Rumors heard in the news: “Ann Taylor closing 117 stores. Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, and Catherine’s to close 150 store nationwide. Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January. Cache will close all stores. GAP closing 85 stores.” The financial health of major retailers is always very hush hush — until they’re selling the furniture! So regardless of whether the rumors are true or not, big retail is not enjoying it’s best returns we’ve ever seen.
Last year NPR Radio reported on a national trend where large commercial landlords (read shopping malls) were starting to “cave in” to small resale stores. Many malls across the country are facing big financial troubles in the face of chain store closings. Empty spaces dont’ generate a lot of rent, so… hello upscale resale stores!
We’ve done some scouting around and there are definitely some bargians to be had. There are a ton of great stores right here in the Willamette Valley with some very nice lightly worn merchandise. Three of which are Second Glance in Corvallis, Restyle in Albany and BeeZoo in Portland.
Not so long ago, “resale” meant “thrift” and thrift shops were dingy little stores hidden behind dated storefronts. There was a fair amount of shame involved with shopping in them – it indicated something unpleasant about who you were. Pleasant people shopped at Nordstrom and might make a yearly pilgrimage to Macy’s in California or Saks in New York.
Fortunately, our collective social conscience has begun to shift, and our awareness awakened. We’ve started to think about social responsibility, respecting the environment, minimizing our carbon footprint, the indecent level of consumerism and consumption present in our culture, the struggle of the locally-owned company, trade deficits….
Can we live more simply? Can we consume less, recycle more, support each other in better, more mutually beneficial ways; can we live our lives with a global mindset – remembering that every decision we make contributes to a wave of impact?
How can we live conscientiously while honoring our inner fashionista? Must we give her up?
We don’t think so.
We believe that resale shops like Second Glance in Corvallis, Restyle Resale in Albany and BeeZoo in Portland are a wonderful way to experience the thrill of fashion while remaining socially responsible.
We could all drive to the city to our favorite department store or boutique for that piece our wardrobe is missing… but when we have the chance to support a “green” method of shopping, a locally-owned business, and save gas, why wouldn’t we?
After all, what we’re wearing doesn’t determine who we are – the choices we make, and the way we live our lives, does.
Shopping resale is another way to engage in a sustainable lifestyle. Ecologically, it’s making a choice to recycle your closet – rather than adding to the staggering volume of consumer clothing and textile waste that ends up in landfills each year.
It’s a savvy way to engage in the world of consumer fashion. Why pay $500 for a new Kooba handbag when you can find one at Second Glance in Corvallis for less than half its retail value? Shop smart. Resale is not vintage or thrift shopping. Second Glance & The Annex only carry items that have been manufactured within the last two years. They spend the time to hand-select the most pristine items for each season from consignment groups. Their stylist works diligently to spot the major trends and classics each season, and makes sure the shops represent the most current face of fashion.
On a daily basis, you’ll find everything on the Second Glance floor from haute couture designers like Missoni and Louis Vuitton, to boutique items from Anthropologie, shoes with labels like Frye and Kate Spade, handbags from Hobo and Marc Jacobs … the list goes on and on.
BeeZoo Exchange in Portland is a children’s resale shop specializing in European children’s clothing. In speaking with David, owner at BeeZoo, we discovered very nice European children’s cloting sells in the store for about 30% of retail. Not bad when you factor in the flight to France, hotel room, dining… you could be saving thousands just by purchasing one little dress — assuming you were to go and pick it up at the source… BeeZoo also has a seamstress who works with store clients in need of capes (super-hero style) and halloween outfits. A very civilized way to acquire garments, even fun ones — when you consider the alternatives.
Restyle in Alabany has done a fantastic job of outfitting their store with fixtures, fittings and accoutrements. You’d never know you were in a resale store if it didn’t say it on the sign!
All three stores in our lineup have very nice clothing. There are no holes or frayed edges or stains. Just superb quality at a fraction of the price of new.
Most resale shops will do consignment, give your items a certain amount of time to sell and then either give them back or donate them to a charitable organization if you wish.
Usually you can “run a tab” for your items and use the proceeds from the sale of your stuff to buy new (to you) stuff.
Our recommendation: join the revolution, go take a look in your closet and start trading. You’ll feel better about yourself and your world, and you might have money left over to treat yourself to lunch out!