I’ve always been a lover of vintage clothing and often throw a piece or two into the mix of my current era wardrobe essentials.
Because, IMO shopping vintage is both a stylish and sustainable way to shop big brands if you’re on a budget or if eco-brands are not your thing.
Case in point, Reformation’s recently launched a 144 piece vintage collection that sold out within hours. Additionally, Banana Republic jumped on the band wagon with a page dedicated to vintage pre-loved luxury items from Hermes to Gucci.
However, you don’t have to look to the big grands for the best vintage finds either. Shopping local is the best way to find great pieces in your area. One of my favorite go-to brands for recycled and vintage is Oakland, CA based The Consistency Project.
I sat down with Natasha Lo of the supremely thrifted (and finely curated) brand, The Consistency Project to find out what inspired her to start her sustainable fashion project.
TKP: “WHAT INSPIRED YOUR BUSINESS NAME AND WHY DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?”
TCP: The Consistency Project started as… (you’ll never guess), a project! (haha). It was a passion project that I started on the side to focus on the idea of “less is more” when it came to apparel and travel. Packing smarter meant doing more with less and allowing yourself the opportunity to just experience the journey with less baggage, physically and even mentally. We all appreciate less baggage if you catch my drift. 😉
The idea of adding “consistency” in the name came from realizing that “consistency” is what many of us try to achieve. For me this word really defined this project & business beyond a product or service. It really meant promoting a lifestyle. If you could do more with less when it came to packing and apparel, you could do more with less in other parts of your life, creating consistency for yourself and your lifestyle.
As for why this became a “business” for me… Well as we all experience, life happens and the direction we choose to go in can be ever evolving and adapting. The Consistency Project has been no exception. After being extremely unsettled on the fashion industry and its environmental impact I decided to expand the focus of The Consistency Project to promoting a sustainable lifestyle through how we “consume” apparel. I particularly wanted to highlight secondhand and recycled apparel, which in my opinion are some of the most sustainable options to choose from.
It was in February of this year I left my full-time job and transitioned everything from a part-time project to a full-time business. Every day leading up to that transitional moment I thought about how I could make a difference and asked myself why I wasn’t doing more to stand up for what I believed in. So I took the leap and here we are!
TKP: “WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO CHANGE THIS?”
TCP: I guess I fall into the “vintage” industry, although the business could go beyond that. But for simplicity sake, I’ll talk about vintage. I wrote a series of blog posts demystifying the vintage industry mainly because I never had an insider to “teach me the ways” or “show me the ropes” so I felt like my experiences and perception could easily relate to the majority. What is vintage? Where does it come from? How do you make a business out of it? Why is vintage so “expensive”? I mean – all these questions are what most people have about the industry and most of the time there are common misconceptions for all of these questions. And to learn more I would definitely check out my blog post series.
As far as what I’m doing to change this, I’ve been making an effort to talk about things more. Whether through blog posts or just conversations in person. The vintage industry tends to be secretive and fairly competitive but for me I see transparency as a way to get more people engaged to purchasing secondhand. In the end if someone was inspired to purchase secondhand from me, a thrift store, or another vintage shop, it is all the same to us because the purpose of The Consistency Project is to promote a sustainable and secondhand lifestyle, not just sell our own products. We want to go beyond a product and we hope you follow along to see how we do this.
TKP: “WHO IS THE CONSISTENCY PROJECT GIRL/ WOMAN”?
TCP: This is a hard question to answer because I feel like I’m still learning new things about myself, my purpose and who I want to be, but what I do know is I’m a female entrepreneur who was born and raised in Hawaii and is passionate about promoting thoughtfulness in everything we do and consume. Growing up on the island showed me how to see the simple beauty in life, but more importantly how to respect the land and everything around me. My parents are also both entrepreneurs and showed me what it meant to work hard for what you want. I’m proud of where I came from and owe my home, family and those who’ve been in my life the credit for inspiring me to do what I believe.
TKP: “WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR BUSINESS OR INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT YEAR?”
TCP: In the next year I hope to really showcase what we mean by being a business that promotes a lifestyle. Since we’ve started a couple of months ago, selling vintage clothing and denim has allowed us to connect with people and build our brand. In turn we hope these connections to people will allow us to have an audience and platform for something even more.
Natasha is the Bay Area’s go – to for vintage 501’s included in my Top 10 Summer Wardrobe Essentials. AND she has a stunning selection of luxury vintage and second-hand pieces ranging from Gucci to Chanel.
So now it’s your turn to shop vintage with Natasha. The Consistency Project will be popping up this Saturday September 16th at Bouquet Marketplace on Fourth Street in Berkeley California. for more details follow the link ->www.bouquetmarketplace.com
Learn more about Natasha’s journey at www.theconsistencyproject.com
AND check out her feature Global Faces of Fashion in the San Francisco Chronicle
*Now a question for you dear reader! What’s that one vintage or 80’s nostalgia piece you’ve been searching for? For me, it would be a classic ESPRIT logo Tee. Tell us in the comments section below! And pop in at Bouquet Marketplace this weekend. You might just find what you’re looking for!*
Xoxo, TKP and TCP