Supporting local businesses never goes out of style
Yes. I love small businesses, and what about it? They’re great, and honestly, unlike any other! Every time I get a package from a small business, it always comes with the sweetest handwritten message, sometimes even with a pack of stickers! The quality feels like it came from the hands of the actual maker—I mean it probably did, but to actually feel that, is like how warm cookies come out of the oven. I can’t promise these prices are student-friendly like the $8 chicken burger in the Quad, but they are sustainable and worth it. Here’s a word problem: why would you spend $80 on a Glassons dress (YES, they go that high now) that everyone else probably has, when you can spend roughly $30-$50, on one-of-a-kind items? Are you really a fashion babe, or are you just tryna be an in-with-the-fashion-babe?
Price Metre: $$
nineteen99 is a slow fashion print business. What started out as silk-screen printing on t-shirts in our own little Elam, eventually branched out to trucker hats, skirts, pants, and the list goes on. Founded by Frandson Bahati, nineteen99 practices slow fashion by producing specific designs only every now and then; sometimes they’re even one-off prints mostly on pants or skirts, and even as edgy as a suit jacket. These prints are designed by Frandson himself. They rearranged photographs of Black individuals, some of which—from the last time I spoke to Frandson—were members of his own family. I own two things from nineteen99, and I’ve worn each item to the death. I wouldn’t say the prices are ‘student-friendly’, but if you’d buy a nylon Prada 2005 re-edition for that much, Frandson’s pieces just make sense.
Closet by Katie
Price Metre: $-$$
There has definitely been a boost of online thrift shops since the pandemic, but finding good quality thrifts is rough… On the other hand, you can never go wrong with Closet by Katie, managed by Katie Owen, a student and full-time worker. I have bought heaps of stuff from the store. They’re affordable and the quality is genuinely *chef’s kiss*. I’ve always been adamant about buying second-hand items but moreso, buying second hand classic pieces. The curation of the drops don’t rely on the increase of microtrends, which is a very important move that the Gen-Z audience should consider, even with thrifting. Aside from this, Katie offers amazing customer service and is very fair when it comes to consumer ethics! Student-friendly? Defo.
Made by Beth
Price Metre: $$- $$$
I asked around the small business community in Aotearoa if they knew any crochet legends. The majority of them turned me to Made by Beth, an Instagram shop that is also managed on Big Cartel, made by Beth Willis. Her items range from crocheted drop-earrings, to cardigans, to bags, and to even a granny-cover for your hottie! Her items sell out so quickly! With the resurgence of crochet in fashion, it’s not a shock if the fight for Beth’s items becomes even bigger. Beth also does commissions based on her availability. Having seen one of her items in real life, the quality is truly impeccable. The craftsmanship is unmatched! The best part is that she aims to promote slow and sustainable fashion by using secondhand yarn, bought through thrifting and online marketplaces. This just shows how unique her pieces are. It may be a little expenny, but you can’t expect to pay a dime for a diamond. These items are literally made by a hook and a hand.