COLORADO SPRINGS — Hundreds of people crowded into shops in downtown Colorado Springs on Saturday for some shopping, and simultaneously learned more about what are called social impact businesses. It was the first "Impact Saturday," which was organized by the Colorado Institute for Social Impact and the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs.
Social impact businesses are not focused on profits, but instead on enacting certain changes. One of the businesses that was a part of "Impact Saturday" was Eclectic Co., which is a collaboration of around 60 vendors all sharing the same space. Those with the shop said one of their goals is sustainability. "We'll work hours in the shop, we'll pay a certain amount for the space that we take, and it's our shop all together," said Store Manager Ani Barrington.
Eclectic Co. sells a variety of goods, ranging from fair trade products to vintage clothing. One of the vendors responsible for some of the fair trade goods is Andrea Pasquan of Urbean. "A lot of my products are made by artisans who have overcome challenges like sex trafficking, prostitution, homelessness... Every product you buy has a story and a person behind it," said Pasquan.
Not too far from Eclectic Co. is Mountain Equipment Recyclers, which takes used outdoor gear and resells it. "Use things until there is no life left in them is what we're trying to do," said General Manager Ryan Gentges.
Gentges said people can donate used outdoor gear to the shop, either making money when the item sells or donating that money to a number of non-profits. Gentges said some of those non-profits include the Trails and Open Space Coalition, Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, Project Sanctuary, The Home Front Cares, and the Springs Rescue Mission. "I hope that people realize that their dollar is a vote, they're voting for what they want to see out of the world," said Gentges.
To see a full list of partners for "Impact Saturday," visit this link.