Shopping isn’t exactly eco-friendly: new clothes means pesticide use in growing fibers or chemicals in creating synthetics, shipping means greenhouse gases, packaging means waste. But dammit, we’ve got to live a little. So if you want to be green while you’re out spending green, there’s the eco-friendly option: go secondhand.
In theory, I’m behind the idea of secondhand clothing stores. I’ve just never had luck with them. Going secondhand for books? Sure. Clothing? Ehhh. All that sorting and searching can seem daunting. A few years ago, a friend asked me to join her on a second-hand shopping trip. She emerged with gorgeous sweaters and tops and barely a dent in her wallet; I emerged with only an aversion to the idea of used pants.
Friends have told me to give secondhand stores another shot, that Charlotte has more to offer than badly lit used stores with racks and piles to sort through. Despite a wariness toward stores using “vintage” as code for “decrepit,” I sought out a good local vintage option and visited Hong Kong Vintage in Plaza Midwood. Better. Soooo much better.
Hong Kong Vintage is a cool store with a variety of items: retro-hip clothes, accessories, and home decor. The clothes aren’t exactly work-appropriate gear unless your job is far cooler than mine (hardly an unattainable feat), but if you’re looking for a unique vintage item, this could be your spot. For women, they offer tons of dresses – from terry sundresses to fancier fare – and a rainbow of shoes, belts, and jewelry evoking 60s, 70s, and 80s vibes. I fell in love with their bags, especially their collection of bright vintage suitcases which were priced at only $22-$40. They also have men’s clothes (my husband scored a cool Whisky a Go Go tshirt) as well as some items for the hip kid in your life.
Hong Kong Vintage is a good place for people who want to do right by the world and their wallets by buying secondhand but don’t want to wade through piles of crap to get to the good stuff. It’s a pretty and well-organized store that’s great for browsing, and the prices are low for vintage. While the fashions don’t exactly match my minimalist black-and-denim personal style (the 70s and 80s weren’t exactly known for their subtlety), it is a great store for those with more daring tastes or at least with a special event that provides a good excuse to break out of the norm. Whatever you buy here will be distinctive and sure to elicit that most sincere of compliments, “Oooh, where did you find that?”
Hong Kong Vintage and Recycled
1514 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205