By Skyler Ashley
Bath-DeWitt Connection staff reporter
Price is undoubtedly an important factor in choosing clothing. Unfortunately, not everyone has the means to buy whatever he or she likes.
Are the idiosyncratic thrift shoppers and the lower-income demographic of DeWitt to be left behind with junk?
Visiting DeWitt’s Goodwill store at Clark Corners at almost any given moment proves it is a popular destination within the community. Finding its connection with DeWitt citizens is decidedly interesting.
People shifting in and out of the store searching for the next great find often tell a relatable story.
DeWitt is a small town, within its limits it lacks clothing retailers asides from major supermarkets such as Meijer. Primary destinations for shopping in the surrounding area including the Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing, the Lansing Mall and the Meridian Mall in Okemos.
Goodwill is able to satisfy the needs of different demographics in DeWitt without the trip out of town.
“Some people use it as a means to an end and others use it like a hobby. Like people who can’t go past a certain price range and people who just thrift for fun,” Frequent shopper Lauren Farhat said.
As part of the younger demographic, Farhat finds her clothing to be a part of her identity:
“I like clothes that are comfortable and make me feel safe so I wear sweaters and baggy t-shirts and things like that. I feel that if people are able to get specific pieces of clothing that speak to their identity it makes them more comfortable and more willing to share their personality with people.”
DeWitt’s Goodwill does offer an opportunity to find unique items within the price range of other discount clothing, such as the type you’d find at a Meijer, that offer more expression with a surprising amount of taste.
“It’s bigger than most thrift stores and I usually find something interesting each time,” Farhat said.
The majority of clothing available at grocers like Meijer is not only more expensive, but also hunting themed, or by brands such as Carharrt that offer little stylistic variety.
Some people, such as Erik Robinson, are willing to come from Mason or St. Johns to shop at this particular location.
“The people are very nice, it’s well organized and the staff know what they’re doing. You can find a lot of cool stuff there, a lot of interesting shirts and jackets—stuff like that,” Robinson said.
With only a cost of $5, DeWitt’s Goodwill has an opportunity to keep the town unknowingly fashion conscious at a low price.
The popularity of what’s referred to as thrift store chic, also gives way to the cause. Iconic musicians such as Kurt Cobain brought the look into the mainstream and those who choose to visit DeWitt’s Goodwill can get their own slice of the image.
This look also saw resurgence when Macklemore’s single “Thrift Shop” became a number one hit.
Lacking immediate access to major retailers, DeWitt isn’t necessarily completely left behind.
Store Manager Bobbi Browning agreed that DeWitt’s Goodwill has an ability to fill a void left by a lack of major clothing retailers. Browning explained,
“A lot of people come in, I’ve even seen a lot of teenagers come in here, because they find a lot of name brand stuff for cheap. We pride ourselves on putting out good product, doing the best we can, our district does a fine job of keeping good quality stuff out—especially the clothing.”
DeWitt’s Goodwill isn’t always guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s clothing needs, but the excitement of finding something great and cheap is always there. In a way that can’t be replaced by major retailers.