Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Story of My Etsy Shop

      If you have ever wondered how sustainability and social justice activism can mesh with a clothing shop on Etsy, I'm here to explain that today. Or maybe you know me personally or have read some of my many articles about clothing, and you're wondering how someone who discourages capitalism, materialism, and buying new things could possibly own and operate a clothing shop. Don't worry, I've got you covered. Today I'm explaining the story of my Etsy shop, and showing how sustainability and social justice have a lot to do with how and why I started the shop.

How I Started

     I have been passionate about vintage clothes ever since I visited my first thrift shop. I also learned to sew at a very young age, and I loved the combination of thrifted clothing and personalized touches and updates that made up my unique style. 

     As I got older, I also noticed that vintage clothing was worth the money, whereas newer clothing from chain and department stores continued to prove low-quality, cheap, and only wearable for a short period of time. Buying my clothes vintage and upcycling and updating pieces gave me a more durable and stylish option for clothing. 

     Then, I began to learn about sustainability, and how completely unsustainable the garment industry is. I learned that the way our fashion industry keeps constantly producing new clothes wastes tons of electricity, fuel, and other materials. It also pollutes by adding to carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Beyond that, I learned that the reason new clothing is often so cheap is because the laborers who help make it are often sorely underpaid - in the clothing factories in Bangladesh, some laborers were recently discovered making as little as 25 cents a week! 

     I began to see that not only are vintage and upcycled clothes more durable and more unique than mass-produced, new clothing, they are also a more sustainable, more socially just alternative to new clothing. 

     Without a second thought, I opened Good Vibrations to bring stylish vintage upcycled clothes to the masses, so that people like you don't have to buy boring, poorly made, unsustainable, and unjust clothing. 

How It Works

     I source most of my pieces from flea markets, thrift shops, and other people's closets (especially my parents'!). I tend to have a really good eye for pieces that others will enjoy, and I also have the patience for thrifting, cleaning, and altering clothes to make them suitable for wearing. I deeply enjoy this process, because I love being able to take something that seems old and dated and create a new life for it. Sometimes all a piece need is to be styled differently! I trust the people who shop at Good Vibrations to see the potential in items and rock them. 

     Besides working with the clothes, I manage the shop, write my blog (which often relates to social justice and sustainability, themes that I emphasize here), take care of shipping and processing orders (another one of my favorite parts!), and somehow find time to be a full-time student and leader of several social justice and sustainability-focused organizations at UC Santa Cruz in California. 

     My greatest passion here is to take care of the Earth and all the people on it by promoting a more sustainable lifestyle for everyone, one piece of clothing at a time. I hope you like my shop :)


PS: This is a scheduled post! I'll be back on the 22nd! 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome to learn more about this, thanks for sharing Madeleine!


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