9 sustainable Kamloops stores helping residents reduce waste

From clothing stores that help divert textile waste to refilleries that encourage folks to buy in bulk, here are nine Kamloops businesses helping residents shop sustainably.
In this photo, a brown compost bucket is filled with organic materials.
A compost bucket provided by Friendly Composting gets filled with organic waste. Friendly Composting is one of the many sustainable Kamloops businesses helping to make the city greener. Photo by Friendly Composting on Instagram.

As the global climate crisis grows, consumers are starting to think more critically about their carbon footprint. In fact, Statistics Canada reports that Canadians are concerned about carbon footprints and continue to shift the way they think about waste.

Although Canadians sent 10,848,238 tons of waste to landfills and incinerators in 2018, accounting for 725 kilograms of waste per household, data shows residents are trying harder to produce less waste. Canadian households and businesses were able to divert almost 10 million tons of waste from landfills in 2020, up by 4 per cent (352,000 tons) from 2018, according to Statistics Canada.

This growing waste diversion has been attributed to Canadians’ concern for the environment.

As Canadians continue to think about shrinking their carbon footprints, businesses committed to protecting the environment are growing to help better divert waste from landfills. That’s why The Wren rounded up nine sustainable Kamloops businesses committed to furthering sustainability efforts.

From clothing stores that help divert millions of tons of textile waste from landfills to refilleries that encourage folks to buy in bulk, these nine sustainable Kamloops businesses are helping clients care for Mother Earth.

Lys’s Thrift and Vintage/Lys’s Thrift and Vintage Hommes, 234 Victoria St.

Neon sign reads 'Lys's Thrift and Vintage,' at local thrift shop in Kamloops that works to reduce waste.
Thrift stores like Lys’s Thrift and Vintage help reduce waste by diverting tons of textiles from pilling up at the landfill. Photo by Lys’s Thrift and Vintage on Instagram.

Lys’s Thrift and Vintage stocks loads of clothes for local fashionistas in search of a curated shopping experience. Owner Alexandra Lys recently opened a second location just three doors up from the original storefront — Lys’s Thrift and Vintage Hommes. The new location exclusively stocks men’s apparel and popular sneaker styles that are sometimes difficult to find in Kamloops. 

The Fluxx Vintage Apparel Co., 101 4th Ave.

The Fluxx Vintage Apparel Co. is another great place to shop if shoppers are keen to thumb through a curated collection of vintage items while out and about downtown. Fluxx opened its doors in July 2021 but owners Jocelyn Laidlaw and Tasha Danyluk had already been building their clientele for years by selling to Kamloopsians online.

The Ruby Room, 265 Victoria St.

The Ruby Room is one of the only places in Kamloops that offers the opportunity to consign new or nearly new apparel items. The business accepts higher-end and unique pieces of clothing, bags and shoes, as well as items that are difficult to find in Kamloops. 

Additionally, Ruby Room only accepts items when the store needs more stock and does not accept items that won’t end up hitting the floor. 

The London Creative Community House, 662 Seymour St.

Clothes displayed at the London Creative in Kamloops, where owners suggest folks live sustainably, reduce waste.
The London curates homeware and apparel from local handmade and vintage brands in addition to acting as an event venue and community gathering space. Photo by The London Creative on Instagram.

The London Creative Community House is a fairly new addition to the downtown core.

Owners Taylor Rae and Brooklyn Rose envisioned The London as a place where entrepreneurs, artists and healers with “sustainable intentions” could gather to serve the community.

Kamloopsians can shop a selection of homeware and apparel items curated by local favourites like Yours Sustainably, The Resourceful Rabbit and more. Services like reiki and tarot readings can also be found at The London. 

Rebel Vintage Clothing, 448 Victoria St.

Located at the back of Ms. Whimsy’s Gift Emporium, Rebel Vintage Clothing stocks a wide variety of vintage items like statement pieces, t-shirts, belts, hats, patches, pins, books, vinyl and even stuffed animals — there’s something for everyone. 

Rebel Vintage Clothing states on its Facebook that the store is size and age-inclusive, and staff work to create a fun and inclusive shopping experience for all. 

Second Chances Thrift Store, 1211 8th St.

While sales made at Second Chances Thrift Store support the BC SPCA, shopping there also diverts waste from the local landfill. 

Second Chances provides a classic thrift experience. Visitors do have to dig through a less curated selection than at curated thrift and consignment stores, but that’s what makes getting your hands on a good ‘find’ all the more exhilarating. Second Chances carries typical thrift store fare like clothing, shoes, homeware and even some furniture.

Bulk Barn, 500 Notre Dame Dr.

Rows of stacked bins in a Bulk Barn aisle. Apple rings, dates, currants and raisins are among the bulk produce for sale.
It may be a chain, but Canadian brand Bulk Barn makes avoiding plastic food packaging easier for locals. Photo by Bulk Barn on Instagram.

Bulk Barn helps customers stock up on pantry staples without producing too much extra waste. Sustainable Kamloops residents can bring their jars, containers and bottles to fill with basically anything imaginable in terms of dry foods, pantry staples, refrigerated items and even dog foods and treats. 

At Bulk Barn, most foods are cheaper per pound than at other grocery stores. Those who bring their own containers on Sundays are also offered a 10 per cent discount.

Our Footprints Eco Store and Refillery, 1055 Hillside Dr. #620

Our Footprints Eco Store and Refillery provides Kamloopsians with plenty of zero-waste products that are tough to find elsewhere in Kamloops. The refillery states on its website that staff “have a mission to educate and equip [their] customers with what they need to live a low waste life.” 

Customers can fill recycled jars, bottles and other containers with all-natural products like dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, cleaners, hand soap, baking soda, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and body washes. Our Footprints also sells reusable products to help customers cut waste.

Friendly Composting Inc., 2925 Bowers Pl.

An employee of Friendly Composting in Kamloops empties a white plastic tub of food waste into a green compost bin.
Friendly Composting diverts food waste from landfills with its local compost pick-up program. Photo by Friendly Composting on Instagram.

Another great way to reduce waste is by composting organic materials. Friendly Composting, a compost pick-up program local to Kamloops, makes composting easy for those who don’t have the yard space to compost themselves or would rather not deal with the hassle. 

Friendly Composting drops a clean 11-litre bucket at customers’ doors each week to fill with household food waste. Friendly Composting then retrieves the bucket and leaves another clean one seven days later.

This sustainable Kamloops service is a really simple way to divert food waste while Kamloopsians wait on the city-wide curbside compost collection program set to roll out mid to late 2023.

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