Recycling Clothes With Love

By Donna Tetreault

community news

An 8,000-square-foot shop in Long Beach is helping families recycle kids’ clothes. PHOTO COURTESY GREEN JEAN KIDS

Imagine a world where moms and dads could clothe their children for just $7. In Long Beach, at Green Jean Kids, this is happening every day. Founder and CEO Rebecca Juarez explains that clients bring in 25 pieces of clothing that their kids have outgrown, then select 25 gently used pieces of clothing in their child’s current size from the shop, and they’re out the door for a charge of only $7.

Juarez opened Green Jean Kids in 2015 and now serves 600 to 700 families all over Long Beach and the surrounding area, and as far east as the San Gabriel Valley. The nonprofit charges its minimal admission fee to pay rent for the 8,000-square-foot space at 1090 E. Pacific Coast Highway that houses about 20,000 pieces of clothing for children from birth to age 10. “Most people love our program. We have regulars, so we’ve had moms come in as many as 10 times since we opened,” says Juarez.

Her goal is to help families in need and help parents make sure that their kids have clothes for school. “Nobody wants their kid to look like they are struggling,” Juarez says. “You don’t want that reflected in your child. So, this gives them the opportunity that they might not have otherwise.”

Green Jean Kids also has an outreach program. Juarez and volunteers give away clothes at 15 nearby schools each year and to up to 500 families at Christmas. “It’s a labor of love,” says Juarez. “It’s definitely a lot of work. You have to be able to feel the reward in the satisfaction of what you are doing every day, seeing the kids excited.”

This hand-me-down program is also great for the environment, and Green Jean Kids is expanding to include maternity clothing. Office hours are Thursday and Friday mornings and Saturday afternoons by appointment only, and you can learn more at www.greenjeankids.org.

“It’s the only thing I can see doing for the rest of my life,” Juarez says of her endeavor. “I just love it.”

Comments

  1. Congratulations Rebecca you and your organization truly deserve to be recognized for all your hard work and dedication. I feel like it’s been longer than 2015 since you started from home, but it’s truly an awesome organization. You are an inspiration to me as a business woman and humble entrepreneur. CONGRATULATIONS!! MUCH DESERVE RECOGNITION 💐👭👫👍❤👏 I really encourage all parents to stop by exchange or donate your kids clothes not many organizations care as much as green jeans. If you exchange you will be amazed at the large selection but if you can donate you will be doing an awesome contribution that will benefit many families..Lets do to others as we would like done to us❤

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