Green in the City

The value of resale


By Morgan Selvage

Photos by Morgan Selvage


The summer day was almost over, the sun was ready to set. Ana Skolnik, a 21-year-old world traveler and avid thrift shopper, relaxes in a coffee shop in a North Side neighborhood bustling with late afternoon people and activity. She mostly works temporary jobs as a waitress or as a clerk in clothing stores. Her goal is to save enough money to travel the world.


Ana now realizes she is helping to save the planet as well by thrift shopping. A good friend convinced her to be more mindful of the environment. She rides her bicycle whenever she can. “I eat simply so I don’t want to generate a lot of trash,” she says. When shopping at the grocer, “I try not to buy food that is packaged because you have to dispose of the packaging.”


Shopping thrift and resale shops are a necessity in an economic downturn. People also sell their items at consignment shops or garage and yard sales to raise money. But shopping thrift stores has been a pastime and passion for people like Ana for decades.


Ana says she’s been perusing such retailers since she was a child. “I was raised going to the thrift stores to see what I could find for cheap,” she says. “My whole family did it; it was fun and kind of our family thing.”


She got into it even more in high school “where everything depends on your looks. Instead of buying expensive clothing, I bought unique items, something different.”


Being an “old hand” at thrift shopping, Ana is happy that there is an increasingly aware, green-consciousness now. It is promoting something good for everyone and the environment.


By reselling and reusing items that otherwise might have been thrown in the trash, it helps to clear landfills while helping consumers save money.


“Pop culture has a lot of effects on people’s decisions,” Ana says, “and it’s nice to know that at least the media is promoting something worth listening to.”


But even Ana has noticed that thrift stores are taking advantage of the economic crisis by raising the prices of the inventory.


The feel-good green factor has major positives for storeowners as well, who have seen a boost in their sales.


Mattie Reynolds, a manager of the Buffalo Exchange thrift store on Chicago’s North Side, says her store’s sales have been increasing every year. According to the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops, Buffalo Exchange, a 36-store chain throughout the U.S., generated more than $55 million in 2008.


The association, based in suburban Detroit, reported a 30 percent increase in sales last year, with more than 82 percent of the group’s members experiencing an increase in new customers.


Although prices have risen, Ana says she continues to enjoy shopping at thrift stores and discovering something new and unique.


Thrift shopping is a win-win for everyone, consumers, store owners and the environment.

Comment

You need to be a member of Green in the City to add comments!

Join Green in the City

Members

Groups

Staff

Editors

Bushra Kabir, Northside College Prep

Bri'anna Moore, Waukegan High School


Managing editors

Brenda Becerra, Curie High School

Amairani Galvan, Farragut Career Academy


Photo editors

Jasmine Johnson, Homewood-Flossmoor High School

Kimani Smith, Noble Street College Prep


Multimedia editors

LeJohn Montgomery, Hales Franciscan High School

Morgan Selvage, King College Prep


Contributing reporters

Carissa A. Eclarin, Schurz High School

Vivianna Galvan, Farragut Career Academy

Daniela Jurado, Farragut Career Academy

Safiya Merchant, Lane Tech High School

Demetria Taylor, Lindblom Math and Science Academy

Chad Wilson, Lindblom Math and Science Academy


Professional staff
Nancy Day, chair, Journalism Department, Columbia College

Workshop director:
Brenda Butler, media specialist and former Chicago Tribune senior features editor

Webmaster:
Rui Kaneya, managing editor, The Chicago Reporter

Mentors
Maudlyne Ihejirika, assistant city editor, Chicago Sun-Times

Charlie Meyerson, former Chicago Tribune online editor, now WGN-AM news director

Billy Montgomery, reporter, photographer, professor, Columbia College

Lynn Norment, former Ebony Magazine managing editor, now media relations specialist, Carol H. Williams Agency

Antonio Olivo, immigration reporter, Chicago Tribune

Nancy Traver, professor and writing coach, Columbia College

Avis Weathersbee, former Chicago Sun-Times assistant managing editor, now blogger and writer/editor

Cassandra West, former Womanews editor, Chicago Tribune, now writer and photographer

Mike Zajakowski, picture editor, Chicago Tribune

© 2017   Created by Columbia Links.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service