laura halley, revive athletics
CC Muses: In Greek mythology, the muses were Zeus’ daughters and the goddesses of the arts, sciences, and literature. Today, in fashion and beyond, a muse is a source of inspiration. And there is no better person to kick off our “CC Muses” series than Laura, who inspires us every day with her energy, passion, and commitment to sustainable fashion and to building community.
No doubt about it, Portland is an activewear town, and during the pandemic, athleisure lovers got a more sustainable option to build their wardrobes and find an active, inclusive community: Revive Athletics! Revive is a secondhand store specializing in activewear from premium brands, and founder Laura Halley is hard at work finding creative ways to extend the life of clothing, tackle the challenges of disposing of textiles, and build community around positive movement. We are excited to introduce Laura, our first CC Muse!
What’s your name, and what do you do in life? Tell us about yourself!
Hi! My name’s Laura and I own Revive Athletics. What do I do in life… that’s a big question! When I’m not running around doing things for Revive, I’m either traveling or going to concerts! I love to dance and see new places. Even better if I can do both at the same time. 🙂
Tell us about Revive Athletics- what is it? How did you get started, and why?
Revive is a resale store focused exclusively on activewear and athleisure. I came around to secondhand shopping later in life… it’s not something I really ever did growing up in Dallas, Texas but when I did start to learn a little more about the fashion industry and became a bit concerned with my own shopping habits, I decided to make the switch to only shopping secondhand. When I did that, I found I wasn’t consistently able to find the activewear and athleisure I wanted. So I started Revive! I also wanted to change more people’s minds about shopping secondhand, like mine had been, and knew the only way to do that was to provide them with a more boutique shopping experience. Just like Consign Couture but with activewear!
What do you think are some of the biggest problems/challenges in the fashion industry (or athletic apparel industry), and how are you working to address them?
The biggest challenge is the fact that we can’t, or that it’s extremely difficult to truly recycle clothing. Because of all of the different fibers mixed together to construct one item, deconstructing it to recycle those fibers is too expensive and timely and that’s why it really doesn’t exist. At Revive we find ourselves constantly on the search for what to do with clothes that have reached the end of their life cycle. I know I won’t solve this problem, but I do my best to educate people on the importance of taking care of their clothes so that it extends their life cycle and finding creative uses for the clothes that have reached the end of their lifecycle, such as the scrunchies and headbands that we sell in store and an exciting upcoming art project we’re working on in partnership with another local business (more to come on that!). We know this is only scratching the surface in addressing the problem, but every little bit helps!
What is something you’re proud to bring to this industry?
Something new! I love when people walk into the store and realize it’s only athleisure brands and get super excited.
Tell us about a milestone at Revive or something you’ve done that’s felt especially cool
Gosh, opening in in the pandemic? When I opened Revive on June 30, 2021 I thought it was the end of the pandemic but turns out it was right in the middle! I’m fortunate to never have had to close the store but getting traction and building a business during that time was challenging and it’s really exciting to be on the other side of that.
What does “thoughtful consumption” mean to you?
Taking time with your purchases and being willing to wait to find the right thing.
Has running a secondhand shop changed your relationship to shopping/clothes, or your personal style? How so?
Oh yes. I used to use shopping as a way to both celebrate and to soothe and would buy whatever the latest trends were as soon as they came out. Now, I do still love to shop, but am less inclined to follow trends and love that shopping secondhand has really helped me to discover my own unique sense of style. You really get to express yourself when you shop secondhand only because those stores aren’t pushing what’s trendy, and instead you get to decide what is trendy for you.
You’re making a Portland “must see” list: what’s on it?
Oh wow, big question. This would have to be broken down into categories because there’s a lot to see here! Small, creative businesses are the backbone of this city and there are so many great little neighborhoods to wander and discover something new.
To break it down really simply: Food carts, neighborhood shops, nature, and coffee. We love our coffee here.
Three small businesses you love?
Well, ours of course! Consign Couture + Revive Athletics. Paper Epiphanies is another small + growing locally owned small biz that is a must see when in PDX, they create cards that say what you actually want to say. And Dip Already is a shampoo/conditioner bar that we sell in our store that I love.
The best thing you’ve watched/read/listened to lately?
I just listened to the audiobook “Breath” about the evolutionary history of how we breathe and how it affects us. My mind was blown.
Something you’ve learned recently?
I’ve been diving deep into Enneagrams recently. I’m a 6w5 🙂
A person or business you admire?
I don’t have one particular person or company in mind for this. The best part of being a business owner is all the other business owners you get to meet. It’s not easy running the day to day of small business and I’m so impressed by the people I’ve met who are just crushing it!
A simple luxury that you enjoy?
A slow morning with a cup of coffee and a book.