Despite the struggle to hire and keep employees, one Burlington store owner is managing to meet the demand for used clothing and accessories.

Anya Huneke, owner of Dirt Chic Vermont, says consignment stores are a good resource for both buyers and sellers.

“I think because it allows people to continue doing what they are doing and shopping where they want to shop,” Huneke said. “Without paying the prices that they once were.” 

Huneke said business has picked up since the COVID-19 vaccines became available. “It was like people were unleashed and they cameo out of the gates ready to shop,” she said.

Sophie Regina, a UVM student, said she shops second hand because it helps her save money and it’s better for the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, discarded clothing and textiles are a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“I know when I am shopping second hand I am preventing that from happening,” Regina said.  “And hopefully encourage that behavior from others too.” 

Huneke said she is optimistic she’ll keep up with the demands of her customers, but is “nervous about what is around the corner.”

“It’s really hard when there is not a lot to choose from as far as the workforce goes,” she said.

“So I don’t want to get too presumptuous that things are going to stick around this way.”