Knowing Your Neighbors: Buy and Sell Gear at Great Lakes Gear Exchange
New outdoor gear consignment store opens in East Hillside.
DULUTH, Minn.- Here outdoor activities are a part of life in any season. But all of that equipment can get pricey. Great Lakes Gear Exchange is hoping to change that.
“Our mission is to make outdoor adventure financially and culturally accessible while promoting sustainability in the outdoor industry,” said co-owner Brooke Wetmore.
Before occupying their new storefront on East 4th Street, Great Lakes Gear Exchange started small.
“We started talking about this about three years ago,” fellow co-owner Emily Richey said.
“We hosted six pop-up shops starting in March of 2019 and they were hosted at the Duluth Folk School,” she said, “which went super well.”
The “gear” they accept ranges from stuff for snowy stunts: “We’re currently taking winter items like coats, skis, fat bikes, fishing–ice fishing equipment, things like that,” to regular winter warmth.
“Bring gear that their kids have grown out of or don’t do that sport anymore,” said Richey. “And then get new gear since small humans grow quickly and they need a winter coat, you live in Northern Minnesota.”
Whatever you have in your closet in good condition, they’ll take, and you’ll get some money back.
Once you bring your non-motorized, gently used and clean gear in, they’ll set a price with you to sell it at.
After it’s sold you’ll receive a percentage back either in a check or store credit.
“Being able to have it on consignment where you can get it cheaper and being able to have consignment where you can make money off that stuff sitting in your closet is really important to us,” Wetmore said.
The two owners of the store hope it becomes more than just a retail space.
“We also really want it to be a community space and so a space where folks can come in, and get more connected with other people to connect with the outdoors,” she said.
Because after all, there’s a lot of outdoor fun to get to here.
“Duluth is an outdoor city we are covered with greenspace and trails of all types, whether it be hiking or biking or skiing,” said Richey.