Shop for a good cause at the Clothes Hamper



By Tammy Schneider


Perhaps you have gained a few pounds and clothes don’t fit as well as they used to, or are looking for a few key accessories to bump up your current wardrobe. A trip to The Clothes Hamper may be just what you need.


Located at 732 Queen Street in Kincardine, The Clothes Hamper has been a part of the downtown retail scene since 1978, when Susan Young started the store in honour of her British-born mother, who had immigrated to Canada only six months before her death. Originally on Main Street, the store moved to its current location shortly after. The store is open all year, Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and offers a wide variety of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing.


It is not easy to run a second hand shop. Prices are low (most items at the Clothes Hamper are under $5) and rent and labour eat up any profits. In the case of the Clothes Hamper though, the store is consistently profitable because their entire inventory is donated and the store is run entirely by volunteers. As for the profit, net proceeds from the store are all donated to the Kincardine and Community Health Care Foundation. In years past, the store has also provided funding to the MS Society and the Canadian Cancer Society. Past donations have topped the quarter million dollar mark.


Director Mildred Clayton, who has been with the Clothes Hamper since 1984, is proud of the contribution the store has made towards providing better health care in the community, and credits those who work in the store and donate items for its success.


“We thank our customers for dropping in and telling their friends (about the store). Recycling clothing is now popular,” said Clayton. “Our volunteers are dedicated and helpful.”


Clean and gently used items are always welcome, and Clayton asks that any donations be season appropriate, as they don’t have the space to store clothing that is out-of-season. Donations are accepted during store hours, and if the donation is large, she asks that the store be contacted in advance so that staff is prepared.


The Clothes Hamper is currently having a two-for-one sale until Aug. 31, and on Sept. 1 shoppers can “fill a bag” for $5. This is a great way to pick up a few summer items for the whole family and support the hospital at the same time.