In a world where we are constantly being prompted to evaluate whether we measure up to others’ standards of “coolness” or beauty, it’s easy to fall under the false impression that we must always be buying new things to keep up with the latest trends. Popular clothing brands have played into this narrative by providing cheap (and cheaply made), trendy clothes that are designed to be worn a few times then thrown away when the next season of styles is rolled out. The problem with this phenomenon is that we as a country and as a planet are producing more textile waste than ever before.
Nobody benefits from the continuation of this cycle. Garment workers are overworked and underpaid. Consumers think that they are getting deals when really they are spending thousands of dollars per year on clothes. Even those who are profiting from the fast fashion industry now will be impacted down the road by the environmental damage that these processes have caused, as will the rest of us. Something has to change.
One option is buying from clothing companies who are committed to having as little negative impact on the environment as possible. Creating a larger market for clothes that are made with the planet in mind provides consumers with more opportunities to shop eco-consciously and reduces the demand for fast fashion. But it is equally important to remember that there are clothes and textiles that are already out there, more than the existing global population could ever possibly wear. Buying clothing secondhand is a great way to refrain from being a part of a system that is hurting the environment. Luckily, there are shops right here in Indianapolis where you can find stylish, affordable secondhand clothing, making it easy and exciting to update your wardrobe consciously. You can also take in old clothing to consign or donate!
Consider checking out these shops before you buy new or throw away old clothes:
One of the newer vintage clothing stores in Indy, Zodiac Vintage opened up in Fountain Square towards the end of 2018. It’s a beautiful store to browse – it’s organized by color scheme making it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. They also have clothing from just about every era, as well as a huge selection of vintage denim, so if you’re into the mom-jean trend Zodiac is your new go-to!
Address: 1060 Virginia Ave Indianapolis, IN 46203
Social Media: Instagram
At The Toggery in Broad Ripple, you can find Free People, Anthropologie, Burberry, Kate Spade and other highly sought-after brands on consignment for very reasonable prices. It’s easy to pass hours browsing their racks without even realizing it, as the small building is packed with more than you might expect. Also notable are their spacious and bright dressing rooms where you can try on all of your finds to make sure they’re a perfect fit. You’ll never want to leave!
Address: 1810 Broad Ripple Ave Indianapolis, IN 46220
Social Media: Instagram
Queen Bee Vintage
Queen Bee Vintage wins the prize for eye-catching window displays. I’ve had to slam on the breaks while driving past the shop briefly after exclaiming, “Look at that DRESS!” more times than I care to admit. From pretty cocktail dresses to sassy t-shirts to quirky home decor, you’re sure to find something you will love.
Millennials especially will feel nostalgic for Naptown Thrift’s collection of mostly 1980s and 90s clothing. Their biggest selection is graphic tees – bands, sports teams, television shows, universities, you name it they have it. If you’re proud to be an Indy native they have some jerseys and other apparel specific to Indy teams and the 500 that you’re not likely to find elsewhere. Jump on their website or visit their headquarters to check them out!
Broad Ripple Vintage
Open since 1998, Broad Ripple Vintage has been a staple in every Indy thrift shopper’s repertoire for years. They have a large collection of both men’s and women’s clothing ranging in eras from the 1940s to the 1980s. Whether you are looking for cute vintage clothes to wear every day, a retro prom dress, or a hippie Halloween costume, you’ll probably find it at Broadripple Vintage.
Rebel Vintage, which is the result of a merger between popular vintage stores Lux & Ivy and Notorious Vintage, is dedicated to the mission of bringing slow fashion to Indy with their selection of vintage, new and handmade apparel. Check out their adorable store or visit them on social media to learn more!
Address: 1051 E. 54th St., Suite A Indianapolis, IN 46220
Social media: Facebook, Instagram
Newman & Co
If you’re looking for high quality consigned and secondhand menswear, it can be difficult to find a shop that has more than just a few racks devoted to it. However, that’s all that Newman & Co does! This store is pretty selective about what they take from vendors, meaning anything you find will be like-new. It’s also likely to last, meaning you won’t have to replace it soon!