I want to start off this blog by introducing myself. My name is Andrea or as Chris and the gang like to call me “Dre”. I will be writing to you weekly here and I am excited to connect in this way. If you know me already, hi! If not, hi! I used to work at Here We Go Again for about 7 years, during that time I went to PCC then to PSU, graduated with a BFA (focused in textile arts), and now I am living in Spain! Crazy, right? Sometimes it feels like I grew up at HWGA, and in a way, I did.
I am all about rewearing, repurposing, anti-fast fashion and shopping secondhand first. It is so important for the planet, for the people who make our clothes, and it is just more fun when you find a treasure you wouldn’t have otherwise (and at a steal, too!). I’m sure I’m not the first to tell you that the fashion industry is extremely polluting to the environment, creates a huge waste problem with our unwanted items, and is unethical and harmful to the workers who make our clothes. I used to be a fast fashion addict. It’s so easy to get sucked into that world of wanting to fit in, sporting the latest trend, purchasing whatever, whenever, and doing it all for cheap. The reality of it all began to hit when I started working at Here We Go Again and realized there is a whole other world where I can still shop, find cute fun things, and not have such a negative impact on the planet. I learned the value clothes have after they are purchased (and worn), where unwanted items go when we are *over* them, this unrealistic idea that re-wearing an outfit is not cool, and how quality plays a huge role in the longevity of a garment.
I will break down a day in the life as an intaker to give you an idea of all the knowledge and practice it takes to learn the tricks of the trade. As a women’s resale shop, items come through those doors daily and it is your job to determine the value of an item and quickly because the consignor is waiting! The first glance is important because that is the quality check, I like to say, to look for holes, stains, etc. Next, look at the brand, is it recognizable? Is it a fast-fashion brand? We typically say no thank you, to those unless it’s really really awesome. Emphasis on the really. Why? A few factors. One, the price point is something we just can’t compete with and have no desire to. Second, those types of items simply don’t last and are made in ways that we do not agree with; materials unethically sourced, factories that are incredibly polluting and unsafe, and the mistreatment of garment workers (mostly women), a big NO THANKS!
Once the garment is inspected for overall condition and the brand looks good, then we have to determine the likelihood of the piece actually selling. This is where practice and knowing your market is critical because you can have a store full of beautiful Moira Rose pieces (shameless Schitt’s Creek fan over here!), but do you see anyone really wearing that? If the answer is yes, then go for it. This is where you have to go with your gut and be okay with saying no to something if you don’t think it will work for the market. The reason I am breaking this down for you is because this was how I learned about the value of the clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry we own and how working at HWGA opened my eyes to the importance of shopping secondhand first, finding a second home for your no longer worn items, and how important it is to take care of the things you already own.
With some practice, I became really good at determining the quality of a garment by touch alone. Certain materials just feel good (think 100% cotton, silk, linen, etc.) I would go thrifting around Portland’s consignment shops and filter through the racks at lightning speed only stopping when I felt something yummy. After being in contact with so many different brands/materials, you quickly spot the good, the bad, and the yucky (looking at you polyester!). As much pdx resale shopping I did outside of the shop, the majority of my closet is from Here We Go Again. We honestly would get in SO MANY quality, awesome pieces from clothing to unique jewelry, killer shoes, luxury items, and so much more. Plus working there meant I had dibs! Which was a huge perk and a test of my will power.
After many years of shopping around Portland, I can say HWGA is one of the best Portland women’s consignment shops around, but hey, I’m biased and will always proudly be and it seems that I am not the only one because…
We WON Best Clothing Resale Store in Portland’s Willamette Week!!
Thank you to all of you who voted, you are amazing, and we love you right back! There are so many awesome resale shops to choose from in Portland and we are honored to have been chosen by YOU as Portland’s best clothing resale store. I know that Chris and the crew have worked so hard to make sure every single person who walks into the shop feels welcomed, comfortable, has a good time, and finds a hell of a good deal. It truly takes a loving crew to create a space like HWGA and it sure feels good to be recognized for it. So once again, thank you thank you THANK YOU!
Until next week,