EMBRACE YOURSELF!

By Nancy Despain

Embrace yourself - in every way, at every age.

You might ask why I’m writing this as a style segment. I really believe that fashion is of the moment, and style is unique to every person and timeless - ageless if you will. Part of your own personal style is embracing yourself, loving yourself, and being confident in who you are.

As our bodies change and we start to feel like the traditional standards of beauty are slipping out of our reach, we can be really hard on ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. We as women torture ourselves with food, with exercise, with ridiculous standards of how we’re supposed to look feel and act. I challenge this old-fashioned belief system of fitting into a cookie-cutter standard of beauty. I believe there’s beauty in everyone. In fact, unique qualities are very beautiful.

Whatever your best feature is, and maybe there’s more than one, play it up! Make it work for you! Embrace it! Whatever you love about yourself, enhance it and show it off.

I can’t tell you how disturbing it is for me to hear women who are getting a little bit older tell me that they have no value left (and it may be disturbing to you to know how often I hear it) because they aren’t young, don’t feel as beautiful and as needed at home like they once were.

Beauty comes from being confident. Honestly, that’s probably the most important thing! Self-assured, happy, kind, and loving people project beauty. It’s not how young you are, how big your butt is, or how busty you are or aren’t. Beauty and style are unique to every women.

Embrace yourself, be bold and brave and, most of all, be at peace with your appearance. There is great beauty in simply being yourself. Plus I have news for everyone: You can run, but you can’t hide from growing old. And growing old doesn’t mean ugly. Some of the most stunning women are those who toss the old standards of beauty aside and embrace who they are and how they look.

THAT, my friends, is the new standard of beauty.

Love yourself sister, and the rest will fall into place.

XXOO Nancy

All Things Denim

By Nancy Despain

Denim has been growing in popularity and its place in fashion has exploded. What was once seen as casual, off-hours attire is now totally acceptable in most places life takes you. Let's chat for a minute about the denim craze and what it means for us right now.

I have my eye on higher-waist lines, wider legs, cropped styles.
Cropped kick flare, wide leg, bell bottom, and straight cuts are what I am seeing as the most flattering for most body types.

Three points to think about when trying on modern cuts of denim, as creating a sleek, flattering silhouette is what your after:

1. If you are petite or have a short torso, try a mid-rise denim, rather than a high rise. A great tip is to tuck in your blouse to show your beautiful shape and your waist. Not comfortable with a full tuck? Try a half or quarter tuck.

2. Think about showing off some ankle with a cropped length. This is a great way to flash those fabulous booties. The length of your cropped denim is essential if you are petite or have shorter legs. The good news is that you can easily have your jeans altered to fit your height perfectly. Either by a seamstress for a finished hem; or, do it yourself and cut them for a cool undone hemmed look. The perfect length for crops depends on the person but I generally look for hemlines to stop just above the ankle bone. It's all about creating a visual pathway that is flattering. Think about not cutting off your body at the ankle or the waist, and creating a long lean line.

Right now, Consign Couture is stocked with modern, of-the-moment cuts of denim in most sizes. One huge advantage to purchasing your designer denim on consignment is the price tag. With many designers charging upwards of $250 for new denim, buying from consignment just makes good sense. At the sho,p you will find the designer denim you crave at prices that are kind to your budget.

Some of my go to favorites:
• Good American Denim: If you are curvy these are your BFF. They specialize in being size-inclusive and stock 00 through size 24.
• Levis: Small framed, short waisted girls.
• Madewell: Good clean cut denim in modern styles.
• Everlane: Denim for everybody. Check out the rigid fabric and the retail price point is sweet.
• Paige: Offers petites and I love the no nonsense rinses they offer. Great for those of us who want good clean denim with no fuss.

Consign Couture is here to help, so make a free styling appointment to get fitted for denim that works for your body, lifestyle, and bank account.

Secondhand September

Jade & Shannon Looking in Shopping Bags 2.jpg

Shopping secondhand has gone mainstream this year and it is giving us aaaalllllll the feels. Macy’s and JCPenney just announced deals with ThredUp to bring used clothing into their stores; celebrities are jumping onboard and promoting shopping resale instead of new retail; and our current favourite (we used the British spelling on purpose here) - Oxfam is promoting #SecondhandSeptember and asking everyone to take a pledge to only shop resale and consignment for the month of September. WE LOVE IT!!!!!!!! And so we are diving in whole-heartedly with our support of #SecondhandSeptember, as well. We encourage you to take the Oxfam pledge, but we are taking the opportunity to ask you to make this pledge to us, too (see form below). ADDITIONALLY - we’d love for you to post a photo of yourself (maybe in your favorite resale find?) holding a sign that says "#SecondhandSeptember at Consign Couture” to Instagram or Facebook - and tag us! - and we will pick one winner a week in September to receive $50 in store credit.

So we hope you will join us at Consign Couture for #SecondhandSeptember! Shopping consignment sits squarely at the intersection of fashion and sustainability - our fave spot!


Pledge here to join us:

Name *
Name

Looking further ahead, but still connected to #SecondhandSeptember, in October we are kicking off a new quarterly event called BOUNCE AROUND with Here We Go Again Resale and Gather Resale - two other consignment stores here in Portland. Each of our stores will be selling raffle tickets for some amazing prizes on October 5th and 6th, with all of the money going to support Friends of Trees. As mentioned, we will be having a Bounce Around once a quarter to raise money for different local nonprofits. We want to support each other and nonprofits in the area who are doing incredible work. Come buy some raffle tickets and help us support some great organizations! You just might win a fabulous prize! Look for prize specifics on our social media as October 5th and 6th get closer.

We We're Nominated For Best Boutique SW!

IMG_0718.JPG

Until I went to accept the nomination in person, I honestly thought it was a mistake that I got an email telling me Consign Couture is nominated for a Portland Fashion & Style Award. BUT IT’S TRUE!!! And I am so incredibly honored. I have always loved the creative things Portland does to foster independent designers and stores, and to generate recognition for both. I have watched many of my favorite shops be nominated and win over the years - places like Adorn, Folly, Amelia, Altar, and more. Not until I was looking at the category for which we are nominated (Best Boutique SW) did I even realize that we are the only consignment shop! The rest are regular new retail. I am SO blown away that we are being considered for this; and it is amazing to be able to share the news with our loyal customers and employees.


Wanna help us win?? Part of it is juried by judges, but the public vote counts as ONE FULL JUDGE VOTE, so pleeeeeeaaaaase vote for us! It’s easy:


CLICK THIS LINK

1. Scroll to red vote button

2. Scroll to category 5: Best Boutique SW

3. Choose Consign Couture (yay!)


The awards are on November 10th and we are up against some steep competition - including WILDFANG. Holy crap. Insane. They are awesome and I’m humbled to have Consign Couture nominated in the same category as them!


Let Us Help You Transition Into Fall

CC-11.jpg

If you haven’t heard we are offering closet clean outs now! Nancy has been killing it for the last several months and fully took over what Tamara has been doing for the last decade. Nancy was promoted to the new position as our store stylist and it wasn’t that big of a change as she was already doing it. She also has a lifetime of experience in people’s homes and making people see their best self. So naturally, learning how to create your dream closet with you came easy to her.

A little more about booking a closet clean out:

How to book CLICK HERE

What will you be doing; Nancy will help you go through your closet (s) and decide what you need for the life you live in now… She will assist in paring down your wardrobe so you are left feeling lighter and like you have things you want to wear!

How long will it take: Most clean outs take 4-5 hours. Our basic package covers 4 hours of closet support. Some closets require a few follow up visits. After 4 hours we charge $50 per hour.

Whats included: In home closet support, editing and styling. We also take the clothing that needs to be consigned and set up an account for you! If time allows we also work with local charities to donate what we can’t consign.

How can you prepare: The #1 thing you can do is work on your mindset. The best closet clean outs are with people who are embracing where they are at in life, ready for change, ready to let go.

Please reach out to us via email if we can answer any other questions! HERE

What if I want more help after my closet is cleaned? We are working on creating packages for you for this. Right now we have ongoing styling support for $45 per hour.

Tag Sale > Memorial Day Weekend

Tag sale.PNG

We’re overflowing with inventory!

So, this weekend for Memorial Day, we’re doing a tag sale for anything that’s come in previous months.

April: 20% off*
March: 30% off*
February:40% off*

*excluding some designer

There’s so many new treasures you have to stop in.

We will have wine + snacks.

P.S. all shoes that came in prior to May 1st will be 35% off

P.S.S. We got in a Italian shoe line that is incredible and we’re a warehouse sale for them all weekend too!

YES we are open Sun + Mon.

Sneak Peek Brand Photoshoot

We are still waiting on the full set of images from our 2 week long branding photoshoot campaign that we did last week but here is some of what we’ve gotten to preview so far.

Credits:

Photos by: Kiara Rose Photography

Makeup by: Coral Story Beauty (in Tamara’s home & Inside store)

Studio Makeup by: Madeline Rosevelt

Flowers by: Portland Posy

Styling by: Jade Bautista

Assist by: Rachael Hofmann

Models: Shannon Tauscher, Anthea Vang, Jade Bautista, Erin Jensen, Suzanne Regan and Tamara Young.

Produced by: Tamara Young

Will We Run Out Of Clothes To Consign?

Each year, 80 billion new articles of clothing are produced and enter the retail industry, a 400% increase from just twenty years ago. This exorbitant amount of new clothing consequently leads to an increase of textile waste, with more than 11 million tons per year in the United States alone. Most of us can agree that there needs to be a dramatic decrease in our clothing production, consumption, and disposal - but what does that mean for resale shops and boutiques who rely on excess and discarded clothing?


Shopping resale is one of the easiest ways to shop sustainably, as there is no footprint of consuming a new garment. Furthermore, it’s a broad and thriving industry with diverse options - from inexpensive thrift stores to luxury resale boutiques. Every year, the resale industry brings in about $24 billion worldwide annually, and that number is only rising. The large number of new garments produced every year is a main factor in what has led to the success of the resale industry, so what would happen if there is a large decrease in clothing production? Would moving to a more sustainable model of producing clothing mean the end of resale fashion as we know and love it today?


Have no fear, resale fans, because the secondhand industry isn’t going anywhere soon. If we’re going to see a drop in clothing production, it’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to be a long process. Because unfortunately, the fast fashion industry’s worth is exponential. The brand Zara alone brought in $19.7 billion in 2010, with H & M bringing in $20.2 billion. With numbers like that, it’s not going to be easy to see a huge reduction in fast fashion.


Outside of fast fashion, there is plenty of room for sustainability-minded brands to support the resale industry. Even clothing made by great ethical brands will need a place to go once the garment is done with. Working in a large and bustling resale clothing shop, I see pieces from Everlane, Reformation, Patagonia, and more coming into the shop on a daily basis. And furthermore, those are the pieces that I typically see sell the fastest. With a reduction in fast fashion, there will be even more room for sustainable brands like these to grow and for new similar brands to enter the market. Remember, there are approximately 7.5 billion people on earth who need clothing, so the clothing industry is going to stay very much alive and well, and so will the resale industry. There is plenty of space and opportunity for fast fashion to diminish and for sustainable fashion to grow, all while resale shops are there helping to extend the life cycle of garments and provide increased accessibility to sustainable fashion options.



https://truecostmovie.com/learn-more/environmental-impact/

https://www.narts.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3285

https://smartasset.com/credit-cards/the-economics-of-fast-fashion


Shopping Tour Recap with DahlStyle's Favorite Portland Area Boutiques

Last Sunday, Portland Shopping Tours had another fun and successful tour. This time the tour was a collaboration with Sara Dahlquist of DahlStyle, who took us all to five of her favorite Portland area boutiques that she has worked with over the years.

To recap the tour, here are the five boutiques we visited with a little summary from Sara about each:

1. Consign Couture

DahlStyle says: Consignment is a significant part of not only my own wardrobe, but it’s also a tool I teach my clients to use to keep garments in rotation and out of landfills. Consign Couture is one of my favorite consignment boutiques, not only to sell but to shop! Some of my very favorite pieces have come from Consign Couture.

2. Adorn

DahlStyle says: I’ve been working with Shop Adorn since there was just one location and now there are FOUR Shop Adorns! A fair amount of my own wardrobe was found at Adorn. They not only offer the BEST selection of denim in Portland, you can also find that special dress or jacket there that can add so much personality to your wardrobe.

3. EcoVibe

DahlStyle says: EcoVibe has something for EVERY woman. When I have clients who want comfort and style, I bring them to EcoVibe. I also respect their love for natural fibers and the environment. You can feel good about what you’re wearing! They give 1% of all their sales to 1% For The Planet.

4. Grayling

DahlStyle says: Designer Katy Kippen has an incredible talent for designing pieces that are not only contemporary and innovative, but also timeless. You’ll be able to find whatever you need - whether it’s a casual earring or an elegant statement piece.

5. Foundation

DahlStyle says: Foundation is the epitome of understated elegance that will not break the bank. They offer pieces that you’ll own and covet for years to come. Plus, they donate 100% of their profits to a rotating selected charity. This month’s recipient is Store to Door.

Each location we went to on the tour provided wine, snacks, and a 10-20% discount. We had lunch catered by Elephants Delicatessen in a beautiful location.

Portland Shopping Tours was launched by Tamara (owner of Consign Couture) in 2018 as a way to showcase the amazing small businesses of Portland, connect people, and of course, provide a fun shopping experience for people looking to discover new places.

Couldn’t make this one? There are more shopping tours coming up, with tickets already on sale! Click the links below for more info (each tour has a different theme) and to purchase tickets.

6/23: Westside Resale & Consignment Shopping Tour

8/25: Portland’s Best Resale & Consignment Shopping Tour

10/6: Get Ready for Fall & Winter Shopping Tour

12/1 : Shop Local Holiday Shopping Tour

LRG_DSC03555.JPG
LRG_DSC03502.JPG
IMG_6601.JPG
LRG_DSC03678.JPG
LRG_DSC03551.JPG
LRG_DSC03537.JPG
LRG_DSC03657.JPG
LRG_DSC03575.JPG
LRG_DSC03581.JPG
LRG_DSC03590.JPG
LRG_DSC03559.JPG
LRG_DSC03531.JPG
LRG_DSC03687.JPG




Secondhand Shopping In Paris

Shopping secondhand in Paris is very different than in the US. Here in Portland, we have categories such as: 

  1. Thrifting where you have to really dig/treasure hunt to find good scores at low prices (Goodwill, the bins, Salvation Army, William Temple House) 

  2. Curated, boutique style consignment shops with all types of brands and price ranges (Consign Couture, Button, Here We Go Again, Modo Boutique)

  3. Vintage stores with quirky finds and price ranges all over the board (Artifact, Red Light, House of Vintage, Magpie)

The OG Consign Couture.  Now    Gather Resale   .

The OG Consign Couture. Now Gather Resale.

There is something truly wonderful about the consignment boutiques in the US. You can find great secondhand items, already curated, with reasonable pricing — The look, feel and attention to detail really differs with each store, making them all unique and interesting.

There is something truly wonderful about the consignment boutiques in the US. You can find great secondhand items, already curated, with reasonable pricing — The look, feel and attention to detail really differs with each store, making them all unique and interesting.

One of my favorite modern resale spots in Phoenix, AZ:  Poor Little Rich Girl .

One of my favorite modern resale spots in Phoenix, AZ: Poor Little Rich Girl.

Vice Resale  in Sellwood, Portland — always great for BAGS.

Vice Resale in Sellwood, Portland — always great for BAGS.

In Paris, the categories are more like this: 

  1. Small, quaint, upscale vintage & consignment stores that carry luxury brands and are priced on the high end (CornerLuxe Depot, Rose Market Vintage, Madre & Figlia) Some high end consignment stores are even by appointment only, such as the chain To Be Continued.

  2. Fun, trendy, more youthful feeling vintage shops (Kiliwatch Paris, Thanx God I’m a VIP, Mad Vintage, Le Coffre)

  3. Straight up flea market/yard sale style thrifting, which is the best kind of secondhand in Paris. You will find the best deals in this category. 


The most famous Paris flea market is called Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen and is the oldest and largest of its kind in the world. It’s in business every Saturday-Monday at Porte de Clignancourt and attracts 120,00-180,000 every weekend. There are guides you can hire on Airbnb and it’s totally worth it. You can explore on your own too, but it can be very overwhelming. I will compare the overwhelm to a gigantic trade show in Las Vegas: the energy and scale is comparable but with people from all walks of life selling EVERYTHING. If you love the hunt, this is your place. When you arrive it will seem like the outside area you see first is it, but let me tell you, it keeps on going forever. You can spend 3 hours here and barely scratch the surface of what there is to see. Visit TripAdvisor for more info and photos.

There are also the weekly vide-greniers and brocantes (yard sale type street markets) where you can find all sorts of treasures. You can find out where they are each week here. Brocantes will offer you more antiques whereas vide-greniers are better for finding clothing.

Last year La Recyclerie (also at Porte de Clignancourt) ran a few second hand markets so it might be worth checking out their calendar during the time of your trip. Another place I follow called Violette Sauvage has events where they put together a market of sorts with vendors of secondhand clothing. They post all of their event dates and information on their website.


Paris can be super overwhelming, especially when it comes to shopping, because of the sheer volume of what there is to explore. My suggestion is to always check out places online before you go out to treasure hunt. Create a map of 3-5 places to check out in a day using the Google Maps multiple stop feature, which will even tell you what trains to take. If you plan on visiting higher end stores, make sure to do your research beforehand in case an appointment or reservation is required. It will take time and you will have to hunt to find good deals in Paris, but you will get lost in the fun and the magic of it all.

If you are like me and find a ginormous faux cheetah print coat that you can’t pass up for 25 euros, you will either have to find a creative way to pack it for your trip home or wear it on plane (like me). If you already plan on making shopping a priority in Paris OR if you get caught up in the moment and end up with amazing finds that you can’t figure out how to get home, here are some suggestions:

  1. Buy a cheap piece of luggage at a thrift store and check that bag on your flight home. This will cost you about $100.

  2. Ship items home from the post office. This will cost you about $120-$150 for a 50lb box. (If you are traveling with a group and all want to ship things home, this is the best option in my opinion.) 

If you have anything to add to my viewpoint or shops to include for future Paris visits please email me (tamara@consign-couture.com) or leave a comment here.

Merci!

Tamara

You will find many small quaint shops in Paris that are full of all types of upscale vintage. I find most of it to be overpriced, with pieces that don’t speak to every day wear: in most cases, not what I’m looking for.

You will find many small quaint shops in Paris that are full of all types of upscale vintage. I find most of it to be overpriced, with pieces that don’t speak to every day wear: in most cases, not what I’m looking for.

This is what the outside of many resale shops look like in Paris. A lot of the flea markets and Parisian style yard sales have a similar look and feel. You can find the best stuff if you’re willing to hunt!

This is what the outside of many resale shops look like in Paris. A lot of the flea markets and Parisian style yard sales have a similar look and feel. You can find the best stuff if you’re willing to hunt!

Flea market sales are everywhere. Do your research if you’re going to make flea market shopping a priority, or just happily stumble across one or many on your daily adventures!

Flea market sales are everywhere. Do your research if you’re going to make flea market shopping a priority, or just happily stumble across one or many on your daily adventures!

Sustainable Fashion Bloggers and Influencers

Most of us who are fashion lovers have our favorite bloggers and influencers who we love to follow and read. There are bloggers for all kinds of styles and subcultures, and recently there have been a lot of these influencers that are using their platforms to promote how to shop sustainably and fashionably. We’re going to highlight some of our favorite sustainability-minded bloggers and influencers, but first, what is the difference between a blogger and influencer?

First, there two terms aren’t mutually exclusive. An influencer is someone who has the power to affect the buying choices of a group of people because they have a reputation of knowledge on a certain subject or niche, and have a following. This person can also be a blogger, but doesn’t have to be.

They say that with great power comes great responsibility, and this is true. Many bloggers have used their following to promote smart and sustainable shopping, or have gained their following because they promote these things. One influencer we really love at Consign Couture is Whitney Bauck (@unwrinkling) on Instagram. She’s an editor at Fashionista and creates great content about living sustainably and how to be sustainable and fashionable. She also posts about sustainable fashion news and is very much in the loop with what’s going on in the industry.

Images via instagram.com/unwrinkling

Another great influencer and author we love at Consign Couture is Elizabeth Cline (@elizabethlcline). She’s a journalist and wrote the book “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” which dives into the effects of the fast fashion industry and evaluates wastefulness of that industry. In addition, she has great posts on her Instagram about workers rights and sustainable fashion. Her book is a great read whether you’re a sustainable fashion newbie or a tried-and-true sustainability advocate.

Images via instagram.com/elizabethlcline

Mary Alice Duff (@maryalice_duff) is a fashion designer with a focus on ethical fashion with inclusive sizing. Her posts often feature fashion inspo, updates about her fashion line, and some posts about sustainability as well. She’s a really great example of sustainability and inclusivity in action with her clothing line that walks the walk and talks the talk. Her styles use fun colors and silhouettes, and she uses models of all shapes and sizes on her website. Plus, she offers styles through a size 4X.

Images via instagram.com/maryalice_duff and alicealexander.co

Alex, a blogger and instragrammer (@distilmystyle) is UK-based and posts great thrift store fashion inspo and sustainability tips. On his blog, he posts about sustainable and ethical men’s fashion and other style tips - such as how to wear and take care of linen for men. There aren’t nearly as many fashion bloggers for men as there are for women, so it’s great to see a men’s fashion blogger that is also sustainability-minded.

Images via instagram.com/distilmystyle

But why is it so important that bloggers promote sustainability? Many bloggers and influencers have audiences of thousands, so they have a huge platform that they can use to show just how detrimental the fast fashion industry will be. Many followers of these influencers will take their advice at least into consideration. “Sustainable fashion” can still carry a stereotype of being drab, boring, sack-like clothes, but the truth is there is a ton of great and stylish sustainable clothing options available at a range of price points in a plethora of styles.

For me, I didn’t realize just how bad the fast fashion industry was until I saw posts from some bloggers about the facts and statistics of the damages and impacts. We as western consumers really aren’t confronted with the impacts of our buying choices. We go into the store, pick out some things, pay, and leave. We don’t see the dye runoff from clothing dyes in our rivers. We don’t see the wasted fabric on cutting room floors. We don’t see the heaps and heaps of thrown-away clothing on a daily basis. Because we’re not confronted with the effects of our clothing consumption, sometimes it takes someone else showing us just how bad it is, and influencers have the power to do that.








Sustainable Brands

Shopping sustainably is more important than ever as the effects of climate change are worsening. Here are a few brands that are environmentally-friendly and produce their clothing ethically.

Eileen Fisher: Eileen Fisher is a great example of sustainability and style. They use plenty of organic natural fibers such as cotton and linen, and they use responsible wool (wool that can be traced back to exactly where it comes from. In addition Eileen Fisher is Fair Trade Certified, a certified B-Corp, a member of Social Accountability International since 1997, and all their factories follow SA8000 comprehensive workplace standards. Also, there is Eileen Fisher Renew which takes worn and used Eileen Fisher garments and mends, repairs, remakes, and resells those garments in an effort to create more of a closed-loop system. Eileen Fisher also offers inclusive sizing.

Patagonia: Patagonia has been a long-time leader in sustainability and creating environmentally-friendly products. They're one of the few brands of its size that has been very successful at being sustainable. Patagonia has a Worn Wear site where they take back used Patagonia items and repair and resell them. Plus, Worn Wear offers in-depth guides on how to properly care for Patagonia garments. 1% of their sales goes towards supporting environmental organizations and they donate grants of $2500 to $15,000 to hundreds of causes and grassroots organizations. On Patagonia’s website you can see all of their mills, factories, and farms - you can see what is produced at every location and you can read specific information about each location. Very few brands are as transparent as Patagonia. In addition, they are Fair Trade Certified and they keep tabs on what their factories pay their workers to ensure that they’re earning a minimum wage, and Patagonia is taking steps to ensure that their workers are paid not only a minimum wage, but a living wage. This is barely scratching the surface of what Patagonia does, and I encourage you to check out their website to see what other great things they’re doing.

Reformation: This brand creates quality, trendy clothing while still being sustainability-minded. Reformation releases quarterly sustainability reports and they have a “RefScale” that tracks their environmental impact - it tracks CO2 emissions, water usage, and generated waste, then calculates how Reformation’s products help reduce these impacts. A RefScale rating is given to every garment on their website.

Everlane: Everlane focuses on creating classic pieces that will last through many wears. They’re transparent about quite a bit of their manufacturing and sustainability efforts - from their factories to cost of labor to production methods. They also donate a portion of their Black Friday profits to better the lives of their factory workers.

People Tree: This brand creates trendy and quality clothing that is produced and sourced sustainably and ethically. They work with Fair Trade Cotton farmers and uses upwards of 80% organic cotton. In addition, People Tree uses Global Organic Certified Organic Cotton. People Tree also sources their wool from New Zealand which has an Animal Welfare Act which ensures that the animals are treated well. People Tree also is Fair Trade Certified and is accredited by the Soil Association.

Alternative Apparel: This brand focuses on quality basics and knitwear for men and women. 80% of their garments are made with sustainable materials and processes, and all their factories they contract with adhere to Fair Labor Association guidelines and workplace codes of conduct. Also, 88,000 pounds of organic cotton is used in place of standard cotton. In some of Alternative Apparel’s garments that include polyester, they use some that is recycled and made from post-consumer water bottles.

Thought Clothing: This brand creates women’s and men’s clothing that are meant to be worn for years, not just a season. Their mantra is “wear me, love me, mend me, pass me on.” Thought Clothing uses a lot of organic bamboo, hemp, cotton, and wool in their garments and they make each piece of each collection in the same place to reduce the environmental impact caused by shipping and transportation. In addition, they founded the Common Objective, which is a non-profit network that champions ethical production.

Prana: Prana is a brand that is Fair Trade Certified, uses organic cotton and hemp, and is well known for its athletic wear and knits. They also use recycled wool and responsible down in their garments. Prana was also the first North American apparel brand to be Fair Trade Certified.

EcoVibe Apparel: This brand is local to Portland, OR and has a store on Alberta Street. They use mainly sustainability-minded materials such as tencel, modal, bamboo, linen, cork, vegan leather, recycled polyester, rayon, and organic cotton. EcoVibe also donates 1% of their profits to 1% For the Planet.

Why Should You Shop in Your Community?

Now more than ever, online shopping is easy, convenient, and quick thanks to retailers like Amazon. Millions of products are able to be shipped to you in a matter of days; from technology and furniture, to cosmetics and food. You can do all your shopping in one place - and stay in your pajamas at home. This transition from brick-and-mortar shopping has been a great convenience but what are the social, environmental, and ethical implications of shopping online only?

Hawthorne District Portland 893.jpg

First, let’s start by what is means to shop local. Shopping local means shopping at small, locally-owned businesses in your community. This could be boutiques, coffee shops, vintage stores, and more. This is different from shopping locally which means shopping at any store in your community, for example shopping at a nearby Walmart or Bestbuy. We’re just going to be talking about shopping local, at small businesses. When you buy from local makers and business owners, you’re directly supporting the livelihood of your neighbors and community members. You know that the money you’re spending is going to stay in your community and support those nearby. On the other hand, when you shop at a large retailer, such as Walmart, Target, and others similar, you don’t really know where your money goes, and only a small percentage stays in the community or pays local employees. And even further removed from local economies is the online retail industry.

A few weeks ago I got to attend a Sustainable Fashion Forum event during Portland Textile Month where a panel of a few local small business owners got together to answer questions about fashion and sustainability. One of the answers that really stuck with me was about how we can truly make the fashion industry more sustainable and what that would look like. L.A. Caldwell, owner and creator of Minnie + George, a local handmade leather goods business, talked about how we need to return to buying products from local economies and makers instead of huge conglomerate retailers. Businesses that produce goods on a much smaller scale tend to be sustainable at least by default. Of course, today it would be near impossible for most people to switch to buying only local, but relying mainly on local businesses to buy goods would be an effective change. If less companies, especially fashion brands, weren’t focused on selling in such a huge, global, manner, there would be much less waste and environmental impact.

20161118_160607.jpg

The truth is, it’s very difficult for local businesses to compete with the large ones. Large corporations have a plethora of money and therefore resources; whereas local business don’t have that. A real, and disappointing, example of this is Bleecker street in New York City. In the late 1980’s small businesses began popping up all over Bleecker street, from cupcake shops like Magnolia Bakery, to small boutiques like Arleen Bowman. All the shops were unique, with their own atmosphere and vibe that couldn’t be found anywhere else. In 2000, there was a turning point for Bleecker street - Magnolia Bakery was featured on an episode of Sex and the City. Even though the bakery was just on the show for 30 seconds, it completely changed Bleecker street. Soon after the episode was aired, the bakery was written about in British Vogue, and people flocked to the bakery and Bleecker street as a whole.

Now that Bleecker had a much larger presence and much more foot traffic, more people began to take notice of the value of the street. One of those people was the president of Marc Jacobs, who outbid other businesses to open a shop on Bleecker. This was the tipping point. Once Marc Jacobs opened, other luxury retailers followed suit, such as Ralph Lauren, Cynthia Rowley, Coach, Jimmy Choo, and more. Because there was such a high demand for retail space in this five block area, many landlords converted ground level apartments into retail spaces because they’d be much more profitable with the demand for them at the time.

Everything was pretty great for the upscale brands and proprietors for a while. There was still a lot of foot traffic and celebrities shopping there that heightened Bleecker street’s popularity, plus tourists made it a must-see while they were in town. But that could only last so long. The rentals that used to be around $75 per square foot quickly skyrocketed to $300 by the mid 2000’s. This spike in rent made it impossible for the original small businesses to stay. How could a small business afford to re-sign a lease when the price of rent jumped from $7,000 to $45,000? By the early 2010’s barely any original small businesses remained. But soon, the large luxury retailers couldn’t afford to open shop there either. The many people and tourists who perused the streets were there to take in the atmosphere and possibly spot a celeb - not to buy a $3,000 handbag. Bleecker street had become more of a “vanity location;” a place that wasn’t about sales but more about image. Having a shop in a “vanity location” would have been fine - if it wasn’t for a huge takeoff in online shopping at this time. Because of the increase in online traffic, having “vanity locations” became much less important and luxury retailers gradually stopped renewing their Bleecker street leases.

092418_NAADAM_BLEECKER-4-of-38.jpg

Now, Bleecker street is full of vacancies and empty storefronts as landlords and proprietors are holding out for more companies to pay their sky-high rent. Some foreign brands will open temporary pop-up shops on Bleecker to gain awareness for their brand in the United States, but finding long-term tenants has been a challenge. What was once a street where someone could cross off everything on their shopping list in one trip, is now a half-empty luxury retail street where a bustling local shopping district used to be.

Bleecker street is a sad story of the gradual gentrification of a district that used to support local business owners and makers, and offered the community unique goods and necessary items. But the truth is, there are many other locations all over the USA who have a similar story to tell. Small businesses need strong community support now more than ever, with the rise of retail giant Amazon, and other global retailers. Small businesses just can’t compete on the same level as these huge companies.

But we all know that bigger doesn’t always equal better. The perks of shopping small and local can easily outweigh the convenience of shopping large and online. By shopping small you can interact with and get to know the individuals you’re supporting, plus you know where your good and products are coming from. I couldn’t tell you where the last three things I ordered off Amazon came from, or who benefitted from my purchase. What I hope to impress upon you is that shopping small does real, honest good for your community, and it’s really not that hard, it just requires a bit of thoughtfulness and willingness. It can be as easy as skipping the Starbucks drive-through and opting to head into your local cafe instead, or closing the Nordstrom app and browsing local boutiques. So this holiday season, and any season, think of your buying power and the impact your purchases create.






Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/fashion/bleecker-street-shopping-empty-storefronts.html

https://ny.curbed.com/2017/6/1/15725494/bleecker-street-vacancies-hoylman-legislation

http://metropolitangardens.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-hawthorne-district-in-portland.html

https://www.hotelvintage-portland.com/downtown-portland-oregon/

http://pechluck.com/inside-look-at-portland-night-market/
















How Did Shopping and Selling Secondhand Clothing Become Popular?


For as long as people have worn clothes, old garments have be repurposed, handed down, and remade. But second hand shopping as we know it today is a fairly new concept. Before the Industrial Revolution, all clothing was custom and handmade either by a tailor or someone in the family who knew how to sew. Because making new garments was time consuming, clothes were not seen as disposable and their lifetime was stretched as long as possible. For example, if a mother bought a new dress from a tailor she would wear it and wear it nearly every day, and mend any tears and rips as they occurred. Then, when the dress could no longer be mended, it would be made into clothes for the children. Then when the children outgrew the clothes or the clothes became too worn, the clothes would then be used as rags or stuffing for furniture. But once the Industrial Revolution completely changed how fashion was manufactured, the disposal and use of clothing would completely change too.

189446-004-34B7E234.jpg

As clothing became more and more inexpensive to manufacture, people began to see clothing as disposable. Why take the time and effort to mend things when you could just go out and buy a new one fairly inexpensively? As more and more people moved to cities to find work, they often had to cut down on the possessions they owned because they had less space. But where would all the used clothing and housewares go? At this time in the late 19th century/earth 20th century, wearing pre-owned items was a bit of a faux-pas. It showed that you didn’t have much money, and there were also some anti-semitic connotations to this. The first preowned merchants were typically Jewish, and there was much bias against Jews at this time. Despite this, it was shown that good money could be made from reselling items, so in 1897 the Salvation Army opened up a “salvage brigade” shop in the basement of a shelter, and the first Goodwill opened in 1902. Christian organizations saw resale shops as a good way to fund their ministries and help the less fortunate. In addition, many thrift shops at this time offered outreach programs, like Goodwill still does today by offering free English classes and help finding jobs.

first-store.jpg

Thrift stores were originally called “junk shops” which didn’t help their popularity and reputation at the time. But by the 1920’s when more and more people began shopping secondhand, they became known as thrift shops, which made people feel better about shopping at them. Then, once the Great Depression hit, people couldn’t afford to part with their belongings, and the same thing happened during World War II. But, after the boom of post-war prosperity, business took off for thrift stores during the 1950’s. Part of this also had to do with synthetic fibers becoming more popular and widespread - Polyester was created in 1941 and it soon became a staple fiber for textiles. People were parting with their old goods, and opting for new polyesters ones.

It was also during the 1950’s that more specialized thrift shops emerged - such as consignment shops and vintage shops where wealthier consumers would peruse, looking for high-end and couture garments at a reduced price. Since then, this “treasure hunt” style of second hand shopping has only skyrocketed. After this, with the rise of the Environmental Movement, thrift shopping also became a way of environmentally-friendly shopping, and was seen as a form of recycling - as it is today.

o.jpg

Today, second hand shopping is easier than ever. There are thrift, consignment, and vintage shops all over cities and urban areas. Plus, with the creation of websites like ThredUp and TheRealReal, now consumers don’t even have to leave their homes to find great garments at a second-hand price. Plus, private clothing brands themselves have started their own resale shopping sites. One of the most popular is Eileen Fisher’s Renew program where customers can send back their used Eileen Fisher garments and the clothes are then mended, repaired, remade, and resold at a lower price. Eileen Fisher has a team of seamstresses that work specifically for the Renew program who are experts at repairing garments. This is also a sustainable option - instead of throwing used and worn garments away, they can be remade and their lifespan can be extended. There’s also a  company, the local Renewal Workshop, located in Cascade Locks, OR that works with brands to help extend the lifetime of their products and help them create a circular lifespan. Also, they collect data on the brand they work with and share it with them to let them know how to better manufacture their garments.

So where will the resale industry go from here? It’s only expected to grow larger - specifically to a $41 Billion dollar industry by 2022, and about half (49%) of that resale industry is the clothing resale industry. Plus, this industry is growing 24 times faster than the regular retail industry. With the fast growth of resale, it will be interesting to see where technology, innovation, and sustainability will take us.

LO.jpg

Designers We Love

Designers we love and some cliff notes on them and their backgrounds:

Dries Van Noten

dries.jpeg

Dries Van Noten is a Belgian fashion designer who grew up around fashion - his father owned a menswear shop and his grandfather was a tailor. Van Noten graduated from Antwerp Academy in 1980. Soon, his designs gained popularity and made their way to the United States.

Van Noten’s designs are described as “eccentric” and unique. Their designs feature lots of color, interesting style lines, and much attention to detail. Something interesting about this brand is that unlike most other design houses, Dries Van Noten does only ready to wear items, not haute couture. They are based out of Antwerp, and they create four new collections every year: summer and winter, men’s and women’s. Dries Van Noten is well known for creating well-made designs with a unique twist, which is what makes his designs desirable. Also, his designs tend to be slightly less expensive than his luxury counterparts, such as Gucci and LV.

Yves St. Laurent

robe-mondrian-YSL.jpg

Yves Saint Laurent got his start in fashion by designing dresses for his mother and sisters in his early teens. A few years later he began attending the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris where his designs were quickly noticed. He went on to study under Christian Dior where his designs gained even more notice. Saint Laurent worked his way up through the Dior fashion house, and when Christian Dior died suddenly of a heart attack, Saint Laurent found himself as the head designer of the Dior house at age 21.

His spring 1958 collection was very well received and saved the Dior house from devastating financial ruin. His designs were inspired by Dior’s New Look which catapulted him into stardom with his Trapeze Dress design. In the 60’s, Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge started their own fashion house - YSL. It was during this time that he created perhaps one of his most famous designs - the Mondrian dress, inspired by artist Piet Mondrian’s abstract paintings. Another style that Saint Laurent  is known for is the Beatnik look of the 60’s, specifically the women’s tuxedo jacket he called “Le Smoking.”

Saint Laurent was the first French haute couture house to launch a pret-a-porter (ready to wear) line. This turned out to be a good choice for him as his ready to wear line made much more profit than his couture line.

Saint Laurent is a highly revered fashion designer whose fashion house, YSL, is still creating new designs today. His brand is very luxurious and high quality, with a women’s suit jacket selling for about $4,000 on his website. YSL has been known for creating innovative, high-quality designs and Saint Laurent’s legacy lives on through his fashion house.

Gucci

gucci.jpeg

Founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921 in Florence, Italy, Gucci has been a long-standing luxury brand. Guccio Gucci got his start by designing handbags and saddlebags after being inspired by luxury luggage he encountered while working in a hotel. His shop soon had a reputation for being the highest quality, and began to expand. He opened shops across Europe and in the United states, and sold luxury leather goods, shoes, his iconic loafer, and some garments as well. Gucci expanded his company into New York City, where jetsetters from around the globe established his brand as a status symbol - something that still holds true today.

Gucci still lives up to the standard of using only the highest quality leather, and many of their iconic styles are made of leather; such as their loafers and belts. The Gucci couture house is still based in Florence, Italy to this day, and is able to thrive as a high-end luxurious brand because the “status symbol” reputation of Gucci still lives on as it did in the early 1900s.


Prada


prada-resort-2012-runway-27_14525799793.jpg



Prada was started in 1913 by Mario Prada in Italy as a fine leather goods shop. Its reputation for quality grew throughout the 20th century, and by the 1990s, Prada was known as a luxury status symbol. Prada’s originality set the brand apart from the pack, and helped the brand gain popularity. Also in the late 1980’s/early 1990s, Prada launched its brand Miu Miu that is geared towards younger customers and launched its ready to wear lines.

Prada’s success and profits have only increased, and Prada is well-known for bags and accessories, as well as its runway looks. Prada also creates shoes, sunglasses, and perfumes.


Louis Vuitton


Louis-Vuitton-Neverfull-GM-Damier.jpg


Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854 in Paris by Louis Vuitton himself. He started out by making practical trunks that were lightweight and airtight that could be stacked. Prior to this, most trunks had rounded tops and were unable to be stacked. In the decades following the success of LV’s trunks, the brand expanded into other types of goods such as totes and bags that featured the LV monogram logo.

LV stuck mostly to creating bags and other fine leather goods, but now sells ready-to-wear lines, fragrances, shoes, jewelry, and accessories in addition to their bags and leather goods. LV still creates bags with their iconic LV symbol which is very popular, and has stood the test of time. Louis Vuitton also offers bags in exotic leathers that sell for upwards of $20,000.




Stella McCartney


stella.jpeg

Stella McCartney is the daughter of Paul McCartney, and is known for her designs that use vegetarian alternatives instead of fur and leather. McCartney designed her first jacket at age 13, and in the years following studied under well-known designers such as Christian Lacroix and graduation from Central St. Martin’s University. She started her fashion house in 2001, and now there are 17 Stella McCartney stores worldwide.

Stella McCartney is known for her women’s ready to wear line, but also offers handbags, shoes, lingerie, swimwear, and accessories. She is also known for her collaboration with Adidas where she produced various athletic and athleisure garments in conjunction with Adidas.




Louboutin


louboutians.jpeg



Christian Louboutin started his career freelancing for various fashion houses, but eventually opened up his own shoe salon in Paris where he found favor among celebrity clientele, and the brand has only grown from there. Louboutin has perhaps one of the most recognizable fashion signatures in the industry. The trademark red soles of his shoes are iconic and are a symbol of luxury and wealth.




Chloe

chloe.jpeg



Chloé was started in 1952 by Gaby Aghion in Paris, France. The brand is known for creating feminine,  romantic styles. Chloé has always been an innovative brand - they were the first to introduce luxury ready to wear styles, and was the first to integrate a mobile-friendly website and livestream a runway show. The brand has also released additional collections - See by Chloé for younger women, and a girls line. In the 1970’s Karl Lagerfeld was Chloé’s sole designer, and created soft, feminine silk dresses.

In the 2000’s Chloé expanded into accessories, shoes, and bags with many young British designers taking over as Creative Director; including Stella McCartney. Chloé only creates women’s items and has not expanded into menswear. Also, the brand is known for their horse-print items.


Dolce & Gabbana


Dolce+Gabbana+Spring+2014+3ftxDBjiPmnx.jpg



Dolce & Gabbana was started by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in Legnano, Italy in 1985, much later than many of D&G’s competitors. The duo got their start by designing a women’s line in Milan Fashion Week among some other up-and-coming designers. Later, they opened a store in Italy and gained recognition for their fourth collection which was inspired by 1940’s Italian cinema. The Sicilian Dress, which was a piece from that collection, was a huge success and D&G is still known for that dress today.

Now, D&G has expanded into menswear, children’s wear, accessories, fragrance, and more.



Emilio Pucci


empucci.jpeg



Emilio Pucci was born into an Italian noble family in the early 1900’s, but he actually has some roots in Portland. After he was cut off financially from his family, he offered to design Reed College’s ski uniforms in exchange for tuition - and he did. With the help of local White Stag, Pucci produced all of the new ski uniforms for Reed. Pucci’s designs gained more prominent recognition when one of his women’s ski wear designs was photographed and featured in Harper’s Bazaar. Not long after, Pucci set up his own haute couture house on the Isle of Capri.

Pucci is known for his use of bright colors and bold patterns - his blouses and wrinkle-free silk skirts were very popular among his customers. Soon, Pucci was recognized on the international level, winning various design awards such as the Neiman Marcus Award. He was then thrust even further into popularity when Marilyn Monroe became a fan of his in the 1960s. To this day, the Emilio Pucci design house carries on the tradition of bold colors and patterns, and still creates skiwear.


Written by Krista Sanford, our St. Johns shopgirl, who is studying apparel design at the Art Institute with a focus on sustainability. Her final project for her draping class is shown below.

Krista just finished her final project for her draping class its pictured above.

Krista just finished her final project for her draping class its pictured above.

Do We Accept Replica Bags?

IMG_1859.jpg

No, we don’t.

Designer handbags are expensive, and dropping a few thousand dollars (or more) on a single bag new is something that most people aren’t willing to do. Usually, we want to have more money in the bag than how much the bag cost itself. This is where counterfeit handbags come in - not knockoffs that have a similar design as another more expensive bag, but replicas with another brand’s logos and signature embellishments. Knockoffs aren’t necessarily illegal (although unethical), while counterfeit bags have a much darker history behind them. It is illegal to sell counterfeit or replica bags in the US.

What’s the harm in buying a counterfeit anyway? They’re cheaper, and they’re usually copied so well that most people couldn’t tell it apart from the real thing. First, they tarnish the reputation of brands and bring the value of designer goods down. Designers put hours and hours of work into crafting the perfect bag, and when counterfeits are made, their hard work is stolen. Even worse, the creation of counterfeits usually relies on unethical labor practices such as slavery and child labor, and subsidizes other crimes such as human trafficking, gang activity, and drug smuggling. Author Becca Risa Luna gives a good example of what buying a counterfeit bag truly means. “Imagine that a counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbag may have been stitched by a child that was taken from their parents, then the money used from the sale of it funds a terrorist purchasing weapons.” Is that $150 LV bag still worth it?

Since the rise of social media, the distribution and consumption of luxury counterfeits has only skyrocketed. This is especially evident on Instagram, where there are 20,000+ accounts selling fake luxury goods from Chanel handbags to Yeezy shoes. These accounts usually look roughly the same - and feature great photography of items that look just like the goods they’re pretending to be. Instagram isn’t the only social media hotspot for fake goods; Facebook Marketplace and even Whatsapp are also contributors. Of course, social media sites shut down accounts that are selling counterfeits when they’re reported, but once one is closed, another (or more) will take its place.

Counterfeits have only gotten more and more similar to the originals as time has gone on. Some distributors of fake handbags will even incorporate authentic components into fake bags, creating a Frankenstein's monster of a part real/part fake bag. Even professional authenticators have been fooled by fake bags; that’s just how good the counterfeiters have become. They pay immaculate attention to detail, and even include replicas of the dust bag and box to make the bags seem authentic. Some distributors will even go as far as to replicate tags, serial numbers, and stickers to fool consumers.

So, where do we go from here? What are some ways that we as consumers can make sure that we’re purchasing an authentic designer bag? First, there’s always the age-old rule: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If you see someone selling a rare Chanel handbag for $150, you’re probably not paying for an actual Chanel bag. Do some research! Great resources exist online to see how much similar (real) bags are going for, such as therealreal.com. Price is the very first indicator of a fake bag, and will usually tell you if you’re paying for a Birkin or a bust. Another indicator of a fake is the feeling of the materials that it’s made of. This, of course, doesn’t work if you’re shopping online, but if you’re shopping in person, this can be a useful tool. Luxury handbags are typically made of the highest-quality leathers; hence the sky-high price. If the “leather” feels plasticy and not supple like nice leather should be, that’s a red flag. The colors on a fake can also appear blotchy and uneven, while real bags will have a flawless finish.

Another easy way to spot a fake is in the logo. Authentic bags will have crisp, clear logos that are easily recognizable, while the counterfeits could have an obvious misspelling such as “Gocci” instead of “Gucci,” or the logo could just be blurry/fuzzy. Still, a fake bag could have a clear logo, great finish, and supple material, and still be an illegal bag. Being able to authenticate a bag takes years of experience and studying, and for the average consumer, discerning a real from a fake can be near impossible.

If you’re looking to go the resale route, reputable sites such as therealreal.com (that I mentioned earlier) and fashionphile.com are some good places to start. Also, high-end consignment boutiques are great too. Usually, when people consign a luxury bag, the original tags and even receipts can still be with them - just ask the employee.

Buying fakes isn’t an innocent act of just getting a good deal - it does a lot of harm, and not much good. Buying a 100% authentic bag sustains the reputation of the designer, ensures that you’re getting a quality handbag, and makes sure that the money you pay isn’t going to fund crime. Plus, you know that your bag was specially crafted - not sewn together by a child in slavery.

FYI: Consign Couture authenticates each designer bag by the owner or authentication service.


Sources:

https://medium.com/@beccarisa/the-truth-about-counterfeit-luxury-handbags-9bfc8cd364f2

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/intelligence/fighting-the-450-billion-trade-in-fake-fashion

IMG_1860.jpg
IMG_1862.jpg

Photos used in this blog are of actual replica bags being sold on Instagram

What Are We Looking For Winter 2018/19

Holiday Dresses

High Waist Skirts

Ponte Pants

Turtlenecks

Shearling/Plush Coats

Sequin Dresses

High-Waist Mom Jeans

High-Waist Skinny Jeans

Distressed Boyfriend Jeans

Velvet Dresses

Midi Dresses

Side Tie/Side Ruched Dresses

Jumpsuits

Interesting Necklines: Off-Shoulder, Deep V, High Neck

Interesting Hemlines: Scalloped, Layered, Asymmetrical

Floral Embroidery

Bell Sleeves

Small Backpacks

Moto Jackets

Crossbody Bags

Block Heels

Low Booties

Over the Knee Boots

Casual Shoes

Loafers

Culottes

Athleisure

Windbreakers

Joggers

Cropped Athletic Tops

Puffer Jackets

“Vintage” Tees

Belt Bags

Muted Pink

Black

Silver

Dark Green

Deep Red

Maroon/Burgundy

Golden Yellow

Velvet

Chiffon

Rib Knit

Metallics

High Shine Satin

Thank you for seven years in St. Johns. Here's what's next...

F03D3C0E-F7A5-420D-BEC3-E8F7580F6FB7.JPG

Dear friends,


Hello, nice to meet you, so glad you’re here, see you again soon—do you ever think about how life is a series of meetings and partings? Over and over again we come together with others, then we part company. I’m learning to respect each of those concepts: What it means to welcome something and what it means to say goodbye.


Seven years ago I opened the doors of Consign Couture St. Johns with the hope that I could meet my North Portland neighbors and provide a space for them to feel at home. Today, I’m writing to you to say thank you for those incredible, soul-healing years of community, mutual support and sustainable fashion. Like all good things, the era of Consign Couture St. Johns is coming to an end and something new is taking its place.


When I opened this business I never dreamed in a million years that I would pass the torch to someone else, but the time has come for me to do so. While Consign Couture will continue to live on in Lake Oswego, the St. Johns location will become Gather Resale, a new concept from CC VIP and sustainable fashion maven Phoebe Krueger. More on that in a minute.


It’s hard to leave a neighborhood that you’ve loved for over a decade of your life. St. Johns has given me so much more than I can ever hope to give back and I am humbled by what we were able to build together. I am so thrilled to be able to pass the reigns of something so dear to my heart to someone who cares as much about sustainable style, supporting other women and St. Johns as I do.


Thank you again for helping me build a business that gave me so much more than a vocation. Through your love and support, I found purpose, community and a place to truly belong.


With gratitude,

Tam


Introducing: Gather Resale

Gather Resale is committed to providing an inviting space for style conscious and sustainability-minded people to buy high quality resale clothing at a great value. We offer a welcoming atmosphere with top notch service where neighbors are invited to express and explore their personal style by shopping our carefully curated selection of clothing. Our consignment model facilitates a space for consigners to sell their previously loved clothing to new owners who will treasure them.


Letter from Phoebe

You know how sometimes you put an idea out there that sounds awesome but too big and scary to really imagine happening?


Well, that’s how I initially felt the first few times I mentioned to Tamara that I would like to have my own resale shop someday. But now that it is really happening, I am more excited than ever and know this is the right decision. Tamara laid the groundwork for a super shop that brings the community together and I plan to continue the awesome work she started while adding my own personal touches to the shop over time.

One of my favorite things about the shop was the sense of community I felt when I walked in and the strong relationships Tamara build with her customers. I am equally committed to Gather Resale being a place that brings the community together and look forward to getting to know my customers.

I’ve lived in North Portland with my husband Matt (only about a mile and a half from the shop) for the past ten years. I love living up here and supporting the businesses in my neighborhood. I am so happy when I can walk to the store or bike to a local restaurant. Expect to see my bike parked out front regularly when it’s not raining!

I’ve been a customer of Consign Couture since it opened. I shop resale so I can get high-quality clothing at great prices while doing my part not to further damage the environment. I serve on the board of Friends of Trees and am passionate about sustainability!

Looking forward to seeing you around the shop!

Phoebe


Fun facts about Phoebe

I love cats (I have two, Myrtle and Gertrude), hanging out with my husband, drinking beer and wine, trying new restaurants, working out, traveling and reading. I am an expert at creating a solid snack spread. I’m from Wisconsin, but have lived in Portland 16 years. I worked at the Gap for five years while I was in college and it was one of my very favorite jobs. Who knew I would come back to retail 20 years later?


Housekeeping

On January 1, 2019 Consign Couture St. Johns will officially become Gather Resale. So what does that mean for you? It means that you have a new option for beautiful, stylish resale shopping, however, it will be a completely different company than Consign Couture. See below for important information for CC consigners and customers with store credit.


What to do if you have store credit with CC St. Johns?

If you have store credit with Consign Couture in St. Johns you have two options: Use your credit to buy yourself or someone else something nice for the holidays or your credit will automatically transfer to the CC Lake Oswego location after December 31.


What to do as a consigner with CC St. Johns?

Your items sold between now and the end of the year will be paid out after December 31.  Beginning January 1, 2019, your unsold inventory will be sold with Gather Resale; please visit the shop to sign a new contract next time you are in!


Q + A with Coral Story Beauty

We asked Morning Dove the founder of Coral Story Beauty some questions about her new store inside Consign Couture Lake Oswego:

As a young girl I grew up in Montana with my mom, 4 sisters, and a brother. From an early age we were not allowed soda or candy, but fruit, veggies, and water. It wasn't until my college years that I finally indulged in everything. Diet Coke was my best friend for a long time! After having my son in my early 30s, going through a few health scares and dealing with poor skin in general, I finally woke up to those early teachings of my mom who said, "It matters what you put in your body as much as what you put on your body." Along with cleaning up my diet, I decided it was time to make the switch from conventional toxic makeup and skincare to clean and/or organic beauty products. Not only does my skin look the best but I also feel the best!



1. what types of products are you going to be selling?

Natural & Organic makeup and skincare mostly, with special seasonal items here and there. Our current lines are Hynt Beauty, Nu Evolution, Au Naturale, Lily Lolo, Battington Beauty, and Maya Chia.


2. where did you find the lines for Coral Story Beauty?

My own personal experience and research, with some help from a few of my favorite green beauty bloggers. There isn’t a brand in the store that doesn’t have a product in my daily rotation.


3. Where did you get the inspiration and idea to start CSB?

Online shopping for makeup can be very difficult to match your skin and I was having a hard time finding things locally. I have worked in retail for many years and have always wanted to start my own business, so doing just that with an idea I’m so passionate about made a lot of sense.


6. Will you have an online store?

Further down the road, yes, but right now we want to celebrate being a brick & mortar. Makeup and skincare is so personal that we really want to be able to spend face-to-face time with our customers and the community.


7. What do you want people to know about your brand?

Coral Story Beauty is a woman & minority owned business. We are open to everyone and want a space to help and educate people on their beauty journeys.


8. Will people be able to get makeovers at CSB?

Yes! We offer services for mini makeovers, color-matching, and going thru the existing products you currently have & thoughtfully switching what you can. We can do event makeup too!


9. What are your 5 MUST have beauty products?

Moisturizer/Sunscreen

Bronzer

Mascara

Under eye concealer

Lip gloss


10. Tell us more about YOU!?

My husband and I are originally from Montana, we have been together for 14yrs, and have a 5yr old son. We have two persian cats. I am a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in Montana. I am also a certified Personal Trainer and have taught classes for Baby Boot Camp SW Portland & Wilsonville. I enjoy reading books, playing with my family, working out, running, shopping, and going to Blazer games.

Be sure to join us SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY to celebrate our Consign Couture Lake Oswego + Coral Story Beauty Grand Opening on 11/24 10a-7p. RSVP HERE


CoralStory-GrandOpening-R1-03 (1).png