HELENA — Antiquing, thrifting, and secondhand shopping have enjoyed a surge over the last decade.
It's been featured in popular music and noted as a more sustainable option compared to buying new.
The practice is now enjoying another increase in popularity as a way to beat supply chain issues impacting some retail businesses.
In Helena stores like Golden Girls Antique Mall have seen a spike in customers and shoppers say that they have seen an increase in people looking for unique secondhand gifts.
“Just an amazing assortment of people younger folks nowadays who seem to appreciate more things from the past,” said Sally Orlando a frequent shopper at Golden Girls.
Orlando is 75 years old and loves to go to antique shops to revisit memories of the past, "because this is worth hanging onto and it's worth making sure it lasts."
Like Orlando, many people have turned to secondhand shops like thrift stores and antique shops to find furniture and furnishings for their homes, never knowing what the store has to offer.
“We hit all the antique stores along the way just to see if you find a nice little treasure you've never seen before, so you just never know,” said Patty Hilbig, from Great Falls.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports nearly 9.7 million tons of furniture were thrown in landfills in the US in 2018.
While sustainable stores like Golden Girls first were impacted by the pandemic due to shutting down for seven weeks, its seen a steady increase in people longing for preowned items, as well as shopping locally.
“The challenges of COVID have been just a monster and shopping local keeps us a community and that's what we want to be is we want to be one loving community here in Helena and we want to be part of that too,” said Golden Girls owner, Dave Burningham.
The 10,000 square foot store on North Last Chance Gulch offers new customers and regulars a taste of the past, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.