Stylish & sustainable: Meet 3 Fort Wayne thrift and vintage shops innovating online

From bringing a travel mug to the Starbucks drive-thru to carrying groceries in reusable bags, many of the daily actions people take to help the environment are being put on hold due to the pandemic. However, the opportunity to find second-hand clothing is alive and well in Fort Wayne.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in 2014, the average American threw away approximately 81 pounds of clothing a year. And during this time when shopping in stores is less frequent, online shopping is picking up speed with 7 percent more U.S. consumers shopping online now than just a few months ago in April 2020, according to a study by PYMNTS.

Thrifting and hunting for vintage goods are known for the in-store experience of shuffling through piles of sweaters and jam-packed racks of pants to find that hidden treasure to take home. But in 2020 that isn’t the case. In fact, these three Fort Wayne thrift and vintage shops are turning one person’s trash into another thrifter’s treasure online, so locals can keep garments from landfills even during a pandemic.


Sawbuck Supply Co.

Sawbuck Supply Co. resells classic American vintage ranging from as far back as the 1880s.

With more than 3,700 sales on Etsy and a 5-star rating, Cheryl Stano of Sawbuck Supply Co. knows a thing or two about vintage goods. Stano opened her Etsy shop in 2008 and resells classic American vintage ranging from as far back as the 1880s to the 1990s. Her selection of treasures vary significantly from Victorian cottons to styles as in-demand as vintage Levi’s and Wrangler jeans from the ’70s and ’80s. While Stano’s love for vintage items started with in-person shopping at antique malls, she says just as many treasures await online today.

“Online vintage shopping is a great option to locate specific styles from whatever era you’re into,” Stano says. “This year especially made online shopping super convenient for the diehard vintage lovers who couldn’t get out to hunt in person.”

Sawbuck Supply Co. features many styles from Victorian cottons to in-demand products like vintage Levi’s and Wrangler jeans.

People can stay in tune with the latest finds at Sawbuck Supply Co. by following @sawbucksupplyco on Instagram or visiting the Sawbuck Supply Co. Shop on Etsy.


Frugal Hanger Thrift

Frugal Hanger Thrift features items from the ’40s all the way up to the ’90s.

For Frugal Hanger Thrift’s founder Carla Morris, the benefits to second-hand shopping go on and on. She says one can establish a quirky style that can’t be found with fast fashion, mix eras for an individualistic look, and above all, shop sustainably.

“By thrifting or repurposing, we are saving thousands of items from going into landfills and being wasted,” Morris says. “The U.S. alone sends approximately 21 billion pounds of clothing and textiles to landfills in a year, which is staggering.”

A vintage shirt with Northeast Indiana flair.

She also sites that less than 15 percent of donated clothing actually make it onto the racks at a thrift store. While volunteering, Morris says she saw first-hand how thrift stores have become “curated,” and items that aren’t deemed modern or relevant are passed along until ultimately ending up in landfills, as well.

Morris took her passion for giving clothes another life to new heights about six years ago when she started selling vintage goods on eBay. About four years later, she moved to selling on Instagram, where her finds range from the ’40s all the way up to the ’90s and pieces as unique as a dress made from a sheet.

The latest vintage finds for sale at Frugal Hanger Thrift can be found on the store’s Instagram page, @frugalhangerthrift.

Goodbye Goods Vintage

A thrifted hat by Goodbye Goods Vintage.

“There’s something special about digging through mountains of trash and finding a few treasures,” says Jared Andrew, the co-founder of Goodbye Goods Vintage.

Co-founders Jared Andrews and Addeline Griswold say they thrift 99 percent of everything they own and decided to put their eye for vintage gems to good use and opened up Goodbye Goods Vintage two years ago.

Their business primarily boasts ’80s and ’90s streetwear with a splash of ’60s and ’70s psychedelia to round out their assortment. For graphic tee enthusiasts and hat lovers, Goodbye Goods Vintage is a paradise with styles ranging from vintage Mickey Mouse shirts and college tees to classic sports caps and Made in the USA Snapbacks.

Goodbye Goods Vintage boasts ’80s and ’90s streetwear with a splash of ’60s and ’70s psychedelia.

“We love bringing people rad, quality vintage apparel that they can cherish for years to come,” Andrews says. “Vintage clothes come with an extra magic feeling of nostalgia and history that you just can’t get from the mall.”

Goodbye Goods Vintage sells their products through Instagram at @goodbyegoodsvintage and on Depop, @goodbyegoods.

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