SEATTLE — In Seattle's busy Ballard neighborhood, Wonderland Gear Exchange carries hundreds of reasons to get out of the city.
“We're an outdoor gear consignment shop,” said co-owner Ben Mawhinney. “We're like a used REI, so brands you're used to seeing and clothing and equipment you're used to seeing in an outdoor gear store."
They carry camping gear and tents, skis, snowboards and boots, jackets and fleece and hats and gloves – just about everything an outdoorsy person could ever need is ready and waiting for a second life, with a new adventurer.
"To us, the actual consignment, the re-use of gear, is what needs to change in our world,” said co-owner Nate Seiberling.
The owners’ commitment to reduce, re-use, and recycle isn't just a marketing ploy - virtually everything in the store is repurposed, from the fixtures to the shelving.
For customers, the proof is on the price tags.
All items are - at minimum – 30% off retail, including brand new samples they occasionally have in stock.
"I feel like everyone used to say, 'get outside, it's free.' I'm like, 'it's not free!’” laughed customer Amber Chang, who shops for climbing and skiing gear.
She saved 50% on a CiloGear pack she'd been coveting.
"I found one here that I wanted, and it miraculously fit perfectly, so I snagged it,” she said.
Despite the thrill of the hunt, Wonderland is an unintimidating space. Customers can play foosball or relax on a couch, and the owners want the price points to make both gear and outdoor activities accessible to a wider base.
"We hope it keeps growing and that more people keep participating in this circular cycle of consigning and also buying used, and we'll see where it grows from here,” Seiberling said.
Wonderland Gear Exchange | 7750 15th Ave. NW Seattle, WA 98117 | (206) 582-1987