small business

blog

OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW... TO YOU!

MAKING THE CASE FOR VINTAGE & SUSTAINABILITY IN THE NEW YEAR

While taking some much needed R&R over the holidays, I started making some keen observations about my past year’s spending. I began to realize that running Neutral Ground had become more than a business. It was actually influencing my lifestyle. Sustainability, a big current day buzzword, was seeping into how I purchased everything. 

Now, one might think that being a vintage and designer curator, I’d be the sustainability queen. But in all honesty, my initial take on wearing pre-owned pieces had more to do with style and not being a follower than it did with the environment. It also had to do with my opinion that a level of craftsmanship and quality was missing in modern day wear.

The detailing on this  Geoffrey Beene silk twill dress  is impeccable. You don’t find self covered buttons and welt buttonholes in typical garments anymore.

The detailing on this Geoffrey Beene silk twill dress is impeccable. You don’t find self covered buttons and welt buttonholes in typical garments anymore.

Yet, as I delved deeper into this work last year, I began to realize so much more about the fashion industry and the waste and exploitation that goes into mass production. 

When I went on buying trips, far too often I’d come across fairly new pieces from H&M, Forever 21 and similar fast fashion chains promoted as “vintage”. Not only is there nothing vintage about an item produced and discarded in less than a year, the majority of these items are cheaply produced on the backs of poorly paid women and children in developing countries. 

So while seeking items for personal wear, I started making a concerted effort to buy vintage and pre-owned from people whose taste I admired. Or, I’d purchase interesting pieces from small, local makers. I was meeting so many at the pop-ups I was participating in, I felt like a new and exclusive world was opening up to me. I also felt a personal connection to these creatives and was delighted to support them. 

Oversized knit cardigan from SF shop  Relove  and  Ungaro blouse  and Missoni pants from Neutral Ground.

Oversized knit cardigan from SF shop Relove and Ungaro blouse and Missoni pants from Neutral Ground.


Then slowly this ethic started seeping into items I’d buy for my home, my skin and beauty products, and the gifts I’d purchase for family and friends.

A roundup of some items I gifted this holiday from small female business owners. (Clockwise from the top)- A  Sseko  purse from  Alyce on Grand , the Unity tee from  Owl n Wood  and an  Unoeth  leather tote.

A roundup of some items I gifted this holiday from small female business owners. (Clockwise from the top)- A Sseko purse from Alyce on Grand, the Unity tee from Owl n Wood and an Unoeth leather tote.


All of this to say, through my work I am slowly becoming more of the person I want to be in this world- someone who recognizes style and social responsibility can work hand and hand.

So I challenge you to make a statement this year through sustainability. Be it in your wardrobe, your home, the products you use on your body, the foods you consume-  they can be both beautifully unique and beneficial for our world.

XO- Alysha