Welcome to Textile Tuesday!
Jon is one of our newer binner-staff and is well known for his quirky style and making his own clothing. We sat down with him to hear more about how he finds and makes clothing.
What kind of things do you usually like to make from the items you find?
I really like making hats from scratch like this leather one I’m wearing. I also refurbish hats a lot if I find old ones, I’ll replace the plastic part in the brim and fix it up a bit.
What kind of material do you like to work with the most?
Usually leather - I love finding things made of leather like jackets and purses. But I also really like patterned things because they’re fun.
Sometimes I make jewelry out of old computer parts and other things I find, I like working with that kind of stuff too.
How do you make things?
I have a sewing machine and like to take what I find apart and make new things out of it. Like this leather hat I have, I made this out of a leather jacket that I found in the alley. I took it apart and made it into a hat instead - it took me about 6 months to make. I like to take my time.
Where do you normally find used clothing?
Sometimes things are just in the street, must most times I find them in alleys. I find people tend to put things outside of the bin if they think someone might be able to reuse them. That’s how I find most of my stuff, I never go inside the bins.
Why do you like to make things out of something old?
Everything has a purpose, and everything can be made beautiful again. I like spending time making new things out of something that's been used.
What would you challenge others to do when it comes to getting rid of their old clothing?
Don’t throw it away, or even put it in the alley. There’s tons of people who would love to make something new out of it, so you could either sell it online or give it away for free somewhere. If you want you could give it to a thrift store, sometimes I go there to find things for myself.
Here's some tips:
I’ve been collecting things that people leave behind in the alley for years – and it’s not just bottles and cans. I’ve decorated my whole Christmas tree with stuff I’ve found, and the majority of it was brand new – tags were still on them and everything. All of the artwork in my house are pictures people threw away because the glass was broken!
I learned a little bit about the Circular Economy for this pledge, and realized that the work I do in reusing things others have thrown away is part of it. Some things that are easy and fun to do are to make planters out of old rubber boots or tin cans.
Here’s my challenge to you!
PS: I can’t wait to hear more about the ways you’re reusing things! Feel free to share on our Facebook page.
The City of Vernon is making life even harder for binners and people who are homeless by banning the use of shopping carts in public spaces. Show your support for low-income people in Vernon and across the province by taking a moment to read and sign our short open letter here.
Together we can grow our communities to be inclusive, sustainable places -- let’s help Vernon see that!
To Mayor Mund & Vernon City Council,
Last week was a tough week to be a binner in British Columbia.
First, a Vancouver woman died after she was trapped in a clothing donation bin. Then, a story out of Victoria of two security guards using excessive force on a man taking bottles away from an outdoor mall, and now Vernon is implementing a city-wide ban on shopping carts in an effort to ‘reign-in homelessness’.
As many of us know, binners and people experiencing homelessness use carts and other makeshift contraptions as transportation for their bottles and cans, and personal belongings.
Carts are fundamental to a binners’ work – banning them is akin to banning an executive’s briefcase, or a courier’s bicycle.
We cannot move forward in reducing poverty in our communities by eliminating access to the tools that allow binners and people who are homeless to work and survive with dignity. This ban will only serve to further disadvantage the people that are already living on the margin. Instead of further marginalizing people who use carts, we should be working on innovative solutions that reclaim what shopping carts represent.
Around the world, work is underway to destigmatize and reimagine carts:
We urge the City of Vernon to reconsider their decision, and instead take a more inclusive approach. Supporting binners strengthens the local economy, grows waste diversion, and contributes to a society where people are accepted.
If you would like to learn more about how this work has unfolded in Vancouver and elsewhere, we encourage you to reach out to us.
Anna Godefroy & Davin Boutang, Binners’ Project
on behalf of the undersigned binners and their supporters
Over the past three weeks we’ve been gearing up for our busy summer season with a fundraising campaign. You may have seen emails from Davin, Bertha, Mark, and Jon, who all told stories about their experience with Binners’ Project and how your donations are going directly toward the programming we offer to binner members of the initiative. If you missed some of these messages, you can catch up by checking out our blog.
We’re excited to say we surpassed our goal and raised a grand total of $4,515.
Thank you so much to all who donated, all those who shared the binners stories through email and social media, and all who followed along eager to hear more from the binners.
We also wanted to take this time to share with you for the first time our Annual Report from 2017, which shows the impact we had last year. Specifically you will see that binners took home a total of $109,200 for their contribution to the project — along with refunds collected from bottles & cans. Importantly, our members learned lifelong professional skills and they report feeling more included in their community.
Without the support and donations from people like you, we would not be able to continue offering programming that strengthens the community and furthers our members’ ability to generate income for themselves.
Thank you for your generosity and continued backing of Binners’ Project.
Anna & Davin
PS We’re always looking for donations year-round to help keep our programs up and running. You can head to binnersproject.org/donate at any time to help continue our impact.
We’re just hours away from our fundraising deadline at midnight tonight. We’ve been blown away by the response so far, and we are so close to reaching $4,000. Will you help us get there?
Over the last few weeks you’ve heard from Bertha, Mark, and Jon about the work they’re doing this summer and the impact that your donations will have on their lives. In the grand scheme of things $4,000 might not sound like a lot of money, but it will make a huge difference to Binners’ Project. We run a very lean operation but have a large impact. Donate now to help us continue this work.
I’m proud to see how our binners are stepping up to the plate, eager to learn new things and excited to become staff members. I’m happy to say that with the money you’ve raised, we’ll have hired on five new binners as staff members – an important step forward in growing our team and building up binners for success.
The next step once they are staff is getting the binners trained up to lead teams, and coordinate our programs. It can be challenging to keep people on board, so providing them individual support is the best way we have found to do this. Just $25 covers one binner-staff’s participation in a training session to build their capacity in the long run. Please donate now.
Thank you so much for all your support of the binners and our programming.
Manager, Programs & Outreach
PS Our deadline is midnight!! Help us get to $4,000 by donating today.
It’s Jon again. We only have two days left to go before the end of our fundraising campaign! We’re still looking to raise the last $230 and we need your help to get there. Please donate now.
We had 124 opportunities for binners to do waste education and sorting this weekend – a new all-time record for Binners’ Project! To have enough binners for such a big weekend we went from an average of 40 binners at our weekly meetings to 70 binners last week. You can help support our weekly meetings by donating today. Just $5 covers the travel stipend for one binner to attend our meetings.
Last weekend was our first big event of the year and it was my first as a Team Lead. We were helping with the waste at Car Free Days on Denman street and Main street, and it was hard work but great to have new responsibilities. I feel proud of the work that I did.
I’m happy to report that everything went well with my team this weekend, and I’m excited to continue working as a Team Lead over the summer. I must admit, there is lots to learn – the binners can be challenging to coordinate, but it is so rewarding when I see them becoming better recyclers and more committed each time.
We’re really almost there - only $230 to go. Please help us have one of the best event seasons yet by donating today. I’d love to say my letter helped raise the last little bit of money for this campaign.
Thank you so much,
PS Help 5 binners attend one weekly meeting by donating 25$ to cover their travel stipends. And your donations are tax deductible!
This is Jon, and I’m one of Binners’ Project’s newest binner-staff. I’ve just joined on as a Team Lead and have been spending time hosting a Binners’ Project booth whenever we get invited to have one at an event. I love doing this work as it is helping me learn new skills, and you can help me continue by donating today.
Something that’s awesome about helping with the booth and with waste at events is getting to talk to all the people that come by. I like to wear fun clothes that I make with things I find binning, and the kids always get excited talking about what I’m wearing. I’ve learned so much about what can be recycled and how to do it properly from my years of binning, and it’s great to be able to share this with others.
That’s why I’m happy to be writing to you today, in the middle of our fundraising campaign. I checked in with Brianne earlier, and we have just over $1,000 left to raise before we reach our $4,000 goal. We still have a ways to go. Help us get there and donate here.
We’ve been busy working on making sure all the binner members are getting trained up in time for our event season this year. I’ve found that not only is it important for us binners to know how to properly sort waste, but also to feel comfortable when we’re talking with the public about Binners’ Project and what we do on our own. $10 covers one binner’s travel expenses to attend both a training session and a pre-event meeting. You can help build a binner’s capacity by donating right now.
Thanks for your support.
PS Our deadline for fundraising this summer is June 22, and that’s this Friday! You can help us reach our $4,000 goal by donating here.
My name’s Mark and I’ve been a member of Binners’ Project for about a year and a half. I’ve been helping out with the events doing waste education, and spent a bit of my time talking about Binners’ Project to the public.
I heard there was a fundraising campaign going on, so I wanted to jump in and see if I could get more donations than Bertha did! You can help me by donating here.
I bin casually around Gastown picking up the bottles and cans that the tourists leave behind when they’re visiting. It’s starting to get busier with all of them coming in now, but I’m also hoping to get hired with Binners’ Project and become a Team Lead this summer. This way I can help manage my fellow binners and work a few extra hours when we get an event.
Davin told me that we need to raise more money before we hire on more binners as Team Leads this summer, so that’s why I’m hoping you can help us reach our $4,000 goal by June 22nd. We’re not quite half way there yet, but you can change that by donating here.
It turns out that $50 covers the work of one Team Lead to plan the waste management for one event.
This summer, I could be employed for the first time in 2 years. You can help make that possible by donating now. Your money will go a long way.
PS I’m really eager to get started as a staff member with Binners’ Project and work some events with them. You can help me to be able to work this summer by donating here.
Thank you so much for all who have donated so far. We’ve raised $1,200, but we still have a way to go. Make sure you donate today.
I’d like to share a little bit more about what I do with Binners’ Project. When we’re on-site at events, my role is to make sure that everyone is recycling properly. I am happy to teach the binners and the public something they might not have known yet.
I have to make sure that the binners dealing with the waste are doing so safely, and that means making sure they have the gear they need. As one of the two Community Coordinators, I am keeping the binners on track. I am starting to be known as the “strict lady”, which I think is a good thing!
Just $20 covers the cost of safety gear for a team of 5 binners during an event. This includes gloves, waste-pickers, rain gear, and flashlights.
It’s quite amazing to see the binners getting out of the Downtown Eastside, some of them haven’t done so for many years. With new skills, a clean professional outfit, and the proper gear, they are able to confidently help the public with their waste. And what’s even more great is that the families, children and adults, listen to them! It makes me happy to see Binners’ Project helping to decrease the stigma around binning.
I’m getting really excited to kick-off our events, but it would be great to start the season knowing that our costs are covered. Help us reach our goal of raising $4,000 by donating here.
Your support means so much to us.
PS. Did you know that donations to Binners’ Project are tax deductible? I didn’t until today! Click here to donate now.
I have some exciting news to share. Yesterday, Binners’ Project started a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of training during our busy summer season. I’m happy to say that we’re 15% of the way to our $4,000 goal!
Will you help us get even further today? Click here to donate now.
I recently got promoted at Binners’ Project as a Community Coordinator. I love the fact that I get to work on giving income opportunities to my fellow binners and get to do something good for the environment (especially today, on World Environment Day).
I’m really proud to work for a group that makes sure binners get compensated for their time, but this costs a lot to the project. You can help by donating now.
I’m excited that us binners get to do more of the daily tasks around the office, but I’m still learning things like how to use a computer and my smartphone. I’m also learning about how much it costs for all us staff-binners to do this work.
For example, it turns out $150 covers the cost of one binner coordinator, like me, to support binners at an event as they deal with the public and waste management. And your money now helps us earn more money later, as we grow our partner list based on good performance.
Your donation could mean that I can work some more hours and learn new skills about program planning.
We’re on our way to raise $4,000 for this year’s busy season, and we’ve received $625 so far. It would mean a lot if you could help us reach our goal by June 22nd. This is when we’re hoping to get all the binners and binner-staff trained up and ready for event season.
Thanks a lot,
PS. Binners’ Project helps binners connect with income opportunities and uses their knowledge as recyclers. We need to raise $4,000 by June 22 to kick off our summer training sessions. Will you help? Donate now.
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