EcoLux☆Lifestyle: Community Thrift & Vintage – 3 Times the Thrift

EcoLux☆Lifestyle: Community Thrift & Vintage – 3 Times the Thrift

Community Thrift & Vintage is a 3-location mecca for savvy shoppers in the DTES that features curated selections of used clothing for sale. If you are looking for a specific luxury label, the chance is you are not going to find it because thrifting isn’t about all that! But if your taste is broad, eclectic and not tied to corporate marketing, hit up CT&V for your pick of 80s denim shorts, the flowy florals of boho chic, tie-dyed tee’s, comfy sandals, or high-waisted retro-glam – CT&V has more than enough to keep you flipping through rack after rack.

Founded in 2011 by Jenni Nelson, Community Thrift & Vintage is a social enterprise based in Vancouver, that specializes in “selling a tightly edited collection of recycled fashion at a low price point.” The retail locations support at-risk people through compassionate and supportive work training programs, and all profits are donated to the PHS Community Services Society.

Community Thrift, Vintage, DTES, PHS, Portland Housing Society,Roena Ong, Helen Siwak, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Stylist, Lifestyle, Fashion
Welcoming and bright interiors | Photography & Styling by Roena Ong

Why Thrift? (Seriously? This is Vancouver!)

One of the beautiful aspects of ‘thrift store shopping’ (besides how affordable it is) is how 100% eco-friendly each item is, no matter what it is made of because of its mere existence the demand for a new item is reduced. The popularity of CT&V means items roll-over quickly and there is always new stock hitting the floors daily. Arranged by themes, the stores are easy to navigate, and unlike chain retailers in shopping malls that have a limited amount of looks, fabrics, and colours available, you will find pieces from different decades all hanging together. We love ‘high-low’ dressing with new and thrift pieces together because it guarantees that when you show up, no one will be rocking the same pieces!

Roena Does Denim – Two Ways

Every season, fashionistas declare ‘denim is making a comeback,’ completely ignoring the resurgence began a decade ago and is still going strong! Highly coveted for its strength, durability, and versatility, denim is also the fabric that causes an incredible amount of environmental damage in its production. Buying second (third, fourth…) hand denim is an incredible first step in creating a zero-waste wardrobe and shopping at Community Thrift and Vintage is a cool place to put your buying power.

Community Thrift, Vintage, DTES, PHS, Portland Housing Society,Roena Ong, Helen Siwak, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Stylist, Lifestyle, Fashion
This Stanley Park Seawall casual look is perfect for keeping cool and hitting the Cactus Club patio in | Photography & Styling by Roena Ong
Community Thrift, Vintage, DTES, PHS, Portland Housing Society,Roena Ong, Helen Siwak, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Stylist, Lifestyle, Fashion
Dress up a knee-length denim skirt with a cropped white ruched blouse, comfortable sandals, and versatile clutch | Photography & Styling by Roena Ong

While many shop for a certain look or style, there are those two-percenters who shun the conventional and thrive on the pursuit of high-quality, highly-coveted designer labels. CT&V is a popular hunting ground for those in the know. A quick browse of their Instagram brought up Hugo Boss Paris, Versace, Chanel, Original Levi’s, and Louis Vuitton. Not too shabby!

Community Thrift, Vintage, DTES, PHS, Portland Housing Society,Roena Ong, Helen Siwak, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Stylist, Lifestyle, Fashion

Who is PHS & Why Should We Support Them?

PHS was originally Portland Housing Society and founded by Liz Evans in 1991. She took it upon herself to be a community leader in pioneering and delivering service innovations that were effective, real and challenged the narratives at the time. Which unfortunately are the same narratives that DTES is still struggling with – people being excluded from decent housing, quality health care, and other services while being left to suffer on the street.

Today, PHS manages a variety and range of housing, programs and services that strive to be non-judgmental, which do not require abstinence and are driven by the needs identified by the individual. These services include low-barrier housing with clinical supports, emergency shelter and primary health care programs, needle distribution and supervised consumption sites, overdose prevention, low-barrier methadone, managed alcohol programs, dental care, supervised injection, and alternatives to traditional detox.

In partnerships with community residents, community organizations, all levels of government, academic institutions, private foundations and people across the city – PHS strives to create an improved quality of life for everyone who needs it. Support PHS by shopping at Community Thrift & Vintage or by making a donation here.

Community Thrift, Vintage, DTES, PHS, Portland Housing Society,Roena Ong, Helen Siwak, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Stylist, Lifestyle, Fashion
Getting ‘earthy’ with this accessory tableau to create an effortlessly chic outfit | Styling and photography by Roena Ong

3 Locations to Get Your Thrift On!

UNISEX SHOPPE: 11 W Hastings Street (604-629-8396)
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12 pm -6 pm, closed Sunday & Monday

FROCK SHOPPE: 311 Carrall Street (604-682-8535)
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 12 pm -6 pm, closed Sunday & Monday

THE STUDIO: Buzz #110 – 138 E Hastings Street (604-331-6901)
Hours: Open for online pick-ups only Wednesday & Saturday 12 pm -5 pm

After shopping, satisfy your cravings at Nelson the Seagull – now open for coffee and carbs. Order a strong coffee, a plate of crispy salty squishy avocado toast or a home-made luscious peanut butter cup, and take a loaf of rustic bread to go. You will not be disappointed!

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For this small business spotlight, EcoLuxLuv Comms worked with Roena Ong , a freelance fashion stylist, creative director, and writer. Watch for more of her work in the upcoming weeks as we collaborate to share more of our favourite shops in this timely series. Roena’s past pieces for EcoLuxLifestyle.co include an evening with O M Couturespotlight on Much + Littleand capturing the heart of Horace Jewelry.  

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