After a year of uncertainty regarding our location, we’re relieved to be able to give you all an update on our plans for the next six months.
2016 looks like an exciting year for OSF. We are exploring some interesting opportunities. A few include:
- The possibility of creating a textile hub; a textile hub would be a location that would include an OSF fabric store, with the possibility of extended retail hours. It would also include a sewing studio to be shared with existing community groups, providing us the ability and resources to run workshops and other textile and sewing related events.
- A greater role and presence in the local circular economy; starting in 2017, there are regulatory plans to introduce textile bans in the landfill in the Metro Vancouver region. This will mean that organizations such as OSF and other community textile partners will be crucial to the local circular economy, where materials are not discarded, but by law must be re-circulated, re-purposed, or disposed of sustainably and responsibly.
We’re hoping that these opportunities will help us find a stable, long-term home for our shop. The board has spent considerable time searching for a location that addresses all of OSF’s needs, including: size, affordability, a central location, and access to public transit. We have not yet found a space that suits these needs, despite speaking with realtors and viewing many properties.
Unfortunately, our time in our current location has come to an end and we have to leave 871 East Hastings by end of October.
Had we not received notice, we would not be closing the shop. However, since we have received our notice, and have not found another location that addresses all our needs, we are left with the only one option: temporarily closing the store.
This temporarily closure will give us time to do some thorough planning around securing our next location. It also gives us a time to evaluate the opportunities mentioned above, and assess whether OSF should be involved in a collaborative community textile initiative, or re-open an independent, stand-alone store.
The board will be spending the next 3-4 months strategizing, planning, and preparing for spring 2016.
Some of you may remember the very early years of OSF when we operated out of a storage unit; then our next couple of years, when we had small area of the upstairs room at FrogBox, and had to pack away all boxes and fabric between every sale.
Opening the OSF shop at 871 E Hastings was a huge step forward for OSF. Our success during this time has been due to hard work and long volunteer hours in operations, merchandising, developing and receiving donor pipelines, communications, banking, budgeting, and administration.
In particular, the operational success of the store is thanks to a dedicated team that has overseen all aspects of running the shop operationally; the sorting bees, the fabric merchandising, the sales and the volunteers. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to those familiar faces that OSF patrons see at every sale, working hard to merchandise, display, price, cut and roll fabric. Without this team, OSF and the store would not be where we are today.
You can stay up to date with the latest OSF news by joining our mailing list. We may hold some OSF events during the winter.
If you’re interested in donating fabric to OSF, please sign up for our new Donor Information mailing list.