How we browse and shop for clothing has drastically changed since the invention and widespread use of the internet, and today we have an infinite digital closet at our fingertips. Shopping for clothing online can be overwhelming, with the sheer amount of information and marketing being thrown at you any given time. Whether you’re a well seasoned sustainable shopper or you’re new to the game, it can help to have some direction of where to look. We’ve compiled a list of sustainability-minded online brands that we love - and you will too.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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*
*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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shopping secondhand in Paris is very different than in the US. Here in Portland, we have categories such as:
Thrifting where you have to really dig/treasure hunt to find good scores at low prices (Goodwill, the bins, Salvation Army, William Temple House)
Curated, boutique style consignment shops with all types of brands and price ranges (Consign Couture, Button, Here We Go Again, Modo Boutique)
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.
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.
Vice Resale in Sellwood, Portland — always great for BAGS.
In Paris, the categories are more like this:
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.
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:
Buy a cheap piece of luggage at a thrift store and check that bag on your flight home. This will cost you about $100.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment here.
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!
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!
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