Camden Nichols, Lead Copy Editor
3rd March, 2021
Who wouldn’t go thrift shopping with Macklemore? Thankfully, we have many thrift stores in Humboldt that give us plenty of opportunities for spending our money wisely, while still being fashionable. One of those is Angels of Hope, which is located on 10th Street in Arcata. Shoppers can tell that they have reached their destination because of the huge yellow, pink, and purple mural on the side of the building, including a pair of wings and a hummingbird. Shannon Hardin, manager of Angels of Hope, says that they have been able to keep their business going even in these crazy times
It’s always courteous to wash the clothes or supplies donated to a thrift store, so the workers don’t have to deal with dirty clothes from a stranger. But now, because of COVID, it’s actually mandatory to sanitize donated clothes. “Our current policy is that we are only accepting clothing that has been washed within the most recent 48 hours and any non-clothing items have to have been sanitized before people drop them off.” We have all had to change how we live because of the COVID, and Angels of Hope is no different.
They have also had to handle customers who don’t feel like changing how they live because of COVID. “We get people who don’t want to sanitize their hands or wear a mask; we ask them to leave and if they don’t leave we’ve had to call the police a couple of times.” Hardin says that they have had to threaten to call the police about three or four times, but the police have never actually had to show up. When the customers hear them calling, they often leave saying something like, “I’m never coming back here,” at the top of their lungs.
Hardin also says that they do find that they have less customers because of COVID and she thinks it’s because people are scared to go shopping in a store featuring items that previously belonged to other people. She says there is another option. “We are selling things online; mainly furniture, but some other things as well and that’s another way people can thrift without having to go out and about.” The information of online shopping pick-up/delivery was not specified, but I’m sure if you call them, they will be able to answer all your questions.
Hardin also addressed that there are some items that they don’t sell. “We don’t carry mattresses or box springs, and we also don’t carry large appliances.” There are also certain items Angels of Hope isn’t allowed to carry at all, such as bike helmets and car seats because they can expire- not like milk, obviously, but those items have expiration dates of when they no longer meet safety requirements.
When asked her opinion on all the thrift shop trends, Hardin said, “I think we have definitely seen some teens in here and we always have the HSU students and I know there’s this trend for 90’s clothes right now; that’s a thing. Like high-waisted mom jeans and old Levi’s. There’s always a thing in a thrift store that’s cool that year and that’s what’s cool this year; 90s gear.” Big box stores, such as PacSun and Brandy Melville, are selling clothes that fit this trend, when really it all started in thrift stores.
Thrifting is a way to save money and buy random items that you never had thought about buying in a big store. It is also better for the environment because you and your community are recycling items. It’s fun to just walk around and find cool things that other people owned and used. In a way, it brings our community together because we pass on things that meant something to us, and donate them to a store, so someone can enjoy them, new. Thrift stores are a great asset to our community, whether you are donating or shopping, and are still a viable option during COVID.