Thrifting: the next big thing in Lansing?

By Tyler Austin
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter

The Lansing area is home to restaurants and shops of all different kinds; mom and pops, chain businesses and everything in-between. But some of the younger residents in the area seem to be struggling to find reliable stores to buy clothes from. More and more people are beginning to gravitate away from name brand shops like American Eagle and Express and head over to the local thrift stores. “I get so much more from thrift stores than regular stores,” Lansing resident Esther Okunrounmu said. “It’s just cheaper and you can get some really cool stuff.”

It should come to no surprise that thrift stores and retail shops are the places to be when looking for a deal when sometimes such places are selling clothes from big names like Calvin Klein for less than $10, which was found at the Meridian Township Salvation Army store on Oct.

Area thrift stores, shelters affected by unusually cold winter

Subzero temperatures this winter have made it tough for secondhand stores and homeless shelters in Lansing, not because of a greater demand for their services but because volunteers hesitated to venture out to donate their belongings or their time. Donations lacking

Debra Kelly, the assistant manager at Hidden Treasures Thrift Store, said that the store’s goal is to “be real and resourceful and meet all the needs” regardless of the season. “Whether it’s the winter or summer, there are so many in need,” she said.  “The demand is much greater than the supply.”

Kelly said that the cold winter significantly limited donations compared to what the store normally receives at this point in the year. “The cold has kept people kind of in a slumber,” she said.  “The ice storms, the winter, the cold weather – it’s the same for most of the surrounding retail in the community.”

This is certainly true for Upscale Thrift, a secondhand store operated through the City Rescue Mission, according to employee Hannah Hall. “I think that the cold weather and the amount of snow on the roads definitely affected business,” Hall said.