Yes, urbane renewal. The more I looked at the designs in my William Good entry, the less cool they got. And then in SF this weekend, I scoped out WG in person and saw more of the same — an indisputably fantastic concept that’s just not done quite right. The skirts, sweaters and button-downs are too obviously what they are: Goodwill’s discards. BUT, for $20-$40 a piece, God bless them for making it affordable. Give and take, yes? Piqued for more in this concept, following some footwork and some finger work (shopping on- and off-line, get it?), a few of my fave kindred spirits for us to enjoy instead…


First, my newest fashion crush: Preloved. For women, men and kids, I am in love with these shapes! (I think I captured every image one their site… it’s all beautiful.) Founded by former-model Julia Grieve and designed by Peter Friesen, the duo has been pre-loving since . The goods aren’t sold online, but they’re available at an exciting number of retail shops listed here when you click Retail Locations. I tried on a handful of “Handcut by Preloved” (sewn from fully vintage fabrics) at CandyStore in SF’s Inner Mission and confirmed that the sizing is a bit unpredictable, which they warn, but most pieces feel perfectly funky and patch worked without feeling like re-used waste. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

“Because sweatshops suck!” Handmade in San Francisco, spirited advocate Stephanie uses vintage fabrics, trims and buttons plus pre-consumer waste fabrics (new fabrics that are discarded by the factories) to design and sew each item. She says, “As an avid fashion follower, I was becoming frustrated with stories of sweatshop labor and the mass-production of cheap clothing to satisfy consumer desires. Also, being a woman born in the Philippines, it is a chilling idea that I was this close (holds her fingers an inch apart from each other) from having an alternate existence as a sweatshop sewer.” Very Anthropologie-esque, her wares are only available online and range from $40-$120 for a top.

Urban Renewal

And then of course we have Urban Outfitters’ Urban Renewal. The pieces are also available online and cost about $40 for a top and $50-$80 for a dress. The pieces are creatively-revamped vintage pieces designed by UO’s own designers, but I can’t confirm anything about how they’re actually manufactured. Anyone know?


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