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Fashion Trends and Influence: Early 2000s

Oh, the early 2000s, what a time to be alive! It was a time when the internet was just starting to gain momentum, and flip phones were all the rage. But most importantly, it was a time when fashion was…interesting, to say the least. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit the trends that defined the early 2000s and today… withstanding the quick turnarounds of internet fashion trends.

First up, we have the infamous low-rise jeans. These were the pants that were so low, they might as well have been a skirt. They were popularized by pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, who paired them with belly-baring tops to really show off their midriffs. But what influenced this trend? I have a theory: it was all those low-rise thongs that were also popular at the time. I mean, why wear a regular pair of pants when you can wear a pants-thong combo? adding an extra pop of color never hurt no one.

Next, we have the velour tracksuit. Juicy Couture was the brand that made this trend famous, and it quickly became a staple in every fashion-conscious woman’s wardrobe. I mean, who wouldn’t want to wear an outfit that simultaneously made you look like you were about to hit the gym and lounge on a couch all day? But who influenced this trend? Paris Hilton. She was the queen of the early 2000s, and if she wore a velour tracksuit, you can bet your bottom dollar that everyone else was going to wear one too. Juicy Couture is now making a comeback to their traditional sweat suit world of velvet sweatpants and zip-ups, Uggs, and a handbag with a small dog to hide in.

Another trend that dominated the early 2000s was the mini skirt. And when I say mini, I mean mini. These skirts were so short, you had to be careful not to bend over too far, or you might give everyone a show. But what influenced this trend? I think it was a combination of things. For one, the 90s grunge aesthetic was still going strong, and what better way to rebel against that than by showing some leg? But I also think it had to do with the rise of reality TV. Shows like The Simple Life and Laguna Beach featured young, attractive people who were constantly out and about, and what better way to show off your socialite status than by wearing a mini skirt and a graphic tee about how much you hate your ex? Now… 20 years later, the new rendition of the mini skirt “ironic” look is back and stronger than ever. Small brands like “OGBFF” have brought in the screen printing version of the mini skirt and other internet hot girl looks. Bringing back the traditional “bimbo” look that is being chased now.

Moving on, we have the denim-on-denim look. This trend was all about layering as much denim as possible, and it was often paired with some kind of cowboy hat or boots. But what influenced this trend? I have a theory: it was Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. You might remember their iconic matching denim outfits from the 2001 American Music Awards. I’m pretty sure that moment single-handedly sparked the denim-on-denim trend. Besides a traditional couple halloween costume, there is still some use to denim on denim, other than the infamous “Canadian Tuxedo” – classic looks are still being seen in on the runway and in those front seats of VIPs.

Last but not least, we have the trucker hat. This was a trend that was popularized by Ashton Kutcher and his MTV show, Punk’d. It was all about wearing a hat that looked like it belonged to a trucker, even if you had never set foot in a big rig in your life. But what influenced this trend? I think it had to do with the rise of reality TV once again. Shows like Punk’d and The Osbournes featured celebrities who were more relatable than ever before, and wearing a trucker hat was a way to show that you were just a regular person, even if you were wearing $300 jeans and carrying a $1,000 handbag. Celebrities… they’re just like us!

So there you have it, the trends that defined the early 2000s and still very much today. Coincidentally, we just so happen to created the perfect store to bring back these trends in your own style with the actual items of 2000’s closets here in Jamaica Plain at Diversity Consignment. The cycle of fashion trends always come back to bite us in the ass, whether we like it or not. Stock up on your graphic tees and mini skirts now.

Written by Madison Murillo

Community · History · Thrifting

Fashion Trends and Influence: 1990s

The 1990s was a decade marked by fashion trends that were inspired by a wide range of cultural and societal factors. From the emergence of grunge music and alternative culture to the growth of hip-hop and streetwear, the 90s were a time of experimentation and self-expression in fashion. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key fashion trends of the 90s and the influences that shaped them.

Grunge

One of the most iconic fashion trends of the 90s was grunge, a subculture that emerged from the music scene in Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Grunge was characterized by a laid-back, rebellious aesthetic that included oversized flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and combat boots. The look was inspired by the DIY ethos of the punk movement and reflected the anti-establishment attitudes of the time.

The grunge look was also influenced by the music that gave it its name. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden all had a distinct sound and style that was heavily associated with the grunge movement. Their music was raw and unpolished, with lyrics that often expressed feelings of disillusionment and dissatisfaction with the world.

Hip-Hop and Streetwear

Another major influence on 90s fashion was hip-hop culture, which had been growing in popularity since the late 70s. Hip-hop fashion was characterized by baggy clothing, athletic wear, and sneakers, as well as bold colors and graphic prints. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Fila became synonymous with the hip-hop look, and their products were often worn with oversized t-shirts and tracksuits.

Streetwear also emerged as a distinct fashion trend in the 90s, with brands like Stussy and Supreme leading the way. Streetwear was characterized by a mix of athletic wear, skate culture, and hip-hop style, and was often associated with urban youth culture. The look was heavily influenced by graffiti and street art, and included bold graphics and bright colors.

Minimalism

While grunge and hip-hop fashion were both characterized by an eclectic, bold aesthetic, the 90s also saw the emergence of minimalism as a fashion trend. Minimalism was a reaction to the excess and flamboyance of the 80s, and was characterized by clean lines, neutral colors, and simple silhouettes.

Designers like Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, and Helmut Lang all embraced minimalism in their collections, creating clothing that was elegant and understated. The minimalist trend also extended to accessories, with simple, geometric jewelry and small handbags becoming popular among fashion-forward women.

Globalization

One of the less-discussed influences on 90s fashion was the growing trend of globalization. As the world became more connected through advances in technology and communication, fashion began to reflect this global perspective. This was seen in the rise of ethnic-inspired fashion, as designers looked to traditional dress from around the world for inspiration.

The trend also saw the emergence of new materials and techniques in fashion. As designers began to source fabrics and manufacturing techniques from around the world, new textures and finishes emerged in clothing. This global approach to fashion was seen in the collections of designers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, who were known for their avant-garde creations and bold use of materials.

All in all, the 1990s was a decade marked by a diverse range of fashion trends, each influenced by a different set of cultural and societal factors. From grunge to hip-hop to minimalism, the 90s saw a wide range of styles emerge and evolve. While some of these trends may have faded away over time, many of the key elements of 90s fashion continue to influence designers and fashion-lovers today.

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment

Community · History

Fashion Trends and Influence: 1980s

The 1980s was a decade of bold and dynamic fashion, characterized by a distinct aesthetic that is instantly recognizable even today. From the rise of punk and new wave to the emergence of MTV and music videos, the 1980s was a time of cultural and social change that was reflected in its fashion trends. In this blog post, we will explore the key fashion trends of the 1980s and what influenced them.

One of the most iconic fashion trends of the 1980s was power dressing, which emerged as a result of the growing number of women entering the workforce in positions of power. Power dressing was characterized by structured, tailored silhouettes, shoulder pads, and bold colors, often featuring strong and assertive accents such as oversized bows, statement jewelry, and bold prints. This trend was heavily influenced by the feminist movement, as women sought to assert their presence and authority in a male-dominated workplace.

Another significant trend of the 1980s was the rise of punk and new wave fashion. Inspired by the music scene, this trend was characterized by leather jackets, studded belts, ripped jeans, and chunky boots. This anti-establishment aesthetic was a reaction to the mainstream fashion of the time and was heavily influenced by the punk rock movement of the 1970s. Bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash were major influences on punk fashion, which became a symbol of rebellion and non-conformity.

The 1980s also saw the emergence of hip hop fashion, which was characterized by bold, oversized clothing, including baggy pants, graphic t-shirts, and tracksuits. This trend was heavily influenced by the hip hop music scene, which originated in the Bronx in the 1970s. Hip hop fashion was a reflection of the culture of the streets, and it was often associated with the emerging hip hop subculture, which was defined by its emphasis on self-expression and individuality.

In addition to these trends, the 1980s was also characterized by a range of other fashion styles, including preppy fashion, which was characterized by clean lines, tailored clothing, and bright colors. This trend was influenced by the popularity of Ivy League fashion and was often associated with the upper classes. Another trend was the emergence of the “yuppie” culture, which was characterized by designer labels, power suits, and a focus on materialism and consumerism. This trend was heavily influenced by the economic prosperity of the decade and the rise of the business class.

So what influenced these trends? One of the key influences on 1980s fashion was the emergence of MTV and music videos. Music videos became an important medium for fashion designers and stylists to showcase their designs, and they helped to popularize many of the key trends of the decade. Bands such as Duran Duran, Madonna, and Michael Jackson were major influences on fashion, and their music videos became iconic examples of 1980s style.

Another key influence on 1980s fashion was the growing influence of celebrity culture. The rise of tabloid journalism and the emergence of paparazzi photography helped to make celebrities more accessible and influential than ever before. Celebrities such as Princess Diana, Madonna, and Michael Jackson became style icons, and their fashion choices helped to shape the trends of the decade.

Finally, the social and cultural changes of the 1980s played a significant role in shaping fashion trends. The rise of feminism, the emergence of the hip hop subculture, and the growing influence of youth culture all had a profound impact on fashion. The 1980s was a decade of change and experimentation, and fashion was no exception.

What fashion trends from the 1980s stick out the most in your mind? Are we going to see another resurgence of 80s styles sometime in the near future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment

Art · History

Fashion Trends and Influence: 1970s

The 1970s were a decade of significant change in fashion. The fashion trends of the 1970s were influenced by various cultural, political, and social factors that made the styles of the era unique and iconic. The 70s saw the rise of the hippie and disco culture, which had a significant influence on the styles seen from day to day worn by both adults and younger teens. I have done some research and compiled a list of some of the top trends of 70s style and where the influence arose. 

Hippie Culture and Fashion

The hippie movement of the 1960s continued into the early 1970s. The hippie style was characterized by free-flowing garments, tie-dye prints, and a bohemian vibe. The styles were made up of maxi dresses, peasant blouses, flared jeans, and fringed vests. The colors were often earthy and muted, with a lot of browns, greens, and oranges.

Disco Culture and Fashion

The 1970s also saw the emergence of disco culture, which influenced fashion trends in a different way. Disco culture was all about dancing, and the clothes reflected that. The style was characterized by shiny fabrics, metallics, and lots of glitter. The disco style was made up of jumpsuits, bell-bottom pants, and wrap dresses. The colors were often bright and bold, with a lot of blues, pinks, and purples.

Influence of Pop Culture

The decade saw the rise of iconic celebrities such as Farrah Fawcett, Cher, and John Travolta, who all had their signature looks that were emulated by many. Farrah Fawcett’s feathered hairstyle and bell-bottom jeans became a fashion trend, while Cher’s daring and revealing outfits inspired many fashion designers.

Influence of Politics

The political climate of the 1970s also had an influence on fashion trends. The feminist movement was gaining momentum, and women’s fashion was becoming more androgynous. The power suit emerged as a symbol of women’s liberation, and shoulder pads became a fashion trend. The anti-war movement also influenced fashion trends, with many people opting for military-inspired clothing such as fatigue jackets and cargo pants.

Influence of Technology

The 1970s also saw the emergence of new fabrics and materials. Synthetic materials such as polyester became popular, and clothing was often made with bright, bold prints. The use of technology in fashion also led to the creation of stretchy fabrics such as spandex, which were used in disco clothing. Materials otherwise unseen in popular culture.

In Conclusion

As you can see, the fashion trends of the 1970s were influenced by various cultural, political, and social factors that made the styles of the era unique and iconic! The hippie and disco cultures, pop culture, politics, and rise in synthetic technology all contributed in various ways to hit the mainstream. The fashion trends of the 1970s continue to inspire fashion designers and are still popular today.

Tell us about your favorite fashion trends from the 70s…or maybe some that should remain history 🙂

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment

Community · Thrifting

100 Years Of Recycling Clothing

In the past century, the world has undergone tremendous changes, and one of the most notable transformations has been in the area of clothing recycling. Recycling clothes, which once was considered an unimportant and irrelevant matter, has now become a significant issue due to the increasing awareness of the importance of sustainability and environmental protection.

In the early 1900s, clothing recycling was not a widely practiced activity. The average person purchased clothes that were built to last, and any old clothes were either passed down to younger family members or repurposed into rags or cleaning materials. However, the invention of synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon in the 1930s and 1940s made clothes cheaper to produce, and their easy disposability led to an increase in waste.

The 1960s saw the beginning of the modern environmental movement, and with it, increased awareness of the need to reduce waste and preserve resources. This led to a resurgence in the idea of recycling, and organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army began to expand their clothing donation programs. In the 1970s, the first “recycling” stores were opened in the United States, where people could donate their old clothing and purchase second-hand clothes.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the textile recycling industry began to grow, and the first textile recycling machines were developed. These machines could sort through large quantities of used clothing, separating them into different categories based on material and quality. The clothes were then shredded, and the fibers were used to create new textiles, insulation, and even carpets.

In the early 2000s, the rise of online marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist made it easier for people to sell their old clothing online, rather than throwing them away. The emergence of social media platforms like Instagram also played a role in promoting sustainable fashion, with influencers sharing tips on how to repurpose old clothes and encouraging people to buy second-hand clothing.

Today, clothing recycling has become a global industry. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the fashion industry produces over 92 million tons of waste every year, with less than 1% of it being recycled. However, there are now many initiatives and organizations working to improve this. Major clothing retailers such as H&M, Zara, and Levi’s have launched recycling programs where customers can bring in their old clothes and receive a discount on new purchases. Many cities and towns also have textile recycling programs, where people can bring their used clothing to be sorted and recycled.

In addition to recycling, there has also been a significant rise in upcycling, where old clothes are repurposed into new and fashionable items. Upcycling can range from simply adding embellishments or patches to a piece of clothing to completely transforming it into something entirely new. This has become a popular trend among DIY enthusiasts and sustainable fashion advocates, with many small businesses and independent designers specializing in upcycled clothing.

We, here at Diversity Consignment, pride ourselves in offering a unique textile recycling experience. One in which clothing passes directly from a consignors closet to a new and happy home. I believe that consignment has the potential to be the most sustainable way of recycling within the textile industry, applying a zero sum waste approach.

We also offer a platform for up cycling artists and creators to showcase some of their creations while making a profit. Come by and check out some of the unique things we have for sale!

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment

Community · Thrifting

The Effects of Clothing Waste on the Economy

At Diversity Consignment, we recognize that the fashion industry is one of the largest industries in the world, generating trillions of dollars in revenue each year. However, with the rise of fast fashion and the throwaway culture that comes with it, the amount of clothing waste being produced is reaching alarming levels. This waste has a significant impact on the economy, affecting everything from the environment to job creation. Within this article, we hope to shed some light on the subject of waste and offer some new insights to the potential harmful effects waste poses in a broader sense, the economy.

The first major impact of clothing waste on the economy is the cost of disposal. Clothing that is no longer wearable ends up in landfills, where it can take hundreds of years to decompose. In the meantime, it takes up valuable space that could be used for other purposes. The cost of managing and maintaining landfills is significant, and the more clothing waste that is produced, the higher these costs become.

Another economic impact of clothing waste is the lost revenue that comes from discarded clothing. When clothing is thrown away, it is no longer available to be sold, which means that potential revenue is lost. This can be particularly problematic for small businesses, which may not have the financial resources to withstand the loss of revenue.

Additionally, the production of clothing waste has a negative impact on the environment, which can have ripple effects on the economy. The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, with the production of cotton, for example, requiring significant amounts of water and pesticides. When clothing is thrown away, it contributes to this pollution and can lead to further environmental degradation.

The environmental impact of clothing waste can also have indirect economic costs. For example, air and water pollution can lead to increased healthcare costs as people become sick from exposure to toxins. It can also lead to the loss of jobs in industries that rely on clean water and air, such as fishing or tourism.

In addition to these economic impacts, clothing waste can also have social costs. For example, in many developing countries, discarded clothing from developed countries is sold or donated. While this can provide access to clothing for those who may not be able to afford it otherwise, it can also have negative impacts on local textile industries, which are unable to compete with the low prices of imported clothing. This can lead to job losses and decreased economic activity in these industries.

There are also economic opportunities that are lost when clothing is thrown away. For example, there is a growing market for recycled textiles, with companies looking to create new clothing and other products from discarded materials. When clothing is thrown away, these opportunities for recycling and upcycling are lost.

Overall, the impact of clothing waste on the economy is significant and far-reaching. From the direct costs of disposal to the indirect costs of environmental and social degradation, the negative impacts of clothing waste are felt across a wide range of industries and sectors. However, there are also opportunities for innovation and growth in the emerging market for recycled textiles and sustainable fashion. By taking steps to reduce clothing waste and promote more sustainable practices in the fashion industry, we can create a more resilient and sustainable economy for the future.

Thank you so much for reading!

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment

Community · Thrifting

What are the Benefits of Thrifting?

Thrifting, the practice of purchasing second-hand items, has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s not just about saving money, though. There are many benefits to thrifting that go beyond just the financial. Here are some reasons why you should consider thrifting for your next shopping spree.

1. Sustainability

The fashion industry is notorious for its impact on the environment. From the use of water and chemicals to the carbon emissions of transportation, the production of new clothes is a significant contributor to pollution. Additionally, when clothes are discarded, they often end up in landfills, where they can take years to decompose.

Thrifting is a sustainable option because it extends the life of clothing that would otherwise be thrown away. By purchasing second-hand items, you’re reducing the demand for new clothes and helping to keep usable items out of landfills. Thrifting is an eco-friendly choice that helps to reduce your carbon footprint.

2. Uniqueness

When you shop at mainstream retailers, you’re likely to find the same items as everyone else. Thrifting, on the other hand, offers a unique shopping experience. Each thrift store has its own selection of items, and you never know what you’ll find. You may discover vintage pieces that are no longer available in stores or one-of-a-kind items that you won’t see anyone else wearing. Thrifting allows you to express your individuality and stand out from the crowd.

3. Affordability

One of the most obvious benefits of thrifting is the cost savings. Second-hand items are typically much cheaper than new ones, allowing you to stretch your budget further. You can find high-quality items for a fraction of their original price, which means you can get more for your money. Thrifting is an excellent way to find bargains and get the most out of your shopping budget.

4. Higher Quality

Many items you find while thrifting are of higher quality than what you might find in mainstream retailers. This is because they were likely made to last, rather than being produced quickly and cheaply. You can find items made from higher quality materials, such as wool or silk, that are more durable and will last longer than their cheaper counterparts. Thrifting allows you to get high-quality items for a fraction of the price.

5. Supporting Local Communities

When you shop at thrift stores, you’re supporting local businesses and communities. Many thrift stores are run by non-profit organizations or small business owners. By shopping at these stores, you’re helping to support local economies and contribute to the growth of small businesses. Additionally, some thrift stores donate a portion of their profits to local charities, so your purchase can make a positive impact beyond just your wardrobe.

6. Nostalgia

Thrifting can be a nostalgic experience. You may come across items that remind you of your childhood or a certain time period. This can be a fun way to reminisce and relive memories. Additionally, you may discover items that have a unique history, such as vintage band tees or concert posters. Thrifting allows you to connect with the past and add a touch of nostalgia to your wardrobe.

7. Experimentation

Thrifting is an excellent way to experiment with different styles and trends. Because the items are affordable, you can try out new looks without investing a lot of money. You can also mix and match items from different eras and styles to create a unique look. Thrifting allows you to be creative with your wardrobe and try out new styles without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, thrifting has many benefits beyond just the financial savings. It’s a sustainable option that helps to reduce your carbon footprint. It allows you to express your individuality and find unique items that you won’t see anyone else wearing. Thrifting is an affordable way to get high-quality items that are made to last

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment

Business · Community · Thrifting

Top 5 Vintage Stores in Boston

When it comes to the vintage scene, Boston is starting to make a serious footprint. There are all kinds of vintage stores across the US that have a stronghold in areas that are both remotely and in crowded cities. From LA to NY there are hundreds of some of the most iconic vintage stores packed with original Levis and adorable swing dresses. Many times, these stores are the places that Hollywood turns to for outfitting dated movie and television scenes. In fact, one of the names on this list has been featured in many movies across the big screen and they’ve been in Boston this whole time!

What is vintage? The term “vintage” and “antique” oftentimes overlap when spoken about from day to day. In terms of “true Vintage” we, at Diversity Consignment reference that phrase to anything that is at least 20 years old. Many department stores and boutiques will carry new “vintage inspired” outfits that may contain elements that one would commonly see in a vintage piece. These elements could include natural frays, dyes, or patina characteristic of a true vintage, aged garment. Not as good as the real thing in my opinion.

For this list we scoured the internet and by car for places within our home-town, Boston, Ma. in search of the absolute best true vintage stores in the area. There is no particular order to which of the top 5 is better than the others; this list is more of a comprehensive list of high-quality true vintage stores within Boston. Get ready…Go!

Bobby From Boston

Bobby From Boston is the OG Boston vintage store. It was established in 1995 by the true legend Bobby Garnett. Bobby started off his career in the vintage game by establishing his personal collection and growing it into his personal showcase. He must have been a true pioneer at the time when vintage clothing certainly didn’t have the mainstream buzz that it does today.

He eventually evolved his personal collection into an internationally sensational storefront. Bobby From Boston has outfitted countless movie sets and inspired incredible fashion designers. They have thousands of pieces from every era throughout fashion history. I believe that they do not accept anything later than the 80s to be brought into their showcase for sale.

Prices are on the higher side of second-hand outlets; however, you are sure to find exactly what you’re looking for and more! Today, Bobby From Boston is run by Bobby’s daughter Jessica since his passing in 2016. Jessica continues to run the warehouse with the legacy of Bobby in mind while adding her own creative twist.

The warehouse is absolutely massive. It’s barely even a store really. There are thousands of garments and outfits from every era imaginable. The focus is certainly male-oriented but as we know, anything can be and should be worn by anyone. The place is a museum of hand-picked gems and should be recognized as one. Maybe it will be someday!

They are currently located in their warehouse at 545 Washington St. in Lynn, Ma. Bobby From Boston is exclusively open to the public on Sundays from 11-4.

40 South St.

40 South St. in Jamaica Plain may be one of Boston’s greatest hidden gems. The store has been in business for over 30 years and run by former rock star Hilken Mancini. Hilken was a rock star from the golden age of punk and was a member of bands such as Fuzzy, The Count Me Outs, and Shepherdess.

The store brings out that punk rock energy in such a terrific way. There are hundreds of true vintage gems all over the place! Included in the inventory are vintage rock shirts, womenswear as well as a vast selection of menswear. The place is a real vibe and Mancini contributes to that energy in a great way. She really is the queen of vintage Boston. It is easy to get lost in the mix of colorful 60s, 70s, and 80s fabric.

The store is certainly on the smaller side and is loaded with clothing. The place is vibrant and colorful. It is located at 40 South St. in Jamaica Plain, Boston. The store is open Thursday 12-6, Friday 12-6, Saturday 11-6, and Sunday 12-5. Definitely come check it out!

Vivant Vintage

It’s pronounced “VeeVaunt”! Vivant Vintage pays homage to the rebirth of clothing. After all, the word vivant itself is the French word for life. Vivant Vintage has that goal in mind; to resurface life into cast-away and discarded clothing, shoes, and accessories and wow are they giving them life!

From the Traveling Spectacular cart owner Justin Pomerleau constructed in 2011, to the brick-and-mortar store he has today, Justin has created a legacy. So detailed, in fact, you can read the play-by-play history on the Vivant website. It is a true American Dream brought to life.

Vivant Vintage is housed in a unique location within Allston. It is close by to a candle factory so oftentimes there is a fresh candle-making scent lingering nearby. I think this adds to the charm of the shop. The store itself is organized in a very aesthetically pleasing organized clutter. Not to say that it is cluttered, because it certainly is well organized. The store just screams vintage. Hundreds of vintage jeans. Everything there is hand-picked by Justin and his team of experts. Nothing is not vintage, and that passion shows. They have an excellent selection of all things old but jewelry in particular is what stands out the most. Check it out for yourself!

Vivant Vintage is located at 318 Lincoln St, Allston Ma. They’re right there at the end of the footbridge. You may also see Justin and the team on the road as they stick to their roots by regularly scheduling pop-ups throughout various marketplaces in Boston.

High Energy Vintage

Another vintage shop in Boston with humble roots in the street markets is High Energy Vintage. High Energy Vintage began on the streets of SoWa Vintage Market in Boston’s South End. In 2012 they were able to secure their first location in Teele Square, and in 2016 they moved to their current location at Union Square.

High Energy Vintage is one of those places that once you’re there, you never forget. The place is decked out in neat decor and childhood nostalgia (I guess if you were a child near the time I was, at least). The place is laced in vibrant, colorful clothing and some staple classics. Think 1980s as a store front and you’ve envisioned yourself within the walls of High Energy Vintage. The owners really do bring the energy when it comes to the decor and the vibes. They have a fairly large storefront and always have plenty of gems to choose from at very reasonable prices.

High Energy Vintage is your 1 stop shop for all things nostalgic. They even have a rad selection of vinyl records and VHS tapes! Also, I have to admit, their Tiktok and social media pages deserve more views and likes than they get. The marketing is absolutely fabulous!

Find High Energy Vintage at 429 Somerville Ave. in Somerville, Ma. They’re open every day except Tuesday. You can also find High Energy Vintage on the road as well! They’re oftentimes setting up shop at the local markets and have a schedule to see where they’ll be right there on their website.

Great Eastern Trading Co

Certainly, the oldest vintage shop on the list is the Great Eastern Trading Co. Originally created as an army/navy surplus store in 1969, Great Eastern Trading Co has a long and detailed history. I won’t go into all the details within this article, but the information is readily available on their website. The current owner, Nephtaliem McCrary has brought the store to the forefront of the “modern” vintage scene of Boston.

With locations in Cambridge, Malden, and Somerville, the Great Eastern Trading Co has roots that stretch to all corners of the city. The stores themselves are what you would want to walk into when desiring something different. The store specializes in true vintage garments and costumes. They have a huge selection of the perfect costumes for any party/event and especially Halloween. The stores are stocked full of eclectic displays and decor. The characters are really brought to life anytime someone tries something on and poses for a photo for the web page or social media.

When I tell you this place has energy, this place has energy. There are gorgeous styles from all eras (20’s – today). Owner McCrary really loves to test the limit of sanity with the fun stylings and displays inside and outside of the store. You can find all sorts of fun events scheduled on their website to keep you in the loop of what’s happening within the vintage world. Be sure to keep Great Eastern Trading Co on your list of must-see vintage shops in Boston.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! My list of the top 5 true vintage stores in Boston. Like I said, Boston is on the rise for cool and eclectic vintage shops, and I hope that this list guides you. Don’t forget to check us out as well! Diversity Consignment has been doing its thang, although I would not consider us a true vintage store, we definitely carry some awesome vintage stuff!

I hope that more stores carry on the tradition of recycling clothing and forgotten gems. The world could use more funk and I love to see the future generations rockin’ some unique stylish stuff as opposed to the cookie-cutter styles ugly department stores continue to push on us. Stay humble, stay cool.

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment

Business · Community · Thrifting

Why You Should Give Used Gifts

Now, obviously, certain used gifts are not for everyone. Giving a pair of worn-out shoes that your toe sticks out of the front to your new fiancĂ© would probably not be the best idea. Some things can be more of a liability than an act of kindness. Another example could be gifting a car that is missing an engine, unless it’s something super-rare and you can work on it yourself and you enjoy that type of thing.

Many people will scoff at the idea of receiving a used gift as a present, and that is fine if you feel like you’re “above” second-hand gifts. I’m not here to convince you that you’re not bougey, I’m just here to explain some of the benefits of gifting and receiving used items.

Some of the topics I will cover in this article are the benefits to gift used items, some of the trends we have been seeing, and where the future of gift-giving may be trending.

The Benefits of Gifting Used or Second-Hand.

The stigma of the embarrassment in gifting used or second-hand gifts can finally end. There are so many benefits to gifting used gifts!

  • You can save money: The holidays are often-times traps by corporate America to force us to buy, buy, buy. No doubt we can give gifts if we have the resources to do so, but why does it all have to be so new and expensive? It doesn’t when you shop second hand! Imagine paying anywhere between 50% to 90% off! That’s more money to use for the things you love, and the recipient will appreciate the fact that you thought of them (If they truly care about you).
  • You can get awesome, unique stuff: This holds true for every category. What they serve you in the retail stores is just what they think you’re interested in today. Imagine opening up a world where the interests of today can be expanded to the interests of all-time. Let me explain. In other words, you can find treasures that were beloved from all eras. Imagine finding a super-cool board game only produced for a few years 30 years ago! If your partner loves board games, that could be an awesome, unique gift for them.
  • Many times, you are supporting a small business or benefitting charities: Most of the second-hand industry is run by local re-sellers or charity organizations. Imagine the impact you can make on the many people that you shop from by choosing to buy used. In this day and age where everything is turning into a giant corporate-driven mess, you can pledge your allegiance to what you believe in by supporting local, sustainable shops.
  • It’s wicked sustainable: As if you didn’t need any more quality reasons to gift second-hand gifts. By gifting used cars, you’re keeping them out of car graveyards, and by gifting used clothing you are keeping them out of landfills. Keeping things in economic motion can have a huge impact on the planet we all share!

The Stigma

No one is quite sure where the negative stigma associated with gifting used items came from but it’s time to end it. If you spent the time researching and finding a second-hand gift for someone, they should appreciate it or else you should dump them as a friend. They’re not really worth your time or effort.

In no way, shape, or form should you be embarrassed about giving or receiving a second-hand treasure. Like I said, there is a lot more effort and thought behind the gift and is often times more personalized.

A lot of the time while thrifting you’ll see something very unique, and that person that it’s perfect for just pops into your head! What’s more thoughtful than that!? The answer is nothing.

Here at Diversity Consignment, we see and hear this happening all the time. “OMG so and so would love that!” “I’m buying it just for them!” There’s nothing more beautiful to hear.

Giving a gift card to a second-hand store can also be a sneaky way of giving something new and used at the same time. Try it out.

The Future of Gift-Giving

As time goes by, more and more people are shopping more sustainably. This is true especially for personal shopping, but also moving in the same direction for gift-giving during the holiday seasons.

More emphasis on sustainability and more awareness on the benefits of shopping used items means a better world for us all to enjoy. I say the future holds a reversal on the stigma. Let’s gooooo!

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment

Business · Thrifting

Is Savers / Value Village A Charity Thrift Chain?

I guess I’m in a spicy mood today to do a little revealing dive into the relationship that Savers has with charity. I will be un-partial in this article to whether or not I think Savers’ operation is good or bad and provide facts that are readily available to the public through various credible websites.

What we will cover includes if Savers is in fact a charity thrift chain, some relationships that they have been a part of and a general outlook on this type of business model.

Is Savers / Value Village a Charity Store?

The simple answer to this question is no. Savers is not a charity thrift store. In fact, they explain this in detail several times on their website. “We’ve chosen to keep our business model this way—to buy our supply from local nonprofits.” We pay our nonprofit partners for your stuff, helping them fund programs in your community.” “Shopping in our stores does not support any nonprofit.”

It sounds a little tricky, if Savers is a for-profit “charity” thrift store, what type of business model is this actually?

To be honest with you, the type of business model is actually genius from a capitalistic standpoint. Savers has a relationship with a charity organization within their stores and essentially pays the charity by-the-pound for your donations. Things they want and think they can sell; they pay a certain $ per pound (this information is unavailable to the public) and things that they don’t want and do not think fit their store standards they pay a less amount per pound and then “recycle.” Like I said, this amount is undisclosed to the public but certain partners have gone on record saying that Savers will pay $40,000 and then flip that donation for $1 million.

The recycling is where things can get a little tricky. If they take after the model of the textile recycling centers, what that usually means is that they would ship the unwanted clothing overseas to a buyer that will pay them more per pound than they purchased it for. I’m not saying that is exactly what they do at the Savers recycling warehouses, but it would be hard to convince me that they send clothing over-seas on their own dime.

Savers and Charity Relationships

Several of the nearly 100 charity organizations that have been associated with the Savers organization have severed ties. According to an NBC article, 3 of 6 have cited unfavorable terms and conditions. Director of the Boston area Big Brother Big Sister Foundation was cited saying the following: “If you’re making a million, and we’re making $40,000, how is that helping charities?” “It may be legal, but it’s not right.”

Other charities associated with the Savers organization have openly come out in the defense of the for-profit conglomerate stating that public funding for charities has dried-up and if it weren’t for Savers’ purchasing contributions, they may not make it.

It’s fair to say that the business model that Savers has developed has certainly benefited charities as well as itself. Although Savers does not report its financial performance to the public, their yearly revenue has estimated to reach $1.2 billion according to Moody’s Investor’s Service.

Outlook

As a business owner myself, I find this business model to be fascinating. The problem I could see would be if the general public is deceived into thinking that their donations go directly to benefiting the charity associated with the business, when actually it does not. In the case of Savers and Value Village, the charity does receive compensation by-the-pound when Savers pays for the clothing. They then put the clothing into their stores and price them to make a profit. What is unwanted goes into their recycling center.

I know in recent times; Savers has created an announcement that plays over the telecom during business hours reinforcing the fact that they are a for-profit company. The next time you are in Savers, try to pay attention to the telecom to hear the message.

-Ian Drake, Diversity Consignment