The winner in the nomination «Ecological innovations in business» of the contest for small and medium-sized businesses on Baikal «Green Steps» was the charity shop «Tuesday» from Irkutsk. Over the five years of its work, the team has opened two points of sale, installed 16 «Tuesdays» boxes in Irkutsk and Angarsk, where local residents can bring unnecessary clothes, and collected more than 500 tons of clothes. This year, with the financial support of the Foundation in the amount of 263,400 rubles, «Tuesday» shop is implementing a project to reduce its carbon footprint.
The founder of the store, Svetlana Pervenetskaya, told us why she created a charity shop and described the way the Foundation’s grant will make it more environmentally friendly.
— Tell us about the project. How did you launch it?
I wanted to open my own business, but with a prerequisite for myself — that it be eco-friendly. One day, after finding a bunch of unnecessary things at home, I had a plan in my head to open a charity shop.
— Tell us how, where and to whom do you transfer clothes?
We cooperate with the administrations of settlements, NGOs and initiative groups that help people in difficult life situations, low-income, with physical disabilities. NGO representatives come to our warehouse, get things for their beneficiaries for free, and then distribute them at their sites. Once or twice a month we go to cities, villages and villages of the Irkutsk region, we distribute things at humanitarian actions.
— You also cooperate with animal shelters and local craftsmen. How did you come to this?
As a rule, we get to know our partners through mutual acquaintances or search for them on the Internet. We are also contacted through social networks.
We hand over to shelters things that are unsuitable for human use — old fur coats or coats and blankets. They are used to make insulation for cells. We also ship cotton products. They are used as rags on the farm or for dressing animals after surgery.
And local craftswomen receive materials for creativity from us — we give them things that are unsuitable for wear.
— Has the project found its audience? Can you describe a portrait of a person who hands over clothes for recycling?
Our project responds to people. We have been working for six years, and every year the network of our clothing collection containers is growing. The total weight of the collected items will soon reach thousands of tons.
As a rule, people who are interested in environmental issues and want to give things a second life hand over to our store. They are also mothers whose children grow up very quickly, and things do not have time to wear out. And women who often change their wardrobe.
— What will our grant funds be used for? How will it help make your business more environmentally friendly?
We have purchased and will install sensors to track the filling capacity of clothing collection containers. This will reduce the transport footprint — the car will leave for things only when and where it is necessary. Now we can only make predictions based on our experience and statistics, but this is not always a one-hundred-percent hit.
Since 2021, Lake Baikal Foundation has been implementing a grant contest for small and medium-sized businesses on Lake Baikal with «Green Steps». The purpose of the contest is to contribute to the dissemination of sustainable environmental practices and the introduction of green technologies among entrepreneurs of the Baikal region, as well as to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda in the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia. The project is being implemented with the support of the Asia-Pacific Bank.