The Student News Site of Grayslake Central High School


The Student News Site of Grayslake Central High School


The Student News Site of Grayslake Central High School


Thrift Store Chi-Recycle Now Open in Libertyville

Violet Rowe
Ever Hernandez (right) and Dhantal Horton (left) infront of Chi-Recycle’s photo wall

When looking for thrift stores nearby, many people will look to large corporations like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. These stores can be overwhelming, flooded with second-hand items, and it can often be difficult to find on-trend, stylish clothes that appeal to Gen-Z. As thrifting becomes more popular among high school students, Goodwill may no longer be able to meet their specific needs. While you can find some hidden gems at these stores, a more promising thrift store is located right next door in Libertyville.

 Chi Recycle, owned by Ever Hernandez and Dhantel Horton, not only sells vintage clothing but also offers customers the opportunity to sell any of their own items. 

On May 14, 2022, Hernandez and Horton achieved their dreams of opening a thrift store together. Chi Recycle carries authentic vintage clothing, along with a large variety of shoes. At Chi Recycle, “we buy, sell, and trade, so even though we are select with it, people can bring in their stuff to trade for merchandise or get cash, ” said Hernandez. The merchandise is timely and is constantly being updated to fit the styles of teenagers and adolescents.

Merchandise at Chi-Recycle (Violet Rowe)

In the store, it is easy to find items such as vintage college and sports team sweatshirts, unique jackets, and Y2K sweatsuits. Typically, at vintage stores like Chi Recycle, the clothing is driven up in price. Horton, however, has said“We just try to get the best prices to the customers. We just try to give y’all the best that we can so it’s affordable for everyone.” Chi Recycle is unique in how it follows some rules of traditional thrift stores while also having characteristics of newer vintage clothing stores. 

Hernandez and Horton explained that they are always on the hunt for new clothing for their store. “You will always see us at a garage sale,” said Horton. The merchandise is brought in from all different locations, whether it be from a state sale or people bringing in their personal belongings. Horton said “A lot of stuff comes from people bringing it into the store and wanting to trade with us so they can get something else. Or they want cash,” when asked where a majority of the items are from. This system of customers selling their merchandise to the store has worked well since Chi Recycle opened and was one of the things Hernandez and Horton strategically planned when opening the shop. 

Shoes avaliable for purchase at Chi-Recycle (Violet Rowe)

The idea of opening Chi Recycle first stemmed from a freshmen P.E. class at Mundelein High School. Hernandez and Horton were both into fashion and shoes. “I always had a dream of opening a shoe store,” said Horton. As their friendship remained strong into their later years, they both realized that they wanted to open a business, but were not sure exactly what kind of business they wanted to start.  

In 2019, Hernandez introduced Horton to a Netflix show he was watching called Slobby’s World, which inspired them due to the show’s predominantly 80s and 90s-based apparel. Hernandez and Horton realized they could open a business like the show’s, and ever since then they “just ran with it,” according to Hernandez. As Chi Recycle has grown, they both have made long-term goals and hope to expand Chi Recycle out of state and possibly become “Texas Recycle.” Both Hernandez and Horton work full-time jobs outside of their business, but visualize Chi Recycle becoming their main source of income in the future. 

Despite its successes, Chi Recycle has faced challenges since its opening. The thrift store’s location is difficult to spot from the street view and Horton has said that “Our big thing is marketing. Getting our name out.” Despite its out-of-sight location, they find other ways to push their business out to the public. One of the ways they do this is by using Chi Recycle’s Instagram, @chi_Receycle. The Instagram page is constantly being updated with events and deals for customers and inquiring minds. One unique thing Hernandez and Horton created to boost their crowd is a “picture wall.”

Here, after a customer has purchased an item, they can get their photo taken and be posted and tagged to Chi Recycle’s Instagram. The goal is that “They can repost [our post] and then their friends can see,” said Horton. GCHS students also have the opportunity to earn 15% off any purchase by bringing this Rampage article. Chi Recycle is one of the first shops near Grayslake to carry vintage pieces thrifters are so desperately looking for. So why not give Chi Recycle a chance? You may find your picture on their Instagram.

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