Aug 292006
Authors: Hilary Davis The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Tony Cooper, owner and founder of second-hand shop Eco-Thrift, believes strongly in the three “R’s,” or at least one in particular.

“Everyone’s familiar with ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,'” said Cooper. “But we’re focusing on the ‘reuse’ portion of the equation by reselling things that have been donated – we’re keeping it in the community.”

After noticing a “real sense of misuse” about the way people treat the environment, Cooper decided to open a thrift store on the corner of Meldrum and Maple streets, north of CSU.

The “one man’s trash, another man’s treasure” store sells everything from clothes to home and kitchen items to accessories.

And the community has taken notice of Cooper’s store. Fort Collins resident Robert Ornelas and his daughter Vanessa saw Eco-Thrift while driving by one afternoon and have now become repeat customers.

“This is the second time we’ve been here this week,” said Ornelas. “And we always donate when we come shopping. Better to donate than throw it in the dump.”

Cooper is hoping that CSU students will also notice Eco-Thrift and tell their friends.

“I’ve only been open a month, but already I’ve been working with the Live Green Team at CSU and their Leave it Behind program to get more donations,” Cooper said.

Cooper believes that Fort Collins is the perfect location for a store like his and expects more customers to shop now that school is back in session.

“That’s the great thing about Fort Collins, it’s very supportive of musicians, artists – creative people coming together,” Cooper said. “This store was born out of a lifelong passion for keeping stuff out of landfills. There is so much waste, and I don’t like what I see.”

Staff writer Hilary Davis can be reached at

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