Malcolm McDowell Woods

Wearin’ of the green

By - Jul 1st, 2009 12:01 am

resale4Perhaps you’ve always had an attraction to thrift stores. Perhaps you jones on vintage clothing. And maybe nothing floats your boat like saving a buck. Especially in these belt-tightening times, the latter is a huge incentive to consider some of our choices for resale, thrift, and consignment clothing shops in the area. Oh, and besides having the opportunity to be trendy or start your own fad, you can be proud that you are wearing your green beliefs literally on your sleeve. Here is but a sampling:

Luv Unlimited
2649 South Kinnickinnic Open Tuesday through Friday 12 – 7 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sunday 12 – 4 p.m.

Owners Sage Schwarm and Becky Heck are the delightful duo that runs this “beluved” Bay View staple. Heck is also the creative talent behind Hex Designs, which are featured prominently in the way of skirts, tops, and refabbed jewelry. After five years on the scene, the duo enjoyed a fashion runway show over at Turner Hall in April. Check it out on YouTube! Search for “Hex Designs fashion Show.”

When queried on what trends he’s noticed with shoppers lately, Schwarm shared that “Eighties are still solidly in.” Dresses, flats, sandals, feathers and Native American wear are all popular as well. Other bestsellers are good old converse high tops and of course, vinyl records. Some of the notable features that make Luv unique? “(We have) silk screening in the shop; iron-ons, vintage, or new designs that we can custom-make. And we’re sweatshop free!” A skirt is sprung from what was once a pair of jeans, 100% recycled. If that’s not planet friendly enough for you, Heck was proud to show me her “Green Barbie Display.” For the little girls or those at heart, these cuties were smartly dressed in all mini-recycled outfits personally designed by Heck. I was mighty impressed that they even had accessories.

Also for your shopping convenience: Luv Unlimited reusable cloth shopping bags at the checkout counter for a mere $16.00. Schwarm would like their store to be perceived as a boutique, not a typical thrift store. With Heck’s unique design flair, taking existing fabrics and materials and refurbishing them into one of a kind creations, Luv Unlimited certainly wears that distinction. Share the luv at: and

Rethreads (2943 N. Humboldt Blvd.) Phone: 414 263 1690.

Beret Isaacson is the beaming founder of this relatively new venue, which opened its doors on March 28 of this year. “The community has been awesome. People are excited. There’s (just been) an incredible response,” she enthuses. It is definitely a family affair, with Grandpa as a co-owner and husband Heath Copps at the helm for web site design and advertising. They are big on business both green and local. A great perk if you sign up for their newsletter online is a chance to win a monthly drawing for $50.00 credit’s worth of shopping. Something Isaacson would like customers to know about their store is that they “buy, sell, and trade. We pay cash or trade on the spot for your items. We’re also not just vintage.” Although she professes to love vintage clothing herself, she hopes to appeal to a wider audience by offering fashions as current as just last year’s, often in mint condition. Go give them a look-see. Hours are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.

Tuesday’s Child (7471 Harwood Avenue, Wauwatosa) Phone: 414 226 5250.

Owned and operated by the innovative sister team of Liz Brehm and Shelley Mattheis, Tuesday’s child is a resale store “for children and the spaces they inhabit.” Brehm and Mattheis purchase items directly from customers up until 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. From then on, clothes, toys, cribs, and bouncy seats are inspected and processed with loving care.

Brehm tells me that the only thing these two are snobs about is the condition and quality of the items that they take in. They require clothing to be clean and freshly laundered in plastic containers (to eliminate odors), and toys and other utilities to be gently used and not more than 5 years old. Brehm assures that everything is checked over carefully for spots, stains, and to ensure that it is in working order.

The store itself opened its friendly doors on December 8, 2008. It was outfitted with mainly recycled materials, from the doors to the shelves. Brehm and Mattheis also make a point to only use “Seventh Generation” cleaners or hydrogen peroxide if they suspect something might be “germy.” They even stock their break room with treats from the Outpost!

Brehm explained that they felt it was important for Tuesday’s Child to “look and feel like the shops in the village,” and that they have indeed created a niche for them selves in the community. They also enjoy repurposing odd items in general around the store, and often something will wind up going home with a happy customer who has noticed it. To visit Tuesday’s Child, stop by Monday through Wednesday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Divine Consign (Elm Grove Women’s Club, 1388 Watertown Plank Road) Phone: 414 213 6557.

Divine Consign has been garnering some considerable buzz ever since its big spring/summer sale at the end of April of this year, but it’s not housed in a traditional store. So what is Divine Consign, exactly? It is “a semiannual consignment sale for women that features exceptional quality, brand name clothing & accessories from petite to plus sizes. Divine Consign provides an opportunity for you to recycle your wardrobe, earn extra money and shop great deals for spring and summer.” The group’s spring/summer sale was held in late April at the Elm Grove Women’s Club, much boosted by word-of-mouth referrals.

The Divine ladies are currently accepting consignors and volunteers, and offer a consignor referral bonus. There is also the opportunity through volunteering to earn as much as 80% off your sales. Additionally, you can get on a mailing list to be among the first to receive info on upcoming sales. Peruse the Divine Consign web site for FAQ’s and more details at:

Please support these local businesses, making a go of it in our communities. They (and you) will be happy that you did!

resale5Thrifty alternatives

Obviously, there are many more thrift and resale stores in the area than one story can cover. Here are some others you may want to check out:

East Town Women’s Resale Shop
159 N. Broadway #2

Playroom Closet
9306 W. Greenfield Ave.

Annie’s Second Hand Chic
1668 N. Warren Ave.

For Mom and Me Maternity and Kids Resale
7046 W. Greenfield Ave.

Value Village
324 W. North Ave.

A-Hem Vintage
1625 E. Irving Place

Yellow Jacket
1237 E. Brady St.

Once Again Consignment Boutique
15740 W. Capitol Drive

Nearly New Family Fashions
6803 N/ Green Bay Ave.

Twice As Nice
7646 N. Teutonia Ave.

What about furniture? Buying used is the ultimate in green décor.

Chattel Changers
An east side staple, located at 2520 E. Capitol Dr in Shorewood.

Legacies Limited
7922 N. Port Washington Rd.

–by Colleen DuVall

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Categories: Fashion, Guides

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