The Tennessee Student Environmental Alliance (TenneSEA) Clean Water Project and Caribbean SEA have opened a resale shop for outdoor gear and clothing called The Gear Closet. The shop will serve as a fundraiser for the clean water projects done by Caribbean SEA and TenneSEA , two affiliated organizations that empower kids and their communities to work for clean water in developing countries and in Tennessee.
The Gear Closet officially debuted at Outdoor Chattanooga’s Outdoor Expo and Gear Swap, during the City of Chattanooga Spring Fest on April 21 as well as at the Chattanooga Market’s Opening Day on Earth Day on April 22.
Officials said, "We have had an overwhelming response from the community so far. It is truly a community project, which has included help from Outdoor Chattanooga, Kenny Dolberry, Rock Creek Outfitters, the Raines Group, Mountain Arts Community Center, Leisure Time Dive, and all the folks who have cleaned out their closets so far to supply the shop with gear."
The store is manned by volunteers and the inventory comes from the community. All proceeds go to support the kids and communities who are eager to take better care of their water.
The Gear Closet is a reuse and recycling program, allowing one to donate or consign his or her old outdoor gear and clothing so others can put it to use. This is encouraged by Patagonia and their local sales rep is consigning a lot of new gear at the store.
Mary Beth Sutton, executive director of both Caribbean SEA and TenneSEA explained the concept: “We are starting as a pop up type store to minimize expense, create a good following and find just the right long term location for our resale shop. This will be a long term, more sustainable funding source for our clean water projects. Everyone benefits from clean water”.