Buffalo Exchange: Bringing Style to the Streets

Story by Anna Debald 

Creative Direction and Photos by Dom Khun 

Post 12 inches of Richmond snow, us trend-setters are left wondering how to dress appropriately for cold weather, but also continue our individual styling innovation. Similarly, sustainability continues to be on every fashion lovers’ radar. Thus, we are left with the question: what enables one to dress in a sustainable and fashion-forward manner this season?

Buffalo Exchange is one solution. The company was founded in 1974 in Tucson, Arizona. The name embodies its American roots, Arizona inspired brand, and the recycling of clothing the store participates in. Consumers can visit any Buffalo Exchange location with used clothing, and based on whether or not the clothing is in re-wearable condition and on trend, and the clothing will be resold in their store.

Rather than viewing fashion as disposable, this cyclical practice emphasizes the timelessness and longevity of clothing. It also awards the industry a positive economic condition, as those selling their clothes to the store are given the option of cash or store credit to shop with after their clothes are accepted. This encourages a disposable income, granted through the participation of recycling and reusing of garments.

Why is this so important? Reselling, recycling and reusing garments brings an immense amount of positive effects to the earth. Years of corrupt practices by fast fashion retailers has caused serious damage to the planet. According to a documentary titled The True Cost, director Andrew Morgan offers a behind the scenes experience of the impact that fast fashion has on developing countries who are directly influenced by overproduction and overconsumption. He reveals the fact that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, second only to the oil industry.

Fast fashion focuses on rapid production, planning for 52 seasons a year. This results in garments being worn a handful of times, and then thrown only out to end up in landfills, taking hundreds of years to degrade. However, if consumers were to reuse and resell their clothing, the earth’s condition could improve drastically. Reusing and recycling is a major principle of sustainability. This concept permits consumers to adopt a mindset focused on forming values and will also yield a society that is informed, happy and healthy.

Beyond having a huge impact on sustainability, Buffalo Exchange’s forty-nine locations provide the United States’ fashion industry with clothing that embraces modernity and funk. Old t-shirts and jeans are born again on their shelves. They focus on accepting clothing that is relevant to trends today and functional for the young crowd of shoppers that visit their stores daily.

After seeing such a great success with brands like Supreme and Stussy, we at River City Fashion Uprising sought to produce a collaboration with Buffalo Exchange that offers our readers environmentally friendly streetwear. Fashion and culture is changing. More is the motto, encouraging layers and texture to ensembles. Simultaneously, clothing is inspired by functionality and authenticity. Mastering streetwear entails finding a balance between the two. It also entails a fresh perspective on the manner in which one expresses themselves while simply participating in life.

Light wash jeans, a puffer jacket and classic black pumps epitomizes the balance between street and runway. This cozy outerwear piece offers warmth and stylish volume, and the cropped jeans showcase a footwear necessity. Thus, the delicate nature of heels and the sportiness of this jacket creates a juxtaposition that makes for perfect streetwear this winter.

There is nothing quite like jeans from a consignment store that happen to fit like a glove, no belt needed! Pairing jeans with a fanny pack to rest on your shoulder is an effortless must-have. The winter season draws its attention to functionality. This accessory is so versatile that it works for both a day running errands or as a statement piece for a night out. A wool jacket with large pockets is warm and practical. The relationship between the three pieces, offering multiple compartments, makes for a utilitarian look for all occasions.

Pops of red, yellow, blue, green and metallics are all the rage for accessories this season. Winter red and blue-green provides an interesting complementary color story for trims, linings, shoes and accessories, such as the purse and booties in our shoot. A faux fur jacket is sustainable, warm and certainly on trend for a 2019 fashionista. The kitten heel is practical and wearable for a working woman, or one with lots of holiday shopping to do! Lastly, a large amount of power resides in a good hat. It brings an outfit from being ordinary to eye catching.

Investing in previously loved clothing means you continue a story created by the initial owner. It is your chance to experience the garment and love it just as much. Each article is worn in, unique, and inspires revitalization of a past trend that can be born again. As we fashion lovers continue to look for exclusive craftsmanship, we also look for achievable originality. Streetwear, influenced by leisure activities and even the music industry today, provides a space where individuals can be conquer everyday with a little bit of style.

Brand Buffalo Exchange RVA

Stylists Anna DeBald, Celeste Chaves

Models Aaron Lai, Annie Miller, Simi Gold

Fashion Director Aysia Ward

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