The WE shop

The WE shop

The WE shop is a charity shop based on donation and volunteers run by WE21 Japan, a certified NPO based in Naka ward, Yokohama. There are 24 stores in Yokohama (52 stores throughout Kanagawa Prefecture), which are operated by WE21 Japan regional NPOs.

The WE shop sells donated clothes and tableware. They receive about 100,000 donations annually, and store non-seasonal items at a distribution center “Eco-Mono Center” until the time of sale is reached. The profits generated from the sales go to the support for the lives and independence of people, mainly in Asia, as well as to holding courses and briefings to learn from supporting organisations. The WE21 Japan calls this mechanism a charity shop.

If clothing and tableware could not be sold at the WE shop, they are provided to recycling companies for further reuse and recycling. Moreover, collected mobile phones and tempura oil at the shop turn into a new product through the recycling companies. Items that are not suitable for reuse or recycling are disposed of as business-related garbage according to each local government’s regulation.

Local volunteers are involved in the operation of the WE shop, not only realizing the recycling of resources through reuse and recycling, but also functioning as a community space where diverse people living in the community get together and make connections.

What Makes the Project Circular

1. Circularity of resources through thorough reuse and recycling

The WE shop accepts donations of unneeded clothing and tableware and promotes reuse by reselling them. They also try to reuse and recycle as much products that could not be sold as possible in cooperation with recycling companies. Through such efforts, they have created a thorough resource circular system and encouraged consumers to participate in a circular economy.

2. Support developing countries by donating revenue, not goods

Instead of donating clothing to Asian developing countries, the WE shop makes a profit by selling them, and donates the profits to the countries through NPOs. They have created a system that can provide support that meets the local needs, rather than unilateral support.

3. Create local communities through shop management

The WE shop functions as a community base where local people can get connected with each other because citizens are involved in operating the shops as volunteers. The WE shop also functions as a place to learn about social issues such as the environment, poverty and human rights, and nurtures new leaders of a circular economy in the region.

Project Overview

OrganizationWE21 Japan
CategoryReuse, Recycle
IntroducedSeptember, 1998
Business HoursVaries by location
AddressThe headquarters:70 Doi BLDG 6F, Yamashitacho
naka-Ku, Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa
Japan 231-0023Stores:Check the locations
URLhttp://www.we21japan.org/english.html
ContactTel:045-264-9390 / Fax:045-264-9391

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