Letter from the Mint editor: Thrift shops

JENNIFER LADWIG, Evergreen mint editor

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Back when I was young and a little more naive, I had mixed feelings about shopping at secondhand stores. I wanted to get new clothes, because I was worried about getting something really out of style or something dirty and smelly.

But going to college has shown me there’s nothing a good wash can’t fix, and you really can’t beat the price of shopping at thrift stores. Also, for wannabe hipsters like myself, thrift stores are great places to get one-of-a-kind vintage or retro clothing and accessories.

What might be my favorite part about thrift shopping, though, is the amount of quality furniture you can find to deck out your apartment with. And once you’re done with the furniture, you can give it back to the thrift shop to let the next generation get their use out of it. It’s truly a beautiful system.

In part due to the college-town culture, the Palouse has a hefty number of thrift and consignment shops. There are privately owned places like Palouse Treasures or Hope Center, and there are nation-wide organizations like Goodwill and The Salvation Army.

Local consignment shops like Lily Bee’s or the Storm Cellar will likely have higher prices, but the products will also likely be in better shape than what you’d find at a traditional thrift store. These shops will have more dresses and fancier clothes, and sometimes they will have new products for sale as well, typically home décor items that match their theme.

Whether it be a mom-and-pop shop or a widespread gig, these stores provide great places to find pretty much anything.

One of my favorite finds from Palouse Treasures was a lamp for my living room, as well as some adorable office supplies, all in good shape. I once got some nice shoes from Lily Bee’s Consignment Shop. I found a corner shelf at Goodwill that was perfect for my room, and a beautiful copy of “Anna Karenina” at Hope Center. And every once in a while I will go through my apartment and see if there’s anything I can donate so other people can get some use out of it too.

What I’m trying to say is, I have had a change of heart and I now love thrift shopping – I love to find what random treasures are out there. However, with so many in the area, I have decided to focus on only a handful for this week’s edition of Mint, with the intention to write about the one’s I’ve missed in future editions.

A common theme with the local thrift shops is a consciousness for people in need, whether it be the owners making sure to keep prices low so people on tight budgets can get new clothes or furniture, or giving jobs to people who are down on their luck.

So when you need a desk for your new apartment next year, I would strongly encourage you to check out one of the many local thrift shops so you can get a unique product and support your community. There is no need to buy new furniture from Wal-Mart that will likely fall apart. Go vintage, people.

Jennifer Ladwig is a senior communication major from Washougal. She can be contacted at [email protected]