My Sister’s Closet Celebrates 20 Years

Comments 3 by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s the 20th anniversary of My Sister’s Closet, a high-end thrift fashion boutique in Vancouver that takes action to end gender-based violence while directly supporting and empowering victims and survivors of sexualized and domestic violence.

The shop is a social enterprise of Battered Women’s Support Services (“BWSS”), a local organization providing education, advocacy, and support towards eliminating gender-based (including sexualized violence) and domestic violence.

My Sister's Closet - Photo submitted
My Sister’s Closet – Photo submitted

My Sister’s Closet Celebrates 20 Years

  • Downtown: 1092 Seymour St, Vancouver
    • Open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm for shopping
      • Tuesdays and Wednesdays open for donation only
  • East Van: 1830 Commercial Drive
    • Open Monday to Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm

BWSS responded to 32,000 requests for service in 2020—up from 18,000 the year before. With 100% of its revenues going towards funding BWSS’s life-saving programs and services, My Sister’s Closet has been instrumental in supporting thousands of victims and survivors every year. 

Since its inception in 2001, My Sister’s Closet has become a local landmark. As the boutique celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, its cause and storied history propels its legacy forward as it continues to make a meaningful impact throughout the community.

The downtown storefront on the corner of Seymour and Helmcken sits intentionally on a city block that sex workers strolled in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The store’s location was also chosen to be near the site where Elaine Allenbach, a sex worker, went missing in 1986. 

My Sister’s Closet has become a fashion destination for discerning shoppers. The boutique regularly appears in listicles for its sharply curated collection of gently-used clothing and accessories for all bodies (including a selection of menswear dubbed My Brother’s Corner) in styles that are on-trend and classic.

There are two brick and mortar locations—the second being on Commercial Drive—and an online shop, the latter to keep serving the needs of the community during the pandemic and make support for its cause even more accessible. 

Two decades since it first opened, My Sister’s Closet endures as a landmark of local history and a physical manifestation of BWSS’s mission to promote equality and safety for all women. 

Shop online or in person today, and if you have any donations – of women’s and men’s laundered, gently used clothing and accessories (e.g., shoes, handbags, jewelry) – they can be dropped off at either location.

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3 Comments  —  Add a Comment Below

  1. colleen tsoukalasWednesday, October 13th, 2021 — 2:33pm PDT

    Thanks for writing up the 20th anniversary of MSC_BWSS (My Sisters Closet)! I have volunteered there for a few years and sure learned a lot about Violence Prevention Services for Women and their Families. Also learned about Eco Fashion Practices and all aspects of staging Fashion Shows and collaborating with other agencies. It takes the whole community and volunteering here will show you the way.

  2. Lynn KateyWednesday, October 13th, 2021 — 9:32pm PDT

    Hi. I am a long-time volunteer at the Seymour location and was happy to see your write- up about our stores and why we exist. Thank you for helping us to celebrate. Lynn

  3. LorraineSaturday, October 23rd, 2021 — 4:28pm PDT

    Great article on a great project. But I think the link goes to a shop in Michigan….

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