Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Customers line up for $1 Earth Day sale at Buffalo Exchange thrift store

Jillian Moore/The Daily Northwestern
Customers rummage through boxes for secondhand clothing at the Buffalo Exchange in Andersonville. Used clothes, shoes and accessories were on sale for $1.

A line stretched down the block from the Buffalo Exchange in Andersonville Saturday as customers waited for their allotted 10 minutes to rummage through boxes of used clothes, shoes and accessories on sale for $1.

The cash-only Earth Day event took place across Buffalo Exchange locations nationwide, with Chicago stores in Wicker Park and Andersonville participating. All proceeds benefited Goats of Anarchy, a nonprofit dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of farm animals with disabilities.

Melissa Haskin, the store manager of the Andersonville location, said the nationwide campaign started in 1997 and has since raised more than $800,000 for nonprofits like The Elephant Sanctuary, Pollinator Partnership, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Humane Society of the United States.

“Part of our mission statement at Buffalo is just supporting environmental initiatives,” she said.

According to the 2024 Resale Report by ThredUp, a popular app to buy used clothing, the U.S. secondhand apparel market grew 11% in 2023 — a rate seven times faster than the broader retail clothing market.

Weinberg senior Kate Austin, who went to the thrifting event as an early birthday celebration, said the low prices took the pressure off of purchases.

“We could just impulse buy it, and if I end up not liking it, I could give it to a friend or give it to a thrift store, kind of recycle it,” she said.

People arrived as early as 10 a.m., an hour before the store opened. Employees ushered groups into an outdoor area stacked with boxes of clothes, where they had 10 minutes (with five-minute and two-minute warnings) to find armfuls of items — including clothing from Michael Kors, Levi’s and GUESS.

Chicago resident Carleigh Keme said curiosity drove her to the event. She said she felt surprised by the turnout and the fast pace of the shopping spree.

“I thought I was going to be just in and out, and I’m kind of intimidated, a little bit,” she said. “I’m here for the experience.”

The pieces included in this event were chosen from those that aren’t selling at full price in-store, Haskin said.

Haskin said although “every year it’s crazy,” giving people the opportunity to reuse clothes aligns with the company’s environmentally-focused mission.

“Nothing goes to a landfill at Buffalo Exchange,” she said. “It’s all going to go to other people that need it.”

Email: [email protected]
X: @jillian_moore7

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