cover photo via More Than a Fad