Réduire le gaspillage alimentaire à la maison

The launch of the first French thrift store, Ensemble, took place during the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Boussole on 14 September 2022. This high-impact project became possible thanks to the Fonds Développement Économique Francophone de l’Ouest canadien (FDÉFO).

How did the FDÉFO enabled the creation of the first French thrift store in British Columbia?

The FDÉFO is a 3-year pilot funding program, funded by PacifiCAN as a part of the initiative of economical development (IDE).

Le projet FDÉFO a financé l'ouverture de la première friperie francophone à Vancouver

The objective of the FDÉFO is to promote and financially support an endogenous economical development towards the projects designed and executed by the official language minority communities (CLOSM) in the west of Canada.

As a part of this pilot program, the Boussole, a francophone community center of a social purpose, presented to the SDÉCB, representing the financial sponsor for British Columbia, the French thrift store project which met the admission criteria of the program.

The project of the French thrift store Ensemble and its values

Creating a social company

ouverture de la friperie francophone à vancouverThe Boussole is a nonprofitable organization, and a community and a social center that helps the francophones in precarious situation in Vancouver. There is already the possibility for the members of the Boussole to collect the everyday clothes or the clothes for a job interview. Based on the increasing demand, the Boussole wanted to bring the idea a bit further and take the next step: create a social company, the first francophone, eco-friendly thrift store in British Columbia with its own identity: Ensemble, which gives access to high quality clothes and accessories to public, either francophones or others with little resources. This will start by selling in markets and pop-up stores starting from mid-October 2022. The objective of the Boussole is to open a local store in March 2023.

Creating jobs

This FDÉFO project enables the hiring of a project coordinator and the reintegration of 2 community assistants in the work world, whose role will be to receive, sort, store, and repair the donated clothes in order to give them a second life. On the long term, depending on the company revenues, the goal would be to maintain the created jobs.

A sustainable development aspect

This has been at the heart of the discussions for several years and has become a major concern for part of the world population. A real awareness in our communities takes on its full meaning in this FDÉFO project of an eco-friendly thrift store.

We want to reduce our waste also by recycling clothes and accessories that we do not use anymore. We are aware that this will certainly benefit other people.

The Boussole implements trainings accessible to employees and members for developing the upcycling, patching up the holed or stained clothes in order to give them a second life. The workshops and trainings will also be offered to the public to make our whole community aware of the sustainability development, all of this by putting forward the francophone artists and creators.

An economical and community development aspect

This project helps promoting our francophone talents in British Columbia. During the night of the launch on 14 September, we were able to discover the articles of a French-speaking creator specialized in accessories. It is important to invest in our francophone resources and young talents, support them, and give them the opportunity to get to know each other, to be able also to live from their passion and profession, which is sometimes put aside too much due to the difficult post-pandemic context and the living cost in British Columbia and especially in Vancouver.

The intervention sectors touched by this project, the thrift store Ensemble, demonstrate that the collaboration between organizations is important. The pilot program FDÉFO, which was implemented in 2020, creates a multitude of partnerships of economical stimulus and projects development which probably would not have been accomplished and would have been just an idea written on a piece of paper. The SDÉCB, being the representative of the financial sponsor PacifiCAN, takes care of the project implementation, and carries with the francophone community these beautiful dreams that can finally become a reality.

In conclusion, all the projects that have been realized thanks to the pilot program FDÉFO confirm that we have flourishing ideas in our community and the FDÉFO is the boost that enables developing and shaping these ideas.

This is what the Boussole thinks of the program FDÉFO

“Thanks to the program FDÉFO, we were able to develop Ensemble, our eco-friendly thrift store existing in the Great Vancouver. Its objective is threefold. Generate funds suitable for developing new programs and projects, promote the upcycling, and continue to make clothes available to our beneficiaries.”

Malau Morisse, Coordinator of the project friendly thrift store