I get SO EXCITED when I hear about new local businesses who are doing amazing things for our environment. When I heard about Blenderz Garment Recyclers, I immediately contacted the owner, Sarah Janzen, to ask if I could do an interview with her. It is SUCH an amazing initiative and she is making a huge difference in solving textile waste in Edmonton!
Blenderz takes unwanted clothing and textiles, and sorts them into different streams to be resold, or reused to create new items. AND if you are already a thrifter, you will be amazed at how incredibly low-cost it is to get fantastic finds! They are truly changing the face of textile recycling and thrifting!
Here’s what Sarah told me about her amazing business!
What made you decide to start Blenderz?
Thank you for asking! I was looking for a source of material for making upcycled clothing for my family and to possibly sell, but I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg at Value Village or Goodwill when I was just going to cut them up. I finally found a charity that was willing to sell me some, but they were suffering from oversupply of all textiles. They asked me to help because they didn’t want the clothes to keep going in the garbage. I was shocked at the sheer volume from this one little thrift store, and really didn’t want the clothes to go in the garbage, or to be shipped overseas (where a lot of the clothes go in the garbage anyway). So I came up with my answer to actually recycling textiles in Edmonton.
What products and services are you offering?
Pay by the Pound: In person shopping. Blenderz Garment Recyclers sorts out the good stuff (because there is still a lot of that) and we offer it at a really low cost to the community. It is all laid out on tables in the warehouse for you to find your treasures. (Due to COVID-19, you book a time on their website to shop on weekends!)
Delivery Boxes: We pack up more of the good clothing by garment size and deliver it for no delivery fee. We just want to help get these garments back into the community.
Craft kits: For everything that is not ready to wear, we remake these materials into kits for Footstool Poufs, Rag rug kits, and Potholder rug Kits. (Sarah also tells me that a Dog Bed DIY kit is in the works!!)
Classes: We invite people into our warehouse to teach how to reclaim textiles. All of the materials in our classes are also garments that need to be reworked and remade.
Where do you get used clothing and textiles from? Can people from the general public donate to you?
All of our garments and textiles come from charities and small thrift stores. They are what cannot be used in their shelters or sold in their shops. We do take direct donations as well because we know that we are responsible with what is given to us.
What can people expect when they order a delivery box?
Oooh! Delivery boxes are so fun! When ordering a delivery box, you will receive an email or text with the delivery date and approximate time. I say approximate time because it is so hard to get the website inventory to communicate with our route planning software, which happens after all of the orders are placed. Regardless, we deliver Wednesday evenings between 4-8:30 pm. We will also come and pick up what doesn’t work for you in the box on our next delivery run. You can even top it up with other textiles if you want. Just send us a message.
Are you just selling adult sized clothing? Will you branch out into children’s clothing?
YES! We just did! Sometimes it takes longer to fill certain sizes than others, though. We just filled all of our kids boxes and made them available online where they will continue to be restocked every week.
What new initiatives are you planning for this year?
Because we are so new, I try to meet everyone’s needs and requests as they come up. One thing I am working on is a Sponser Box so people can request a box with a blanket/sleeping bag if they need it delivered and can’t pay for it.
What advice would you give to people who are just starting to look at shopping more sustainably?
Secondhand First, whether that is hand me downs from your aunt or friends, consignment stores, indie retailers on Depop or Poshmark, etc. Instagram has some really good sellers that you can buy just by sending a message on an item you like. The more times we can circulate an article of clothing, the better for the planet and the circular economy, and small businesses here in Edmonton.
Delivery Box REVIEW
I have ordered 2 delivery boxes from Blenderz now – one for myself, and one for my daughter. They are such an incredible value – the boxes are 16″ cubes that weigh around 20-25 lbs! That is a LOT of clothes!
Here’s a peek into my Ladies clothing box, it was NEVERENDING!
In my Ladies box, I ended up with:
- 3 dresses
- 5 sweaters
- 1 blazer
- 7 button up shirts
- 9 fashion tops
- 10 pairs of pants
- 3 sweater vests
- 1 scarf
- 4 tank tops
I decided to keep 1 dress, 2 tank tops, 1 sweater, 1 fashion top, and 3 pairs of pants (I’m pretty picky about what I keep because I really want to avoid things just sitting in my closet!). $20 for 8 items of clothing is still a pretty sweet deal! They were all in excellent condition, and one of the pairs of pants even still had a sales tag on it!
The kids box I ordered for my daughter was even MORE endless! I mean, it makes sense, kids clothes are smaller, so you’re going to get a higher number of items. If you have kids, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting a delivery box. Kids go through clothes so quickly because they grow so darn fast – so you’re saving TONS of money buying them clothes, and keeping these clothes out of the landfill! And pretty much everything I received in our box was in excellent condition as well.
My daughter’s box (Girls size 10-12) included:
- 1 nightshirt
- 1 rash guard swimsuit
- 15 short sleeve shirts
- 9 long sleeve shirts
- 4 cardigans
- 2 button up shirts
- 1 tank top
- 2 crop tops
- 2 pairs of leggings
- 6 pairs of pants
- 2 PJ bottoms and 2 PJ tops
- 2 pairs of socks (including an extra fluffy pair of reading socks with tags still on)
- 3 skirts
- 1 sweatshirt
- 4 dresses
- 1 romper and 1 onesie
- 1 fleece vest
- 6 hats
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 1 raincoat
- 2 hoodies
We ended keeping: 2 short sleeve shirts, 6 long sleeve shirts, 3 cardigans, 1 button shirt, 1 tank top, 2 pairs of leggings, 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of sweatpants, 2 PJ bottoms, 2 PJ tops, 2 pairs of socks, 1 skirt, 1 sweatshirt, 2 dresses, 1 romper, 4 hats, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 raincoat, and 2 hoodies! 38 items! Crazy amount of clothing for $20, right?? When my daughter grows again, I am absolutely doing another delivery box.
I just can’t say enough good things about Blenderz Garment Recyclers and how much they are doing to solve textile waste. If you’re not in Edmonton – take note! Start your own version of this amazing business model – our world needs more of this!
And now… time for a GIVEAWAY!!
Blenderz is giving away a FREE delivery box of your choice! You MUST reside in the Edmonton area to enter – shipping a huge, heavy box of clothes outside of Edmonton is not part of what they do. You can enter by: commenting on this blog post (10 entries for 1 comment, maximum 1 comment) liking and commenting on my Instagram post (1 entry per comment, maximum 5 comments) sharing my Instagram post to your story (3 entries, make sure to tag @juicygreenmom so I see it) liking and commenting on my Facebook post (1 entry per comment, maximum 5 comments) ALL entries will be pooled and 1 winner drawn from combined platforms! Contest closes at 12:00am Mountain Time on Saturday April 3, 2021. The winner will have 24 hours once contacted to confirm the prize. After this, an alternate winner will be chosen.