Uptown Cheapskate culture means franchise owners commit to giving back
The best kind of entrepreneurs know that there’s more to life than making money – it’s what you do with that money that’s important. Likewise, business owners know that they’re not in business by themselves, especially if they’re successful because it takes an entire community to make a business successful.
Uptown Cheapskate is especially community-minded. Our franchise owners deliver an unmatched resale shopping experience that provides tremendous savings on in-fashion items all year long. Our stores are chic, bright and appealingly organized – think The Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew, but without the high prices. We also give our customers the ability to sell their clothes back to us directly, and for the clothes we don’t buy, we can donate on behalf of our customers. This keeps thousands and thousands of items out of landfills every week and creates a relationship that is based on giving and trust.
The environmental aspect of this business is not to be underestimated. Most of the clothes we wear end up in landfills, which produces an enormous amount of pollution that Americans are only starting to learn about now. Medium wrote a piece on the merits of resale shopping titled, “What are the Environmental Benefits of Buying Pre-Owned Clothes,” which makes several terrific points about the importance of buying used clothing. In fact, in 2022 alone, we kept >20 million items out of landfills and recently surpassed >200 million used items sold since inception.
“When many clothes get discarded by most people, it generates an enormous amount of waste. But when those garments are used to their fullest capabilities, then clothing can take up to 10 years before touching a landfill,” the publication states. “A lot of water and chemicals go into manufacturing our garments. Approximately 1,800 gallons of water are required to make one pair of blue jeans. If the clothes are recycled, it means we are living a more sustainable life. The water that is used to make these clothes, instead of getting lost as industrial waste, can now be used for other purposes, like drinking water.”
The ability to own a business that’s good for the environment is likewise tremendously important to our franchise owners and their customers:
“I love having the opportunity to work with my community, and to give them the option to donate their items and give their items a second life,” says Aaron Alvey, owner of Uptown Cheapskate franchise in Utah. “This brand stands for something, and it allows us to lessen our carbon footprint, which is incredibly important.”
We take giving back incredibly seriously
Our franchisees donate thousands of items to local charities every year, but our commitment doesn’t stop there. Uptown Cheapskate hosts two annual charity events on a national level, which goes to support buildOn, an organization that builds schools in developing countries. These events are called Fill-A-Bag Sales, and they are exactly what they sound like: customers pay $20 and are able to stuff as many items into the bag as they can – and all of the money goes directly to buildOn. We also donate 5 cents per customer on an ongoing basis to buildOn if the customer opts out of taking a plastic bag.
Since we began our partnership with buildOn, the results have been extraordinary. Since 2015, we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to build more than 20 schools in developing countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Haiti, Nepal, Malawi, and Nicaragua. Through these efforts, we have helped provide thousands of children (and sometimes parents) access to education for the first time.
“We’re trying to give back to the world and to communities that are really in need,” says Summer Sloan Alvey, owner of an Uptown Cheapskate in Utah. “Not only do we give back through buildOn, we also have the freedom to support local charities and really make an impact. We choose to support a local charity that focuses on helping people with M.S. The more successful we become, the more people we’re able to help. It’s really an incredible thing to be a part of.”