Buffalo Exchange Tokens for Bags program

Tokens For Bags® Charities

Every six months, we support new local charities through our Tokens for Bags® program. Instead of giving out bags, we give customers the opportunity to donate five cents (the cost of the bag) to a charity of their choice. Since 1994, we have raised over $774,365 for thousands of local nonprofit organizations through our Tokens for Bags® program, saving 15.4 million bags from polluting the environment.

Find your local Buffalo Exchange below and check out the charities you can give back to.

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Thank You for Shopping Our Earth Day $1 Day Sale!

By Jessica Pruitt, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Attention all Earth Day $1 Day shoppers! If you stopped by to score some $1 finds last Saturday, April 21, you ought to give yourself a huge high five. Thanks to everyone who came out, we raised $51,471 for The 5 Gyres Institute, a non-profit doing great work in the area of ocean plastic pollution. That’s a whole lot of happy turtles – and we couldn’t have done it without you! In the four months leading up to Earth Day, we also collected over 1,464 furs through our Coats for Cubs Drive, which are shipping out to animal rehabilitators across the nation as we speak.

A Little Bit About Our Earth Day $1 Day Sale

Buffalo Exchange, Las Vegas, Earth Day Dollar Sale, Empty Racks

On Saturday, April 21, customers lined up around the block at 47 Buffalo Exchange stores nationwide to shop a special selection of clothing for $1 apiece. For these shoppers, brunch could wait – they knew that $1 items go quickly, so it’s best to get to the store early! Whether it was pouring rain (we’re looking at you, Texas) or hedging on 90 degrees (ahem, Tucson), the sale went on!

Buffalo Exchange, Las Vegas, Earth Day Dollar Sale, Happy Customer

Over the past 20 years, Buffalo Exchange’s Earth Day $1 Day Sales have raised more than $665,000 for a variety of charities and environmental causes. Last year, all funds raised went to the Humane Society of the United States and their efforts to promote pet adoption. Other charities we’ve supported include Center for Biological Diversity and their water conservation efforts.

And Don’t Forget Coats for Cubs!

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Coats For Cubs, Fox Kit

From January 1 until Earth Day every year, we invite customers to donate their unwanted furs in any condition to our Coats for Cubs Drive. We then ship these off to wildlife rehabilitators across the country, who repurpose them into bedding to provide warmth and comfort to recovering animals. Since taking this initiative over from The Humane Society in 2006, we have collected over 15,108 furs for animals in need. This year, we collected over 1,464 furs, all thanks to you guys.

But it doesn’t stop there – we give back to the community all year round! At every one of our 47 Buffalo Exchange stores, we support three local non-profits at a time through our Tokens for Bags program. Instead of giving out plastic bags, we give out 5 cent charity tokens – the result is over $728,595 raised for thousands of local nonprofits and almost 14.5 million plastic bags kept out of the environment. Want to give back just by shopping? Stop by your local Buffalo Exchange to recycle your closet cleanout and shop fun spring finds!

 

 


Buffalo Exchange, Headquarters, 5 Gyres, Plastic Pollution

More Ocean, Less Plastic: Meet Our Earth Day $1 Day Sale Beneficiary

By Danielle Hargett, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Every year, we choose a different environmental charity to support through our Earth Day $1 Day Sale. For 2018, we’re thrilled to announce that all proceeds from the sale will go to The 5 Gyres Institute! 5 Gyres is an organization dedicated to using science, art, education and adventure to understand and reduce plastic pollution.

Mark Your Calendars

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, 5 Gyres, Prince Leopold Islands

Clear your schedule – our 21st annual Earth Day $1 Day Sale is coming up on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at all locations, excluding outlets. A special selection of men’s and women’s fashion will be available for just $1 apiece. All proceeds of the sale will be donated to The 5 Gyres Institute in support of their efforts to research ocean plastic pollution and engage communities in the responsible use, design and disposal of plastic materials.

So, What’s a Gyre?

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, 5 Gyres, Beach

A gyre, pronounced jy-yure, is a ring-like oceanic current system. There are 5 subtropical gyres in the ocean (hence the non-profit’s name!) and, in 2011, 5 Gyres discovered evidence of plastic in all of them. Since then, they have been studying how plastic travels to these gyres and the effects it has on marine ecosystems, wildlife and human health.

#BeadFree

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, 5 Gyres, Broken plastic on beach

5 Gyres may be relatively new, beginning in 2009, but they’ve been at the forefront of major environmental challenges and accomplishments. A notable example is the 2015 U.S. ban on plastic microbeads – tiny pieces of plastic found in cosmetics that you can’t see or filter out. Thanks to their research on plastic pollution and their #BeadFree campaign, the sale and manufacturing of these plastic microbeads are now banned in the United States.

Moving Towards a Plastic Pollution Solution

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, 5 Gyres, Plastic trawl

Current 5 Gyres programs include their TrawlShare, Plastics BAN (Better Alternatives Now) List and Mi Mar educational initiative, just to name a few. Through their Trawlshare program, they engage citizen scientists and are able to broaden their data collection on marine plastic pollution. Their Plastics BAN List gives consumers the chance to learn about the materials they regularly use and provides options for better alternatives to plastic.

One of their newest initiatives, Mi Mar, or My Sea in Spanish, is a program that encourages underserved high school students to learn about plastic pollution through one-day research expeditions off the coast of L.A. Through their programming, they work to spread awareness about the issue, create community engagement and spark ideas for long-term solutions.

BYOB!

Buffalo Exchange, HQ, 5 Gyres, Reusable bags

Like what you hear? Support 5 Gyres and their mission to reduce plastic pollution by shopping our Earth Day $1 Day Sale this April! To minimize plastic use and maximize your clothing carrying capacity, be sure to bring your own reusable bag to the sale (or buy one of ours, made from 70% recycled bottles)! Don’t forget that the sale is cash only and that $1 items go quickly, so plan to arrive at the store early! For opening hours, check your local Buffalo Exchange. To learn more about 5 Gyres and find out other ways to get involved with this year’s Earth Day $1 Day Sale beneficiary, visit 5gyres.org.


Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Plastic Pollution in the Ocean , Collage

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

By Danielle Hargett, Buffalo Exchange HQ

 

For our annual Earth Day $1 Day Sale, we’re teaming up with The 5 Gyres Institute to help turn the tide on plastic pollution in the ocean! At the sale, we will offer a selection of clothing for just $1 apiece. All proceeds from the sale of $1 items will be donated to 5 Gyres in support of their efforts to research ocean plastic pollution and engage communities in the responsible use, design and disposal of plastic materials. Fortunately, it’s easy to be a part of the solution! Here are a few simple things you can do at home to reduce your plastic use:

1. Carry a reusable water bottle. Not only does a refillable bottle make good environmental sense, it’s good for your bank account. Three cheers for staying hydrated without contributing to plastic pollution in the ocean! Buffalo Exchange, HQ, Plastic Pollution in the Ocean, Holding water bottles Full Story


Buffalo Exchange, Tucson, Arts Award, Nathanael, Performance

Nathanael Gregory Myers Receives Buffalo Exchange Arts Award

By Danielle Hargett, Buffalo Exchange HQ

“Art is not something that humans do when they have nothing else to do. Art is an essential part of the human condition. It happens everywhere and in all circumstances.” – Spencer Block, Co-founder of Buffalo Exchange

Every year, the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award honors an emerging artist in Southern Arizona with $10,000 so that they can continue doing great work for the local community. This year, the award went to Nathanael Gregory Myers. On January 24, 2018, family, friends and other local artists gathered at the University of Arizona Poetry Center to celebrate as Nathanael accepted the award. Luckily for everyone in attendance, he also offered up a very cool performance!

Buffalo Exchange, Headquarters, Arts Award, Kerstin Block, Nathanael Myers

Nathanael Myers accepting the 2017 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award from Kerstin Block, Founder of Buffalo Exchange

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Buffalo Exchange and Bug's Bikes Charity

A Little Goes a Long Way: Buffalo Exchange Boston and Bug’s Bikes

By Savannah Timpani, Buffalo Exchange HQ

If you’ve ever shopped in one of our stores, you’re probably familiar with our Tokens for Bags program – you know, the one that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside because you have the chance to donate to a local charity every time you shop. If you’re not familiar, here’s the way it works: instead of supplying plastic bags that cost about a nickel apiece, we offer shoppers a token worth 5 cents to put towards a good cause. Every six months, we give three new charities the chance to participate. Recently, Buffalo Exchange Boston in Somerville teamed up with Bug’s Bikes to help children with special needs. Read on to find out why we’re proud to be supporting this awesome non-profit!

How did it all begin?

The idea for Bug’s Bikes came from 5-year-old ‘Bug’, a visually impaired kid with High-Functioning Autism who really loves to ride his bicycle! After finishing his second day of Adaptive Bike Camp, which helps children of all ability levels to ride, he decided that all kids should have the chance to ride their bike home every day. Unfortunately, with price tags for basic adaptive trikes running from $600 to $1,000 on average, many families can’t afford them. Every bike is a little different depending on the kid. Bug’s bike, for example, has three wheels, a seat belt and a seatback.

Buffalo Exchange and Bug's Bikes

“Bikes Like Me for Kids Like Me”

Determined to help his friend Sienna get a bike, Bug set up a lemonade stand with the help of his parents. Who would have figured that they’d raise over $2,000 in just three days? On October 2, 2013, Bug’s Bikes gave their first bicycle to 5-year-old Sienna. Since then, Bug’s Bikes has run an annual lemonade stand, along with other fundraising efforts, to support Bug’s vision of “Bikes like mine for kids like me!” The adaptive bikes that Bug raises money for often give families their first chance to ride bikes together and are great therapeutic tools for helping kids with special needs to build strength. Eventually, Bug’s Bikes hopes to expand the program and give out several bikes a month!

Buffalo Exchange and Bug's Bikes Lemonade Stand

To find out more about Bug’s Bikes and volunteer with them, visit BugsBikes.org. Or, if you’re in the Boston area, stop by Buffalo Exchange Boston Somerville to donate a token and help Bug keep the wheels turning!


Austin Nonprofits

Spotlight on Austin Nonprofits: TreeFolks

By Amelia Gotobed, Buffalo Exchange HQ

We all know that money doesn’t grow on trees. Instead, it takes an outpouring of community support to run Texas non-profit TreeFolks. Trees are essential to our environment, cleaning our air and water and providing habitat for wildlife. That’s why TreeFolks works so hard to plant trees in Texas. And that’s why Buffalo Exchange Austin is proud to sponsor TreeFolks as one of the three Austin nonprofits in our Tokens for Bags® program.

What is TreeFolks?

Austin Nonprofit TreeFolks

Established in 1989, TreeFolks has planted 1 million trees in the urban Austin area, cultivating better air quality and shelter from the hot Texas sun. TreeFolks engages thousands of volunteers to help plant trees in community areas like parks, preserves and schoolyards. TreeFolks also helps with reforestation efforts in the wake of natural disasters. This is one of the only Austin nonprofits that promotes comprehensive urban forestry.

Tree Teachings: Why TreeFolks is One of the Top Austin Nonprofits

TreeFolks also provides comprehensive, research-based tree education. These educational opportunities, which use the urban forest as a classroom, are available to the public all year round, free of charge. TreeFolks’ educational programs serve the diverse population of Central Texas, allowing them to connect with and learn about the trees that are to vital to our lives. From Tree Adventures, which involves bike rides and tree climbs, to Sapling Days, during which thousands of baby trees are planted, this Austin nonprofit’s programs include something for everyone.

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Buffalo Exchange Charity Animal Haven NYC

Cuddle Up with Brooklyn’s Tokens for Bags® Beneficiary, Animal Haven NYC

By Danielle Hargett, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Our Buffalo Exchange Brooklyn stores (Boerum Hill and Williamsburg) not only offer a variety of designer and vintage recycled clothing, they also give customers the chance take part in our Tokens for Bags® program every time they shop. Instead of receiving a plastic bag with each purchase, customers receive a 5 cent token to donate one of 3 rotating local nonprofits. This year, our Brooklyn locations have selected Animal Haven NYC as one of their program beneficiaries.

Big Cuddles in the Big Apple

The hustle and bustle of living in NYC can wear you down over time. Luckily, with a mission to find homes for abandoned cats and dogs, Animal Haven NYC gives city dwellers the opportunity to find comfort through cuddles with a new furry best friend! What better way to end a busy day than by snuggling a rescued fur baby?

Buffalo Exchange Animal Haven NYC Puppy

Animal Haven NYC: Safe Haven until Forever Home

Animal Haven NYC opened its doors in 1967 and has been finding homes for homeless cats and dogs ever since. As a no-kill animal shelter, the nonprofit firmly believes in caring for their animals until they can find them the purrfect forever home. In some cases, they even provide animal behavior intervention to increase chances of adoption.

Buffalo Exchange Animal Haven  NYC Dog

More Than Just An Animal Shelter

In addition to finding homes for cats and dogs, Animal Haven NYC actively educates children about animal welfare, raises awareness about the human-animal bond and serves as a resource for pet owners in need of assistance. Through its Caring Kids program, the nonprofit teaches children about existing issues with animal welfare and ultimately encourages them to become animal advocates in their community.

Animal Haven NYC also has programs like Helping Pets and People in Crisis and the Pet Assistance and Resource Center. These provide emergency planning assistance and help people hold onto their pets  when unexpected circumstances arise.

Buffalo Exchange Animal Haven NYC Kittens

Interested in finally taking home the pet you’ve always longed for?  Learn more about Animal Haven NYC’s adoption process and view photos of animals that are currently in need of homes. Not able to support a pet just yet? Come by Buffalo Exchange Boerum Hill or Buffalo Exchange Williamsburg and donate your 5 cent token at checkout!


Buffalo Exchange Boulder Mother House Tokens for Bags Recipient

Giving Back: Buffalo Exchange Boulder and Mother House

By Savannah Timpani, Buffalo Exchange HQ

As you may know, Buffalo Exchange is a bagless company. Instead of giving out plastic bags, through our Tokens for Bags program, we give customers the chance to donate 5 cents to a local non-profit every time they shop. A nickel may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. Since we started the program in 1994, we’ve raised over $704,200 for thousands of local charities. Every six months, we give new charities the chance to participate. This year, the Buffalo Exchange in Boulder, CO has paired with Mother House to support pregnant mothers in need.

A Safe Haven

For over 35 years, Mother House has been a sanctuary for pregnant women at risk. Since opening in 1982, this all-inclusive organization has served over 775 women and babies. Pregnant women can come to Mother House at any time during their pregnancy and can stay until their babies are 3 months old. Mother House is committed to protecting unborn children, providing a nurturing and loving home and encouraging women to build the confidence and skills necessary for a successful future.

Buffalo Exchange Boulder Mother House Babies and Moms

 

Opportunities for Mom and Baby

After a new mom’s 3 month stay, Mother House provides educational opportunities, mentoring and housing assistance.  The non-profit also offers community services to help expectant moms.  Residents work or go to school for at least 20 hours per week and pay a small amount of monthly rent. They also have curfews and chores while living at Mother House to help establish a healthy routine for mama and her future little one. Following their 3 months at the caring, homey environment of Mother House, new moms who have decided to become parents are prepared for bright futures ahead.

Buffalo Exchange Boulder Mother House Babies

 

Want to help? Visit Buffalo Exchange Boulder to take part in our Tokens for Bags program and show your support of Mother House, 5 cents at a time. For more information or to find out about other ways you can help, check out Mother-House.org.

 


Buffalo Exchange Earth Day

We Love Animals: Earth Day $1 Sale and Coats for Cubs

By Jessica Pruitt, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Hey you! Yeah, you! Did you shop our Earth Day $1 Sale this past Saturday? Then go ahead and give yourself a huge high five! With your help, we raised $52,483 for The Humane Society of the United States in support of their efforts to encourage pet adoption. That’s more than we’ve ever raised before – and we couldn’t have done it without you! In the four months leading up to Earth Day, we also collected 1,390 furs through our Coats for Cubs Drive, which are shipping out to animal rehabilitators across the nation as we speak. If it wasn’t already obvious, we love animals.

A bit about our $1 Sale

Buffalo Exchange Earth Day

This Earth Day, forty-seven Buffalo Exchange stores nationwide offered a selection of men’s and women’s clothing for $1 apiece. Thousands of shoppers responded, gathering early Saturday morning to score deals on designer, vintage and everyday staples. Why get out of bed before 10am on a Saturday –and skip brunch, to boot? Even the non-morning people among us know that $1 items go quick.

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