Goodwill of Northern New England (Portland, ME) recently unveiled a new business model in which its stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont will feature new products produced by local businesses. Area stores will sell these items alongside the donated goods they typically carry as part of the 100 Percent Neighbor-Made collection.
The Goodwill selected 19 companies from the region that are committed to sustainability. From these vendors, Goodwill stores will sell a wide selection of locally made gift items for kids and adults, including jewelry, crafts, notebooks, puzzles and body care. Small wooden furniture, pet supplies and toys will also be available for purchase.
“We’re trying to ensure sustainable communities,” said Ken Christian, senior director of communications for Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. “It gets no better than trying to help local manufacturers and nearby businesses grow.”
The goal of selling these products is to get consumers to shop local, translating into extra dollars that stay in the community. As a result, small businesses thrive and create more jobs, increasing the strength of the community as a whole. While all of the Northern New England stores will offer select products in this local collection, 15 of the stores will sell the entire line. The Portland Press Herald spoke with several participating business owners. They were generally optimistic about the partnership because of the potential benefits that could come from selling their products in a recognizable chain.
Goodwill of Northern New England is hosting a series of launch events in the region throughout the month of April to help introduce the initiative. At this time, customers will have the opportunity to meet with several participating vendors and to win selected products.