Subject Profiled: Anne Richards-Belcourt
Could you imagine cutting up brand new clothes? Our Technical Design Manager, Anne Richards-Belcourt, and her team don’t just imagine it: as the department responsible for fitting all our clothing samples and communicating with manufacturers to ensure the best item fit, their process involves quite a bit of cutting.
Years ago, all the un-wearable samples were simply landfilled. Anne couldn’t stand it anymore, so she researched and found the Artsjunktion program run by the Toronto District School Board. It is a central depot for receiving and distributing donated supplies for all the educational and creative programs within the school board. It was a perfect match – the program has picked up about 8 heaping carts a year for the past 3 years, with the total equivalent to about 350 standard garbage bags. The clothing we donate gets a completely new life from the effort that students put forth. Anything repairable gets re-sewn and donated, and the rest of the clothes get pulled apart and used in craft projects (such as Halloween costumes for the students).
The whole design team is thrilled to be doing this. Not only are they helping to divert a significant amount of material from landfill, but they don’t feel guilty about cutting samples any longer knowing that they will be moving on to a good home. Anne hopes to encourage other departments to contribute to her initiative by donating their own samples. She is currently looking for ways to donate more frequently and to a greater variety of programs. We hope to see this initiative grow very soon!