Recycling is a duty that we are aware of. At the same time,it is an awfully hard thing to do since we often do not know how or where to do so. However, there is a perfect place that takes away all these trouble - the Beautiful Store. From donating used goods to buying them, the Beautiful Store makes it a lot easier for those who wish to join in recycling globally.
The Beautiful Store was found in 2002 and as of October 2008, the store has 86 branches all over the country, each of which were built with donations.The Beautiful Foundation is a social enterprise that holds various projects, such as fair trade and international relief, and also manages a recycling fashion brand named, Eco Party Mearry.
On a typical Saturday afternoon, the Beautiful Store located in Anguk-dong gets busier than the usual. The cozy store suddenly fills with people of all ages eager to buy donated used-objects. “I come here quite often,” said Kim Su-mi, a frequent customer. “It’s always a surprise what you can find something useful from this store.”
Cha Yoon-ho, the manager of the Anguk store, witnesses a lot of heart-warming incidents. “There was someone who donated her father’s keepsake, hoping for it to be used in a beneficial way,” said Cha. He also recalls a father who bought a violin for his child. When the violin did not happen to suit the child’s size, he just gave it back with nothing in exchange. “I was touched by the consideration of the father, hoping for another child in the right size to buy it,” said Cha.
The Beautiful Store not only sells used objects, but also has its own environmental brand that remakes every junk into a precious product. Located at the first floor of Insa-dong’s Ssamziegil, there is a unique store that sells clothes, boots and bags made out of placards, someone’s couch, worn-out leather, and things that are considered as useless garbage.
University students also participate in the process of donating and volunteering. “I started to donate my clothes as I started to live alone,” said Chung Ha-ram (Special Education, 2). “This was a way to both donate and reduce waste. The best part was when they called me to say 'thank you' for my donation,”said Chung.
In the society of excessive material wealth, things tend to be thrown away carelessly. Thus, the existence of a place that makes recycling easier and encourages people to think twice before throwing away seems to be crucial. “I think recycling stores, such as the Beautiful Store, help old stuffs to be used more effectively,” said Kim Hee-jun (Yonsei University, 1). “This is a good way of preventing wasted resources and helping the less-fortunate.”
The Beautiful Store is located just across the street from Anguk Station, Line No.3 exit 2.