Funky fashion at fair prices

Source: Riley Hartwell / The JibsheetBuffalo Exchange is an unconventional thrift store that was started in 1974 by an innovative couple in Tucson, Arizona.

 Kerstin and Spencer Block came up with the idea to create a hip clothing store, creatively titled “Buffalo Exchange,” that would not only benefit them but also their customers and the environment. 

The name of the store was formed when Kerstin Block, who transferred to Arizona University from Sweden, took what she deemed as a very American word (Buffalo) and an idea that would excite every frugal fashionista, boy or girl.

Over the course of 35 years, one small thrift shop turned into 37 shops nationwide, with two here in Washington State.

Three simple words: buy, sell and trade. Although simple when said, the idea behind them is inspired and sparked the popularity of Buffalo Exchange.  But what does it mean exactly?

Buy, sell and trade means you can take some of the clothes you don’t wear anymore (for whatever reason) and sell them to Buffalo

Exchange. If they decide they like what you’ve brought in, you can then trade the clothes for store credit or take the cash. They will offer you 30 percent of what they price the items at in cash or 50 percent in store credit.

You are encouraged to take advantage of the unique styles and designers they offer and buy something.

It’s painless to take the store credit because each store offers a wide selection of coats, tops, jeans, sweaters, shoes and accessories. It’s easy to spend hours going through the thousands of designers and one of kind fashions and accessories they offer.

You can find designers you’ve never heard of (or some you have) and get stuff for a fraction of the price. Everything sold at Buffalo Exchange is only slightly worn and sometimes even brand new. You can find such labels as American Apparel, H & M, Forever 21, Banana Republic, Abercrombie and Fitch, Ed Hardy, Quicksilver; the list goes on and on.

If you’re fed up with Urban Outfitters having amazing clothes but not so amazing prices, go to Buffalo Exchange and you can find those 60-dollar BDG jeans you were dying for—at only 20 dollars. Buffalo offers a wide array of sizes and styles, especially in jeans.

They carry all the top brands—True Religion, Joe’s Jeans, 7 For All Mankind and much more. If certain items don’t sell after a certain amount of time, they’ll mark it down even more. From 8-dollar tops to 15-dollar jeans, these are the prices you should really be buying clothes for as a college student. In these harsh economic times, Buffalo Exchange is a way to keep to your budget and still look good while you’re doing it. Don’t think that this is only a girl’s store because they offer men’s clothing and shoes as well. 

Not only does it allow girls and guys to save a buck or two but also is environmentally friendly in more ways than one. “Going Green” seems to be the theme of the twenty-first century and Buffalo Exchange keeps to this idea in many creative ways. They are all about recycling and keeping our planet clean and happy. Not only do they recycle clothes but also they don’t use plastic bags. With every purchase, you get a reusable, funky Buffalo Exchange bag that was made from recycled materials. Our landfills are full of billions of plastic, non-biodegradable bags and Buffalo is just one more company helping with the cleanliness of our planet. Also, with every unused bag per customer, they will donate five cents to one of the three charities they represent. Who knew shopping could turn into a good deed?

With 56.3 million dollars in sales each year, this “buy, sell, trade” store isn’t going anywhere except up.