We love it when we get donations to our MCC thrift stores! Donations are what give us the ability to make our stores run and to be able to send money to the programs that Mennonite Central Committee Ontario runs. Without donations, we wouldn’t be able to do any of the work that we’re known for!

Unfortunately, as much as we love donations, there are some things that we aren’t able to take to resell at the store. And, if a thrift store can’t take an item, then who can? Many things that cannot be used by thrift stores end up in landfills, which is no good to anyone. At MCC, though, we take recycling seriously!

At New Hamburg Thrift Centre, we do our best to find new purposes for the items that don’t quite meet our standards, which is why we love to make our handmade recycled mats!

You might be wondering, how exactly does the process of creating one of these mats work?

Not to worry! We’re happy to share our secrets!

Step 1:

Pants made from denim, corduroy, and cotton that do not meet quality standards to be able to be sold in the store are taken by volunteers and cut around the seams to salvage the most material. We can’t use pockets or seams, so those are discarded once the cutting is finished. Our volunteers are awesome about leaving as little waste as possible, though!

 

 

Step 2:

Strips of fabric are arranged by colour and weighed to make the different lengths of the mats. Our volunteers are careful to arrange them in colour combinations that look good! Once they’re sorted, these materials are then cut into thin strips that make up the rows in the mats.

 

 

 

Step 3:

After the strips of material are cut to the proper size, they are sewn together to be weaved into mats. The edges that stick up on the mats are then trimmed, and what was once different lengths of strips is made into one long piece of fabric!

 

 

 

 

Step 4:

Once the strips are sewn together, they are given to weavers who work on a loom create a single mat. Watching them weave the fabric on the looms is a really incredible experience, if you ever get the chance to stop by our store to see it!

 

 

Step 5:

Once the mats are woven, a volunteer knots fringe on the end so they do not come apart. Once the mats are finished, they are priced and put out for sale. It is after this step that you’ll be able to purchase these mats from New Hamburg Thrift Centre!