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854 North Central Street
Knoxville, TN, 37917
United States

(865) 245-9080

Help You Dwell is a home and workspace organizing service based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Blog

HYD gets a behind the scenes tour of KARM Thrift Stores

Caroline Smith

HYD and part of KARM Thrift's team

HYD and part of KARM Thrift's team

Have you ever come to a place where you realize you have too much stuff but have a hard time letting it go? We run into this a lot and have found that letting go of things is easier when you know your items are blessing others. Now, when we are helping with a project, we can tell you more about where your donated items are going and the needs that you are meeting simply by giving away your items to people who truly need them. We are really excited to be partnering with KARM thrift and would love to share with you a few of the ways that KARM is helping people all over our community, region, and beyond.

KARM Thrift Clearance Center

KARM Thrift Clearance Center

Last week we took a tour of KARM's clearance center and learned about what KARM does with items that don't sell or items that are too damaged to sell. KARM Thrift operates 17 thrift stores and the Clearance Center. The clearance center is the last stop for items that didn't sell in a thrift store, or are slightly damaged but could be fixed. Everything at the clearance center is sold at a deep discount. The Clearance Center is the general hub of all KARM thrift operations.

Caring for the community: The team at the clearance center works with a number of non profits and ministries in town to provide for people with no means. They do an incredible job of efficiently and effectively making good use of every donation possible. Below are a few of the ways KARM is giving back.

  • Assist with clothing for kids entering the foster care system
  • Create move in baskets for elderly individuals moving out of homelessness & into housing
  • Provide clothing for babies born at Fort Sanders Hospital whose families don't have resources
  • Provide household and toiletry items for people living in poverty in rural Appalachia
  • Provide clothing for men coming out of prison and working with Focus Ministries.
  • Invite teachers from public schools to come get free art supplies
Sized clothing for kids entering foster care and stock of baby clothing for Fort Sanders babies

Sized clothing for kids entering foster care and stock of baby clothing for Fort Sanders babies

The green side of KARM Thrift: All garments & textiles that cycle through the clearance center end up in one of 3 groups. Group A are items that didn't sell but don't have any defeciencies. They are then sold to thrift stores in cities that don't have a donation base large enough to stock a thrift store year round. Group B are items which are slightly damaged be it a stain or a tear or a missing button. These items are sent to third world countries. Some of these clothes are used as is, while others are remade into clothing to fit the appropriate culture. Group C is made up of more heavily damaged items. These are put through a compressor and sold in bales to buyers who then remove buttons and zippers to be sold and separate the clothing by color. White fabrics are cut out and sold to paint companies as rags, colored fabric is sold to auto shops and mechanics, while still others are sold and shredded to become insulation in cars.

Bales ready to be shipped to buyers

Bales ready to be shipped to buyers

KARM uses sheets to wrap bales so that the items inside don't get too damaged to use

KARM uses sheets to wrap bales so that the items inside don't get too damaged to use

We are so excited to be a community partner of KARM Thrift and are even more excited to be able to assist you in the donation process. Check out their website for locations, hours, and to learn more about KARM Thrift and their mission.