Dec. 2, 2013
Whether students are looking for business casual outfits for interviews and internships or trendier textiles for falling temperatures, secondhand stores ease budgeting pain.
XS Threadz in University Village and Plato’s Closet on North Academy are two higher-end secondhand stores close to the UCCS campus.
5102 N. Nevada Ave.
XS Threadz is the only secondhand store in Colorado Springs that purchases used clothing with no time restrictions.
“Some of the stores have a certain time limit that they can only buy things … if it’s only a year to a year and a half old,” said Cathy Curry, the founder of XS Threadz. “We just look at the clothes. If we think it’s something that our customers would buy, then we do in-store credit or pay them in cash.”
“We buy based on style and what demand is. So if we think that top siders are still in style, we’ll buy top siders. We don’t care if they’re from the 70s or if they’re from last year.”
When XS Threadz employees evaluate a bag of clothing, customers are given up to 20 percent cash or up to 40 percent in-store credit, valid for one year, for items that can be sold at full price. They are also given $1 for each item that will be sold on the $5 discount racks.
XS Threadz originally opened Nov. 13, 2009, with Curry and her former partner.
Curry’s son, Jeremy Bitner, became the new owner of the store a year and a half ago, and he remodeled it and reorganized the store’s approach and mission.
“He has more of a vision for ministry,” Curry said. “He worked at Compassion International ministries for six years.”
XS Threadz currently donates 20 percent of profits to Exodus Road, an anti-human trafficking coalition located in Woodland Park. A sign at the register states that they also accept customers’ spare change for Change for Change, a national network of adults looking to improve their communities through philanthropy. Before, excess clothing was donated to women in shelters.
Bitner opened a sister store, Seven Status, on July 13, in the Citadel Mall. Seven Status operates under the same principles as XS Threadz but rents a larger space.
925 N. Academy Blvd.
7529 N. Academy Blvd.
Plato’s Closet, a nationwide franchise with two locations on North Academy, focuses on brand names and timing when purchasing clothes to keep their stock fresh.
“[Our store is] the trendy Hollister, Forever21,” said Kaylee Long, a Plato’s Closet employee and a freshman at UCCS majoring in criminal justice. “[We] try and keep it affordable and keep everybody fashionable.”
Customers bring their freshly laundered clothes in a container. A certified buyer evaluates the condition of the clothing, checks the brand and verifies that the items were released on the market within the last 18 months. LEI, Lucky Brand Jeans and Wal-Mart brands, such as Faded Glory and No Boundaries, are not popular items.
The franchise’s computer system generates a quote, and the clerk makes the customer an offer. Plato’s Closet donates clothing that cannot be bought to the Arc Thrift Store down the street with the customer’s approval.
Plato’s Closet also offers several discount programs. “We had it on Thursdays where if you brought in your college ID, you could get 20 percent off. And there are Military Mondays,” Long said. On Military Mondays, military service members receive 15 percent off.
During the Black Forest fire this past June, Plato’s Closet collected donations from the community and gave the clothing to displaced families with a special discount card.
“We also gave $25 gift cards to 60 teens that lost homes,” said Paul Tuttle, the store manager of Plato’s Closet North at 7529 N. Academy Blvd.
He added that $40,000 went to charity last year, and the store holds various drives annually. CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for children, received $1 for every denim item purchased during one event.
On Nov. 15-17, customers received a 20 percent discount on their purchase for donating used cellphones to TESSA, a safe house for abused women. Fair-trade jewelry made in Uganda is sold for $6 each, and all proceeds go to the women.
Plato’s Closet North employs two UCCS students and one PPCC student, according to Tuttle.