Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reduce, Reuse: Seattle Chidren's Consignment Stores

Upscale Consignment: Le Petit Shoppe

Recycling is great, but I feel bad for Reduce & Reuse, because Recycle gets all of the attention, while the other two get ignored like the ugly step sisters of the family.

Maybe reducing consumption, and reusing what we already have, is not as much fun as rinsing out glass bottles and squashing aluminum cans. Sacrifice just isn't fashionable.

"Buying new things makes me feel kinda icky," my friend Sharon told me over lunch this week.

"Its like a game to me to see how little I can spend and still look good." Its a game I think she is winning, she looks great to me. I am pretty sure that the money she saves buying used clothes and picking up free furniture is spent on her hair stylist. 

"Its funny," I told her, "Feeling icky is how some people feel about pawing through other people's used clothes." I think it's about time for a used-clothing image make-over. Get rid of the image of stained tourist tee-shirts on crowded racks - Seattle's consignment stores cater to the latte sipping crowd looking looking for a bargain that no one will know they made.

I hear that Big Ag is hiring the creator of the Got Milk? campaign to make over their image by “reversing consumers’ negative perceptions about a broad range of issues including so-called ‘factory farming,’ the use of agricultural chemicals, livestock management practices, processed ‘industrial food,’ and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).” Well, I figure if he can do that, he could probably turn used clothes into mainstream cool. 

We should start with some re-branding. "Used" is not a good selling point. Maybe, "proven"? Or "tried-and-true"? Or "new-to-you"? Or we could take a hint from car salesmen and go with, "pre-owned."

While you are pondering the image make over, let me tell you about a few of Seattle best children's consignment stores. I like the concept of consignment stores, because not only will they re-sell your clothing while selling you fashionable second-hand clothing, they will donate anything that doesn't sell quickly. I call that a win-win-win.

Le Petit Shoppe: a mix of new and used

Located in Wallingford Center
1815 N. 45th Street, Suite 204
Seattle, WA 98103

Paron's Closet Best Bets: The new kid on the block, Paron's Closet is housed in Wallingford Center, a former school building whose former classrooms are now independently owned shops. When you are done browsing baby clothes and carriers (very good condition), you can grab a Trophy cupcake and check out the toy store and fabric shop down the hall. 

Located one block East of University Village
3432 NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98105

Le Petite Shoppe Best Bets: A vast collection of shoes and second hand clothing that looks nearly-new is the highlight of this upscale consignment shop. The friendly owner has a great memory for faces and will likely remember you on your return visit. Just don't come back on a Sunday or Monday - you will find the doors closed.  
7212 Greenwood Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98103
206. 781-1194

Labels Best Bets: Labels has been re-selling designer labels (this season's or last's) out of their little storefront for 20 years. They sell mostly women's clothing and accessories, and also carry children's clothes and shoes. Why not bring in those too-tight pre-pregnancy jeans and trade them in for a warm sweater for baby? Or better yet, bring in baby's newborn clothes and trade them in for a Coach purse for mommy.

Kids on 45th 
Located one block from Walingford Center
1720 N 45th street
Seattle, WA 98103

Kids on 45th Best Bets: This shop has been around long enough for me to remember playing with toys in the back of the store when I was a kid. Clothing and toys are in good condition, and prices are low. The front of the store has new clothing and accessories, including a wide selection of tights and leggings.


Paron's Closet and Le Petit Shoppe are giving away gift certificates to one lucky Food.Soil.Thread reader! 

Le Petit Shoppe

Paron's Closet
Congrats to Heidi for winning the two gift certificates - happy shopping to everyone!

Photos of Le Petit Shop by Heleyna Holmes Photography


Sharon said...

Ha ha! Unfortunately you're so right about the hair stylist.

Alison said...

Oh, pick me, please! I love second hand shops.

Sorry I have no ideas, but I agree that making Big Ag look good is a nigh-impossible challenge.

avocadogirl said...

Those are all my favorite consignment shops too!

I've had an idea for a while now that I've been asking my husband to help me with.

We've been given dressy clothes that our baby hasn't been able to wear. Either it's the wrong season or she just grew out of it before we had a special occasion to attend. These adorable outfits still have their tags on them!

I was thinking those precious dressy or designer (tags still on) clothes being auctioned off for a (possibly more than one) children's non-profit. This could either be done in-store or through a website (which is what I'd like to do). Obviously this would take some work! But if many people contribute those outfits with a chance to upload a picture with their own baby sporting the outfit - it might get a lot of attention. (Who doesn't like to see their baby dressed up?)

Your blog is great!

Megan said...

I would love a chance to win a gift certificate; these two shops are on our regular rounds of places we shop. Two more second-hand suggestions: Childish Things up north on Holman Rd, and Sweet Peas down south on Rainer.

Denise said...

We love the shops you mentioned as well as Childish Things (lovely presentation and discerning eye for beautiful clothes), Me 'n' Mom's (a little pricey, but nice quality), and Goodwill! One of my friends even runs a local business called mamaswap.com and does a lovely job selling consignment online. Check it out!

Yolanda said...

I think I need to move to Seattle.

Erin Langley said...

I live in Lake Stevens and rarely go into Seattle. There are a couple kids consignment shops up here- one in Monroe called "Grow with Me". The other one is in Lynnwood and was called "Me-n-Mom's" although I believe it changed owners and its name may have changed as well. You can look it up online.
Anyway I love consignment shops and baby clothes can usually stay nice through many families.
Thanks for your blog, Lara.

Heidi Kenyon said...

A couple more good consignment shops: Again & A Gain, on California Ave just south of the Alaska Junction in West Seattle; and smallclothes, also on California Ave, just south of the Admiral Junction.

Heidi Kenyon said...

Liked your FB page, too--enter me again, pretty please?

Hayley said...

Le Petit Shoppe is one of my favorites!

PegLeg said...

We're in the process of getting ready for our baby and hitting up as many of these consignment stores as possible for baby clothes and maternity clothes. Definitely the smart way to shop!

PegLeg said...

Oh yeah, also liked your Facebook page. :)

Lara said...

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 12
Result: 9

Congrats Heidi Kenyon!

Email me your address and I will send your gift certificates. Happy shopping!

Sustainable Eats said...

I feel sorry for REFUSE. Great post!
xo, Sustainable Eats