Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thrifting Eugene's Scene

Graduation's coming real soon, and as my college career comes to a screeching halt, I ask; besides a few Carlo Rossi jugs full of bottle caps, what do I have to show for myself? One thing I've managed to do over the years is locate many of Eugene's finest second-hand establishments. This may not seem like a significant accomplishment to most Republicans, but potentially thrifty and fashionable readers will appreciate this article's critical intel surrounding the acquisition of people's old crap. These folks know what troves of fantastic stuff lie in store.

Your route will vary by location, but the first stop on a typical Eugene Thriftxpedition for me is usually the dueling St. Vincent de Paul and Goodwill on 11th and Seneca. These two huge thrift stores are literally right next to each other and are even laid out similarly to those who are used to homogeneous store layouts in their shopping experience. Both stores are packed with a plethora of clothing, shoes, electronics, furniture, and other housewares that have been cycling through the homes of Eugene residents and college students for the past couple decades. A few blocks down Broadway back towards campus and you're at the SVDP donation center, a thrifting Mecca with more random items than a mystery box in Marioland. This Bermuda Triangle of thrift stores provides shoppers access to maximum volume & diversity (making it easier to find more good stuff in fewer visits).

Whether you live in North Eugene (probably not if you're reading this), or if you don't mind cruising the North Bank bike trails, the Goodwill off Delta Hwy is totally worth a visit. This store has a huge area, super friendly associates, and a good selection of jeans.

Some folks are particularly drawn to thrift stores for the unique styles of yesterday. If fashion is what you're in to, then head straight down Eugene's bustling thoroughfare; Willamette street. Between 10th and 11th you'll find Kitsch, and off 13th, Deluxe; a duo of fashion boutiques with a range of second hand and original garments for all Eugenians. Kitsch specializes in eccentric and avant-garde clothes, original t-shirts, accessories and other novelites, whereas Deluxe carries more hip and classic stuff. Both stores are owned and operated by Mitra Chester and her husband Aaron, and are often teaming up with other local boutiques like Redoux Parlour to put on pageants and other great events. These shops save you time sifting through stretched out sweaters and ugly shirts, and are very competitively priced with other vintage re-sale shops in the area like Eugene Jeans and Value Village.

Hosea Youth Services thrift store on 7th and Blair is a unique, small boutique which carries a really nice hand-picked selection at the lowest prices. Relatively new and in cognito, Hosea is the perfect target for experienced thrifters looking for that extra edge in finding cool stuff cheap. Another tip is the St. Vincent De Paul in Santa Clara, a large facility that is frequented less by the hip types notorious for snatching up good flannels and retro stuff.

Whatever shops you choose, visit them occasionally in as regularly spaced intervals as your schedule allows, but be discretionary in your purchases. It is best to shop often and buy rarely, this will ensure that you only walk out of the store with that one garment that is "totally you." And when you rock clothes that express your personality, you're inevitably more confident and successful in your everyday interactions.

Also, by stocking your wardrobe with second hand clothes, you're supporting your local economy in a big way by creating jobs and wealth, recycling unused goods, therefore reducing waste, as well as being sure you're not paying $15 for a t-shirt that was made out of subsidized cotton from Texas only to be made in China. After a while, scoring cool clothes cheap and guilt-free could cause you to wonder why you ever shopped at a mall in the first place. So check out one of these fine thrift-stablishments, or one I missed, you really never know what you might find.