August 25 is 'National Second-Hand Wardrobe Day,' a day to consider donating some of your own lightly used or outgrown clothing, raid a relative's closet, or go browsing at your local thrift store.
For most people, the stigma previously attached to shopping at thrift stores has vanished. They have become hip places where young people go to find vintage T-Shirts, vinyl records, accessories and various knick-knacks. Two area shops are Goodwill, found in various locations in Elk County, and the ReSale Shop in St. Marys.
"They come to us looking for unusual things, lost treasures or the unexpected-- and they always find it," said Nancy Caskey, director of the ReSale Shop in St. Marys.
Thrift store shopping has long held appeal for those who enjoy the thrill of the hunt for an unexpected find, not to mention the bargains. But what has long been a leisurely activity for some has become a necessity for others. With the recent recession that hit the country and the Elk County region especially hard, many have found themselves dependent upon thrift stores for essentials like clothing.
Brenda Mohney, a volunteer at the Second Chance Resale Shop on Erie Avenue, said she has seen an increase in sales coinciding with the recession.
"People have told me they don't know what they would do if we weren't here," she said.
She said that lots of families have been visiting the store recently to do their back-to-school shopping. In addition to clothing, the sales of shoes, dishware and glasses, books and children's toys have also increased. Mohney also said more people have been donating as of late.
"Donations go out as quick as they come in," she said.