Closing of Rainbow Retro
The closing of more than just a store, but a safe space for 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals
In places like Saskatchewan, it can be difficult to find places that are outwardly inviting to 2SLGBTQIA+ people and are guaranteed safe spaces. June is only one month out of the year, and queer people need spaces and stores that are for them and support them all year round. One of these stores was the Rainbow Retro Thrift Store in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and that is what makes it so devastating that the store is closing.
Rainbow Retro opened four years ago in Moose Jaw. From Tuesday to Sunday every week, Rainbow Retro sold clothing, furniture, and household items. Everything sold at Rainbow Retro was second-hand and affordable. When the store first opened, its purpose was to be a supplementary income for the Moose Jaw Pride organization, and all the money made from sales at Rainbow Retro went to Moose Jaw Pride. Every purchase supported the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and helped put on events. Aside from being an extra source of income, Rainbow Retro was able to help low-income families by providing clothing, furniture, and household items at lower prices and having these items be sustainable for those families.
Rainbow Retro separated its store into categories in a unique and inclusive way. Instead of having a men’s and a women’s section, they had masculine and feminine sections as well as a gender-neutral section. By eliminating gendered clothing sections, the store reinforced its inclusive motivations.
Rainbow Retro has a strong social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. Their social media pages advertised sales, new items, and the beautiful chalkboard art featured outside the store. They utilized their social media pages well to showcase incoming products, availability of products, discounted products, and their support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
With the closing date of Rainbow Retro coming up fast, the store is holding a 50 per cent off sale. Everything other than vintage is 50 per cent off the already affordable prices. They have a large collection of vinyl records, clothes of all types, blankets, and various household wares all for 50 per cent off. In addition to these items, they have a large assortment of 2SLGBTQIA+ themed items. They have pride hats, large flags, handheld flags, and other various pride themed items. Included in this is Rainbow Retro’s large collection of buttons and pins. They have enamel pins with pride flags, buttons with pride flags, buttons with pronouns, and buttons with various sayings and phrases in an assortment of themes.
Rainbow Retro will be closing down for good on Saturday, September 24. Even though the store is leaving, the rainbow bench and the Pride mural will remain. On Sep 24, Rainbow Retro will be hosting a Grand Closing BBQ Bash. If you arrive at the store between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and are one of the first 100 customers during that time, you will be able to get a free hot dog lunch. Make sure you head by Rainbow Retro in Moose Jaw before September 24 to find some high quality affordable thrifted finds for 50 per cent off and say goodbye to the beloved store before it closes its doors for good.