VA’s First Buffalo Exchange is Coming to Carytown

Photo by Elizabeth Humphreys
Buffalo Exchange was the first buy-sell-trade store for clothes and accessories. Photo by Elizabeth Humphreys

Another competitor will enter the Richmond thrift scene when Buffalo Exchange opens its new location in Carytown Sept. 1.

The southwestern-style thrift store was started in Tucson, Arizona by Kerstin and Spencer Block in 1974. Since then, it has grown to 50 stores in 21 states. Its new opening at 3140-B W Cary St. will be the first Buffalo Exchange in Virginia, with the next-closest location in D.C.

“We’ve wanted to move into Richmond for a while now, so when we found this location, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Buffalo Exchange Vice President Rebecca Block. “With Carytown’s historic charm, proximity to VCU and focus on unique local businesses, we knew it would be a great fit.”

The store will be open seven days a week, recycling used clothing and accessories to refresh a constantly changing, thrifty and vintage wardrobe.

With a valid government-issued ID, patrons 18 and older can bring in their unwanted clothing at any time without an appointment. Buffalo Exchange promises 30 percent of their sales price in cash or 50 percent in store credit.

Additionally, the family-owned business will give back to the Richmond community with a charity program called Tokens for Bags. Instead of a plastic bag at the register, Buffalo Exchange hands out charity tokens which can be donated to local nonprofits. At its Carytown location, these nonprofits include Richmond SPCA, Equality Virginia and Keep Virginia Beautiful.

Since Tokens for Bags began in 1994, the company has raised more than $774,000 for nonprofits and prevented 15.4 million plastic bags from entering the environment.

Even for the clothes they cannot buy, Buffalo Exchange offers another way to recycle them back into the community.

As a convenience to our customers, anything we’re not able to buy can be donated to a local charity that picks up the donations weekly,” said Buffalo Exchange Marketing Associate Emma Robinson.

Every winter, Buffalo Exchange will also accept animal furs in their Coats for Cubs program. The business will send real fur items to Virginia wildlife rehabilitation centers to be repurposed into bedding for injured or orphaned cubs.

Helping the community is not a new idea for the thrift scene in Richmond. Rumors, another thrift store near the VCU Monroe Park campus, has similar programs to give back to the community. For example, every month the shop gives part of their proceeds to local nonprofits through their Shop for a Reason program.

“We’re obviously excited about another buy-sell-trade store opening up because not only does it provide more affordable options for our customers, it also is one more store fighting the good fight in helping us keep fast fashion out of landfills,” said Rumors store manager Shelby Guest.

VCU sophomore Madie Maier is an avid thrifter. She’s excited for the new thrift store to open in Carytown because it will expand her selection of places to shop.

When it comes to thrifting, a new outfit is not the only thing Maier looks for.

“I’ve gotten shoes, things for art projects, furniture and apartment decor. It just depends on what I need when I go,” said Maier

To find out more about the new addition to Carytown, visit www.buffaloexchange.com.


Andrew Ringle, Contributing Writer

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