Vicki Stevenson is a store manager who decides what items to accept for resale at a secondhand-clothing shop called Buffalo Exchange. It's part of a growing chain of stores in a growing __69__, and it just may be the cool place to find trendy fashions at a fair price this summer. The rise of fast fashion, which uses a speeded-up production cycle to rush designer-inspired clothes to moderately priced retailers like Zara and H&M, has __70__ new life into secondhand stores like Buffalo Exchange by boosting their supply of barely worn apparel. “H&M is our bread and butter,” says Stevenson, 27, as she flips through a carousel of blouses from H&M, American Apparel, Benetton and the Gap with prices __71__ from $7.50 to $14 apiece.
Buffalo Exchange, which earned more than $3 million last year on $43 million __72__ , has 32 stores nationally, making it one of the largest purveyors of recycled clothing in the country. Three more stores are planned for this year. The number of resale shops is growing 5% annually, according to the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops. There are no national __73__ of the size of the used-clothing industry, since most of the country's 20,000 resale shops are individually owned and many other sellers operate online.