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Finding homes for ‘evergreen’ clothing

Clothing racks with denim and longsleeve tops.

Clothing consumers EK Johansen and Laura Gallup have found a space that provides them with high quality, long-lasting clothing while catering to their personal style. The space is Evergreen Ithaca, a curated vintage secondhand store.

The Customer Experience

Laura Gallup is a customer who first discovered Evergreen Ithaca at the Ithaca Night Bazaar, before the owner, who prefers to be referred to as Hudson, had opened the location at 607 West Clinton St.

“It has a very specific niche style that is curated,” Gallup said. “So, if you’re into that, it’s like a gold mine. I think the other cool thing about his shop is that it’s kind of small… but every piece is amazing. It’s just a totally different experience.”

EK Johansen, a customer who has been to the store several times, described her experiences at the store as “overwhelmingly positive.”

“It has been interesting to see how the store has evolved since it has opened,” Johansen said. “The owner has been constantly changing things to fit the needs and wants of his customer base.”

EK Johansen portrait.
Customer EK Johansen showcasing her personal style. (Photo by Maddy Vogel/Ithaca Week)

Hudson said his favorite part of owning a secondhand store in Ithaca was giving quality clothing pieces good homes.

“My favorite part is when someone gets something that they absolutely love,” Hudson said. “When someone walks in and finds a pair of jeans that couldn’t fit them any better… That’s really what I enjoy, finding the perfect home for something.”

Environmental Importance

According to the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry is the second largest polluter of global freshwater and accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions, which is more than the airline and maritime industries combined.

“During 2020… I started doing more research on fast fashion practices and the kind of stores I was buying from before,” Johansen said. “I started to just not feel good about getting my clothes from retail stores.”

Purchasing clothing that has already been worn by others instead of supporting the fashion industry lowers a person’s carbon footprint. The fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide yearly, according to the Carbon Literacy Project.

“I want something that is going to be affordable price for someone to purchase that they’re going to love and have for a long time,” Hudson said. “My whole aspect is just providing people with quality items that can easily fit into their wardrobe and that they can wear regularly.”

Portrait of Hudson.
The owner of Evergreen Ithaca, Hudson. (Photo by Maddy Vogel/Ithaca Week)

An ‘Evergreen’ Community

In a store filled with greenery and colorful clothing pieces, the name “Evergreen Ithaca” has a special place in the mind of Hudson.

“An evergreen plant has foliage that lasts longer than a single growing season, and continues to be functional for the plant,” Hudson said. “We find the same beauty in clothing, as signs of wear from years prior shows that it has been serving its purpose. We added Ithaca to let everyone know where the brand is, and to proudly represent the community’s values of sustainability and protecting our environment.”

A colorful display of vintage clothing.
Unique, colorful and bold clothing pieces being showcased inside Evergreen Ithaca. (Photo by Maddy Vogel/Ithaca Week)

Gallup shared that one of her personal values is being conscious of her environmental impact.

“I hate wasting things, that’s just one of my core values,” Gallup said. “Shopping secondhand makes me feel good, because I know these are things that might have been discarded otherwise, and they’re totally fine. They still have life to give someone else.”

Hudson said one of the reasons he chose to open his store in Ithaca is because of the community’s values.

“People here are very mindful of their carbon footprints, reusing as much as they can,” Hudson said. “I could not imagine another place I would want to live right now.”

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