Fashion never dies, it just recycles.
That's the idea behind Goodwill's 3-month-old Weigh N' Pay program where you don't just buy a shirt, you buy a pound of shirts.
"Most of us are one paycheck away from being on the street," said David Hirsch, president of Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona. "It isn't just the down and out."
With Weigh N' Pay, clothes have three weeks on regular thrift-store racks before going to Goodwill's east Flagstaff store. Once there, shoppers can buy the clothes for $1.19 a pound.
To illustrate: A pair of jeans, a pair of corduroy pants, one dress, a set of pajamas and two adult shirts weighs about six pounds and will cost $7.04 plus tax.
Churning the merchandise to ensure consumers always have a fresh stock to sift through is key to getting repeat customers, Hirsch said.
That's why the organization also is focusing on making donating goods easier. Hirsch said he wants to place donation centers in more affluent locations in Flagstaff so residents won't have to drive more than five miles to donate goods.
"It's a donor-driven industry," Hirsch said.
Goodwill also has established a drive-through donation point at the east Flagstaff location at 2225 N. Steves Blvd.
"It's all about convenience," Hirsch added.
Goodwill tries to hire employees who understand good customer service, which Hirsch says has increased donations, but when the Saturday, post-garage-sale rush comes in, it's easy to forget to be thankful.
"It can sometimes feel like too much," he said.
Hirsch said the average Goodwill shopper comes in three to four times per week. Many are college students and parents shopping for school clothes at this time of year.
"There's a fun element to it," he said. "It's like the challenge of the hunt."
Goodwill's GoodNeighbor services include programs geared toward job training for those with disabilities, providing emergency assistance to homeless and transient people needing food and clothing, adult education classes and job placement.
All services are provided with money from selling donated goods. Both of Goodwill's Flagstaff locations accept clothing, furniture and merchandise donations.
— Arizona Daily Sun