Goodwill Thrift Stores have a long-running history of promoting social and environmental change.
Allowing customers to buy second-hand items has become increasingly important with the rise of fast fashion promoting a short lifecycle for clothing. Goodwill allows easy access to buying second-hand, making it just as feasible as buying new.
Alongside this growth in urgency to buy pre-owned products, digital shopping is becoming an essential piece of keeping a business alive.
According to a report by Cloudwards, 76 percent of adults in the United States shop online.
More than ever before people are shopping digitally, leaving them with fewer convenient second-hand options.
This is where GoodwillFinds comes into the picture.
“For a century Goodwill has been a legacy resale non-profit, collecting and selling donations to help extend the life of goods, instead of letting quality products end up in landfills,” says Matthew A. Kaness, Chief Executive Officer of GoodwillFinds, the newest counterpart to the traditional reselling organization.
Living up to this same social and environmental legacy, GoodwillFinds is an organization working alongside Goodwill to offer people a chance to purchase pre-owned items from Goodwill brick-and-mortar stores from the comfort of their homes.
“While separate entities, GoodwillFinds is an extension of Goodwill’s overall mission to help those in need of an opportunity to secure jobs, professional training, financial independence, and a sense of purpose through the dignity of work.”
The organization's emphasis on being socially, environmentally, and ethically cognizant and engaged makes its successful launch that much more important.
“Consumers can feel confident shopping at GoodwillFinds because with our marketplace we are taking the proceeds and putting them right back into the local community” says Kaness about the impact of the launch e-commerce site, or recommerce, as it has been coined.
Launching in October of 2022, the organization has already managed to list 100,000 items available for purchase, with a goal of posting one million unique pieces by the end of 2023.
With such a high number of items for sale, 3 billion pounds of waste are diverted from landfills annually.
That alone is a tremendous feat, however, it doesn’t stop there. With plans to continue driving the amount of diverted waste up, Kaness emphasizes the impact every small decision can make.
“Buying one pair of jeans secondhand can conserve more than 1,800 gallons of water. Buying resale living room furniture can divert up to 600 pounds of waste from landfills. Donating 10 coats keeps 16.7 pounds of goods out of landfills. From donating to local Goodwills to shopping online at GoodwillFinds, seeking sustainable solutions for retail is more important than ever,” he says.
These are all things GoodwillFinds makes practicable by turning thrifting into something that people can experience digitally. This significantly helps as the number of people shopping online grows.
“With the ease of use and access that comes with an online resale platform, we expect GoodwillFinds will meaningfully increase the 3 billion number each year and contribute to the acceleration of the circular economy.”
In order to supply this high number, GoodwillFinds sources its items from 338 different Goodwill stores.
“Items currently on the site are obtained via donations to our founding Goodwill members, which include Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington, Goodwill of Colorado, Goodwill of Southern California, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, and Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, representing 338 stores at launch and will continue growing with the onboarding of additional members to the platform each month,” shares Kaness.
The company was founded with the intent and mission to be environmentally and socially conscious by extending the missions of brick-and-mortar Goodwill stores.
“The rise in resale tells us shoppers are becoming more conscious about the impact of their purchases. This increased awareness also means shoppers are paying more attention to where exactly their money is going,” says the CEO.
With just a few months of operation under ts belt, GoodwillFinds is a promising project with a lot of opportunity for substantial impact.
“With 3,300 locations around the country, and especially during more challenging economic times, our impact is unparalleled. Good for the consumer, good for society, good for the planet!”