Fashion – Style – Trends

50 Years of Giving Back

The original Buffalo Exchange location in Tucson from 1981

Since we opened our doors in 1974, Buffalo Exchange has been keeping cool clothes where they belong: in your closets and out of landfills. Our stores give more than 5.5 million pieces of clothing a second life every year. But our commitment to making the world a better place goes far beyond the recycled threads on our racks — even if that is one of our favorite parts! It’s always been important for us to give back to the communities we’re a part of. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2024, we wanted to take a look back at the journey we took with you to get here.

Clothes hanging in a closet, roughly in order by color

Tokens for Bags® (1994-2024)

Did you know that Buffalo Exchange has been a plastic bagless company for 30 years? That’s right: we were doing the sustainable thing before it was cool. With the launch of our Tokens for Bags® program in 1994, instead of offering customers a single-use plastic bag with their purchase, we decided to give the cost of that bag (5 cents) back to the community. Every time you shop with us, you can donate to one of three rotating non-profits in your area! In the last few decades, those small but mighty 5-cent tokens have added up in a big way — $926,025 raised for thousands of local charities and over 18.5 million plastic bags kept out of the environment. Check out the current list of non-profits you can give back to at a Buffalo Exchange near you.P.S. We also offer handy, affordable and super cute reusable totes that are made of 70% recycled plastic bottles!

Earth Day $1 Sale (1997-2024)

If you don’t already know about our Earth Day sale, then keep reading! Every year on the Saturday closest to Earth Day, we hold a fundraising $1 sale at all of our stores across the US (excluding the Buffalo Outlets). All proceeds from these sales go to a non-profit! Since we started the sale in 1997, we’ve donated more than $800,675 to a wide variety of causes, from keeping plastic out of our oceans to protecting pollinators and saving the elephants.

Make sure to mark your calendars for 2024 — our next Earth Day sale is coming up on April 20, 2024, and all proceeds will go to our friends at Goats of Anarchy!

A group of people smiling while holding armfuls of clothing in front of a Buffalo Exchange store
Performer Nathanael Myers dancing expressively in a dark room
Buffalo Exchange HQ Arts Award winner Nathanael Meyers performing interpretive dance
Buffalo Exchange HQ Arts Award winner Nathanael Meyers

Arts Award (1994-2019)

From the beginning, Buffalo Exchange has been a safe place for folks to express their individuality — whether through personal style or any other creative outlet. That’s why in 1994, founders Kerstin and Spencer Block created an arts fund in partnership with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. For more than 25 years, the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award gave $244,000 in grants to fund digital artists, performers, sculptors, and even educators in their creative work. We like to believe fashion is a form of art, which is why we support our fellow artists whenever we can!

Clothing for the Community (2015-2021)

We’re dedicated to extending the life cycle of clothing and it’s our goal to make sure that no textiles end up in landfills. That’s where our Clothing for the Community® program comes in. While many companies throw their surplus and damaged inventory in the trash – or even go as far as to destroy it – we’re always looking for new ways to give back. For almost ten years, Buffalo Exchange provided non-profits in Southern Arizona with large clothing donations for them to use in their own fundraising $1 sales. From 2015 to 2021, variations of this program raised over $143,100. Goes to show that one person’s clothes really are another’s treasure!

Piles of clothing laid across an elementary school basketball court for a Clothing for the Community $1 sale
Bobcat kitten at wildlife rehabilitator Wet Mountain Wildlife curled up on a fur coat atop a cat tree

Coats for Cubs (2006-2020) & Fund for the Animals (2023-2024)

In 2023, Buffalo Exchange started the Fund for the Animals in partnership with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to support non-profits providing our animal companions with shelter and care. Through this initiative, Buffalo Exchange awarded Friends of PACC a $30,000 grant in 2023 for their admirable work supporting Pima Animal Care Center.

Before that, for 14 years, we ran a Coats for Cubs program, where we collected over 17,202 fur donations from our incredible customers and distributed them to wildlife rehabilitators across the country. Instead of your great aunt’s fur collecting dust in a closet, those furs were used to provide bedding and comfort to orphaned and injured wildlife. Have furs you’d like to donate? While the program isn’t currently running, you can visit for information on where you can donate your furs today.

50 Acts of Kindness to Give Back in Each Community

In honor of our 50th anniversary, we’re giving back with 50 Acts of Kindness throughout 2024. Each of our 40+ Buffalo Exchange locations nationwide will be participating in their own charitable act, whether it’s running a donation drive for shelters like Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, sponsoring animals at rescues like Frosted Faces Foundation in San Diego or shopping events benefiting organizations like The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York.

Visit to see how your local Buffalo has chosen to give back and how you can join in on the fun!

Buffalo Exchange employee in a Buffalo Exchange tee and pink pants picking trash off the sidewalk with a trash grabber

As we look back on these milestones, we want to thank the communities who made this possible. Buffalo Exchange wouldn’t be here without our amazing customers. Thank you for choosing sustainable fashion and for helping us give back to this planet we call home. Here’s to 50 more years of making a difference together!