in partnership
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(Image: Simple and Just)

Simple and Just is a Seattle thrift boutique with a mission

From the outside, Simple and Just might seem like another cute Ballard boutique that offers carefully-curated, thrifted clothes and accessories.

But it is so much more than another thrift store.

A longtime advocate for youth experiencing exploitation, Carolyn Quatier founded Simple and Just with a straightforward mission: to provide a sustainable funding source for organizations that provide on-the-ground work with survivors and/or training for volunteers who work with survivors.

By shopping at Simple and Just, you play a role in supporting young people who have experienced abuse and trauma — 100% of Simple and Just profits fund organizations working with survivors of exploitation.

As Quatier was exploring opportunities to help nonprofit organizations move away from the unpredictability of contract and grant funding, she was also having difficulty finding a local place to donate her pre-loved clothes. Finding out that other Queen Anne neighbors felt the same, she realized she had found her project: a higher-end thrift store, with all profits going to fund anti-human trafficking work. And so, Simple and Just was born.

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Quatier notes that the exploitation of youth is "the fastest-growing criminal activity in the world." This despairing information is overwhelming and may leave many wondering what they could possibly do to help survivors.

That's the beauty of Simple and Just's model.

By shopping at Simple and Just, Quatier notes, the everyday person has "a pathway [...] to have an impact on the tragedy happening to our youth - whether it's a pair or jeans or cute handbag or closet cleanout, to know that they're impacting this very despairing situation." By simply shopping for clothes (something we all do!), you support the work of healing and hope for survivors.

Quatier beautifully notes that "we're looking at repurposing and re-envisioning clothing, [and] taking trauma and allowing it to be redeemed."

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In addition to shopping for clothes and accessories or donating items for resale, you can also purchase from Simple and Just's in-house brand, Athena. Through this program, at-risk youth participate in two-week classes on skills such as horticulture, candle pouring, jewelry, knitting, and pottery. The products that participants create throughout these classes are sold in the store, with all proceeds for the sale going to the participant.

Simple and Just is a win-win-win model: nonprofit organizations receive critical funding to provide services, at-risk youth have opportunities to gain skills and generate income, and clothes are kept out of the landfill and reused by community members.

Head down to the store to shop, donate, or learn, and know that your participation makes an impact in the lives of survivors.

What to know:

  • Simple and Just moved from Queen Anne to Ballard in 2021.
  • Check out their Portland location!
  • They accept quality, gently used items of all sizes for resale.
  • Explore how you can volunteer.

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