The faint aroma of history that lay in the seams of vintage clothing made its way throughout the historic warehouse. The rareness and construction of the classic garments captivated new shoppers as they spent their first Friday at The Other Side Vintage in Railroad Square.
First time shopper, Scott Pollenz, 18, rummaged through the comical selections and vintage records offered at The Other Side Vintage and could not help but wonder why anyone would choose the mall over the warehouse.
“The prices are definitely better and the clothing is definitely much more conversation starting,” Pollenz said.
Zan Bielec, owner of The Other Side Vintage, takes pride in her business. Created almost eleven years ago, the shop provides a welcoming and family oriented atmosphere.Bielec left her corporate job to pursue her own establishment, an idea that she, her mother, sister and sister-in-law had considered for a long time.
“We sell a little bit of everything- vintage and newer items. The only thing we probably don’t sell is baby clothes or baby items and beds,” Bielec said. “But [we do sell] clothing, jewelry, home décor and art. A little bit of everything.”The vintage culture has triggered a new trend in contemporary fashion. Classic pieces have inspired the revolution of fashion all across the world, setting new standards for what it means to be trendy while maintaining an eco-friendly society. The current choices of today’s style has taken on the apperance of past decades. Those in modeling troupes at Florida A&M know firsthand on what it takes to be fashion forward while living within there means.
Joseph Francis, 20, a second year general studies student from Hollywood, Fla., and member of Images Modeling Troupe Inc., has noticed the popularity of vintage attire and gave some suggestions for thrifty shopping.
“[Shop at] the lovely Goodwill and Plato’s closet. People underestimate these places and many are turned off by used and worn clothing, but I feel in this case one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” Francis said. “I think many people throw these clothes away because they feel it is late and out of style but there are many ways you can incorporate them into an outfit and make it work.”
Along with the wide assortment of quality and chic clothing provided at consignment shops, there are recycling benefits to including gently used clothing to your wardrobe.
Thrift store shopping directs reusable items away from landfills and avoids the costly and unnecessary packaging of new products.
As FAMU works towards a greener campus, encouraging students to be environmentally conscious about their shopping decisions is a priority in the FAMU Green Coalition. LaRae Donnellan, co-advisor of the FAMU Green Coalition, supports the idea of gently used clothing while upholding an affordable, yet modish appearance.
“First of all, you are not buying into a system that uses so many resources to create new things: water that goes into watering cotton, pesticides that go into killing the bugs that eat the cotton, petroleum used to run the tractor,” Donnellan said. “All these steps are done away with. In it, we don’t realize the full cost of anything we buy.”
Whether it is at a vintage warehouse or your local thrift store, the benefits of alternative shopping comes with an array of benefits. The clothing is affordable for any college student. The effortless recycling aspects of pre-owned clothing can greatly improve our environment. And the most rewarding part of vintage is the large selection of original and fun pieces that can be incorporated into today’s fashion obsession. A closet filled of tangible history.