The Goods At Goodwill

As New York Fashion Week nears its end one point has been made certain: Not even an industry famous for beautiful facades can ignore the times.

In an interview with Reuters, designer Vera Wang said, “This recession has been very, very frightening.”

Much of that fear as resulted in a change for New York Fashion Week. For many designers the phrase “less is more” has been the calling card for 2009. With the country currently floundering in the worst economic climate in 70 years, designers are well aware that they’re going to have to get creative if they want to lure in consumers.


It’s resulted in popular designers like Marc Jacobs differentiating their collections “so that there's more possibility for more people to afford things.”

Others like U.S. Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour are doing their part by launching events like “Fashion’s Night Out.” The event – which kicked off last Thursday – sought to reignite interest in fashion and convince consumers to start shopping again.

Wintour was quoted saying, “The most important thing is to get people into the stores shopping and feeling good about it.”

As it turns out, there are consumers out there who have increased their shopping habits – only they may not be doing so in department stores.


Indeed, if there’s any place where people might be shopping ‘til they drop it’s Goodwill.

No, really…Goodwill.

I remember a time where people would rather walk around wearing three six’s on their foreheads than anything from a second-hand store.


Yet the Boston Herald has just published a story on how Goodwill stores are flourishing across the state of Massachusetts.

Goodwill stores in Massachusetts saw an 11 percent bump in sales from fiscal year 2008 to 2009, from $8.68 million to $9.66 million.


It’s hard to imagine this sort of surge not trickling over to states hit even harder than Massachusetts.

What say you all? Do you shop at second hand stores? If not, why? Are you waiting for the ninetieth clearance sale this year to get your designer clothes?


If you do shop at Goodwill do you fear that you’ll soon turn to buying generic bread, meat on sale, and senior citizen tickets at the movie theater?

Unless the clothes smell like mold and failure, what’s the problem?

Leave your feedback below and send your recession stories to


Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.

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