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Sustainable living: best places to shop for used furniture and home goods in Chapel Hill

Sustainable living: best places to shop for used furniture and home goods in Chapel Hill

Wondering where to get furniture for your apartment? We got you. Here are a couple of places to help you get started with sustainable living.


The newest generation of college students and young professionals seem to be the driving force encouraging sustainable living. When people think of sustainability, it’s easy to imagine less food waste, reducing one’s carbon footprint and energy consumption, and limiting fossil fuel consumption. What goes unreported is living sustainably at home. This includes thrifted furniture and clothes as well as eco-friendly produced home furnishings. Here’s a look at some of the most resourceful and sustainable stores in the Chapel Hill area. 




CommunityWorx, formerly known as PTA Thrift Shop, continues to provide the same great services as they have for nearly 70 years. 


This nonprofit organization “contributes to environmental sustainability by reselling used goods and reducing waste that may otherwise end up in the landfill.”


Erik Valera, the chief operating officer at CommunityWorx in Chapel Hill, said the store’s goal is to lessen the community’s wasteful habits by recycling clothes, furniture and home goods. There are hidden gems if you know where to look, and those quality items are reasonably priced.


Valera says everything is recycled or donated. Every product is quality tested prior to floor display. If the item is broken past repair, the store recycles scrap metal and will donate the electronics to repair stores. 


“We encourage people to donate here because it goes back into the community,” Valera said. “Students are part of our community here and they’re just as much donors as they are shoppers. We want this to be part of their college experience.”


From clothes to kitchen appliances and more, it’s safe to say CommunityWorx has some of everything a college student would need and anything they might want.


Habitat for Humanity Homestore


Habitat for Humanity ReStores are no stranger to the thrifting industry as the company has been around since 1976. It can definitely be a major part of the college student’s life – from donating old dorm furniture to searching for used items at discount prices. 


Chrissy Sailstad, the ReStore operations manager for Wake County, said the biggest time for student shopping is the beginning of the semester, while donating is at its highest during May when students move out for the school year. 


“During August, we pretty much try to have inventory built up for the students, like couches, coffee tables and computer desks,” Sailstad said. “In May, we try to get rid of most inventory and host pick up locations near campus.” 


The items that do not get sold are listed as free for any community member to pick up. Similarly to CommunityWorx, the ReStore puts everything back into the community, regardless of profit margins. 


Sustainable Fashion Initiative: 


Sustainable living spans beyond professional organizations that are not university-related. It’s easy to find ways of living greener, even on campus, if you know where to look. 


The Sustainable Fashion Initiative is a club at UNC focused on making more sustainable choices.


Students can cook more (but limit meat and dairy consumption), compost/recycle, avoid online-shopping (is that Amazon order necessary?), use cold water when washing clothes, and avoid the dryer if possible to save energy and water,” wrote Rabina Sawhney, an executive of the initiative, in an email. 


Sawhney also highlighted the importance of students being conscious consumers – this includes buying only when necessary; purchasing set amounts of groceries or home goods as to not go over budget or be wasteful; and supporting brands that are transparent with consumers regarding where the company sources materials, if the company has high labor standards and if the company is trying to reduce its carbon footprint. 


If you want to get more information about the Sustainable Fashion Initiative, head over to their website or send them an email



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