Saturday, December 20, 2008

Second Hand Fur Coat: Vintage shopping in Pomona, Claremont etc...

So my GF and I ventured out to Claremont today. (boo traitors I know) but we had to visit a couple of yarn stores, and 2 Old Divas on Garey has been closed the last three afternoons we tried to stop by. So we finally decided to go to Phebies in Claremont. It ended up being a good trip, we met a Peruvian woman named Edda who worked there and we spoke for quite a bit about Peru she organizes trips out there and I'll also be heading out there in July with Green Empowerment to help some farmers in the Andes out with their sub-watershed. So we exchanged information and it was a good trip to the yarn shop.

I digress...

Afterwards, my GF and I stopped by downstairs to Replay for some vintage clothing window shopping. It turns out that they are owned by the same people as La Bomba on second street in Pomona, which we visit every so often. There is also a La Bomba in Long Beach and another store by a different name in Silverlake (I think that one may be a "replay" as well).

Let me tell you. These stores are some of the better vintage clothing stores, They have a great variety and the prices aren't too bad. The woman I spoke with at Replay in Claremont says that the La Bomba stores are more 60's to 80's clothing, the Store in Claremont is mostly 40's - 80's and the store in Silverlake has more 20's to 50's clothing. So if you're looking for decently priced clothes, try these stores out.

This brings me to my next point...
Reuse vs. Recycle
The glory of vintage clothing is that when you buy it and wear it you are almost always reusing it. This cuts out the process of, well, reprocessing. The only energy input into vintage clothing is the transport of the clothing. Recycling requires energy to reprocess and it almost always loses some of the material from the original piece. So when you buy bottled water, try to find a way to reuse them before you recycle them. same should go for clothing, donate your clothing, and buy used clothing. It's the sustainable thing to do!

That also brings me to another point.
Carbon Storage.
Simple and easy. Clothing, specifically clothing made of natural/organic materials (not synthetic) store carbon. think of it like this. All life is carbon based, trees store carbon, so when you built a house out of wood that carbon is stored until the house is torn down and the wood decomposes. Paper stores carbon but it is thrown away a lot, that's why when printing I always use the back side of other things I have printed on(reuse), and whenever possible I use recycled paper. I want to store the carbon as long as I can.

Another Point.
Reduction of Waste.
Reused clothing reduces waste, we. are. running. out. of. landfills!

One more thing before my last point.
Second hand stores are cheap (at least they should be or you're doing it wrong) In this economy these places are like heaven!

Now this brings me to my last point.
The Second Hand Fur Coat.
I've been fascinated with this idea of the second hand fur coat. The folks at PETA and all my "fur is murder!" friends would cringe at the thought of fur coats. HOWEVER, fur coats at second hand stores had already been purchased. they are often decades old, the proceeds do not go to the creator of the coat. Instead the purchasing of a second hand fur coat would provide income for a local business or a non-profit business like Salvation Army or Goodwill. The second hand fur coat would not be wasteful, less trash is a good thing. Second hand fur coats help to store carbon longer (especially good for the global warming generation we are in) and for some people it mitigates the purchasing of a new fur coat that may cause the death of another animal. The fur coats are already out there. No need to buy a new one. No need to even make more.

The same would go for leather. I had been thinking about this second hand fur coat thing for about a year since discussing it with a classmate. I even asked some of my vegan friends who are very anti fur, leather, dairy and meat. They seemed to understand. However they are friends and of course they'd be a little forgiving. And sure, I may be just trying to justify my actions. (but the idea came before the action!) "Some may say but it's the principle!" And I say "I believe I'm doing the right thing. I'll never buy a new fur coat."

So I bought my girlfriend a second hand fur and leather coat. and for CHEAP. UNBELIEVABLY cheap! Cheaper than what I was planning on getting her for christmas! by a LOT! I mean... HOLY CRAP! And the lady gave me a christmas discount just because I asked for it!
We actually both did our shopping for each other at the same place, she bought me a wool coat, a knit scarf, and a new gatsby hat.
We decided to not wrap our gifts and just give them to each other in the car. We only buy things for each other once a year and we both already knew what we got so, forget it!

Everyone! Go check out those stores! Support Pomona's Local Economy, Save some money in this bad economy! Go toLa Bomba! Buy a second hand fur coat! Of all people I'll understand!

Now you should know, serious vintage clothing shoppers (like myself) usually never share their shopping locations, but it's Christmas, and I'm in the giving spirit! Don't spill the beans!


Thorp said...

Hey, I might provide more insight into this subject of re-used clothing. I worked at a thrift store once and was able to tour the distribution center for all the stores. I found out that all the donated clothes gets hand picked and priced. The less desireable stuff gets thrown in the rag pile. This then gets compressed into cubes and bundled and sold by the ton. It then becomes shop rags. Sometimes dyed red (red shop towels) or white shirts stay white and become rags, you can find them at Home Depot. On a side note, I also worked in a machine shop where those red rags are delivered and picked up to be washed and re-used. Back to vintage, it is a very good form of reusing clothes with minimal impact to the environment. The stuff stays around for many years and slighty slows the creation of new clothes.

pomona's art colonists said...

The store's are owned by our dear friend Albert Gonzales, who has an eye for fashion.
Albert is the best dressed man in Pomona!
Everything that I've ever purchased from, or should I say Albert picked out for me has been a hit, I mean I get compliments from strangers off the streets.
I would highly recommend shopping at these stores because Albert buys the best and you are sure to get compliments too! He also goes to Coachella every year for the music festival and does really well. We love La Bomba and Replay....Juan and I helped put Replay together in Silverlake and proud of it!
Juan took environmental angle and I took the fashion route ;-D

Anduhrew said...

I always wondered where those shop rags came from. I really really want to check out the silverlake store, that seems like an interesting deal.

A. S. Ashley said...

La Bomba really ROCKS! And is a loyal supporter of our Arts Colony!

Lisa said...

Andrew was too shy to ask for a discount. I can't believe I helped him spend less on my Christmas present.

Mona Hsieh said...

i think i'm going to go check that place out w/ angel!