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Stylish and Sustainable

The secondhand lifestyle isn’t just for grandma, anymore
by Roxy Baker |
A Woman laying on green stairs
Jesi Linn, owner of Moxie's

Sustainability is defined as “the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources to maintain an ecological balance.”

Recycling household waste, utilizing multi-use products instead of disposable, and carpooling are all sensible methods of sustainable living, but what about small business economy and style? Can those be a part of a sustainable life?

Street sign for Moxie's Resale BoutiqueNot only can they, they should be. In my cheeky opinion, a sustainable lifestyle can best be tackled in a stylish and fashion-forward outfit with a touch of vintage flair!

Growing up with a frugal mother who was raised by a child of the Great Depression, I learned a thing or two — or a thousand — on how to attain nice things on a budget. If heading to the clearance rack were an Olympic sport, my family would sweep all the medals.

While I do love a good sale, the sport of thrifting secondhand goods is what gets my blood pumping. Recycling and beautifying the world in one fell swoop … Talk about sustainability!

As we are emerging from a global pandemic while courting an economic recession, I was reminded recently of my aforementioned grandmother, whose 10th birthday was on Dec. 7, 1941, the day of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She recalled not being able to get new shoes due to the rationing of rubber. Not the end of the world, but to a pre-teen, that’s a hardship in any generation!

Lessons in frugality from a young age play into my love of the “frugal fashion find.” Those lessons also led me to meet a cool, blue-haired woman who has moxie! Seriously, she named her secondhand vintage consignment shop Moxie’s when it opened nearly a decade ago in central Peoria.

Secondhand isn’t just for the budget-minded anymore

A consignment shop with so much funk and flair! Five years in, Mollee Wood sold the business to another boss lady, Jesi Linn, who just over a year ago moved the boutique to a cozy, artsy, shabby chic location further down Sheridan just past Main in the Sunbeam Building — the Studios on Sheridan.

Several pairs of colorful bootsSidenote: Another boss lady, Deb Opyd, planted her quirky shop, Relics, in the old Moxie’s location next to the legendary and locally owned Sheridan Road Nursery after she and all her storefront mates were booted to make way for a car wash.

Secondhand isn’t just for the budget-minded anymore. The socially and ecologically conscious folks are staying fashionable while saving the planet and dollars! According to Linn, recycling and reselling textiles are more important than most realize, as the volume of textiles that have been discarded in the last 20 years has doubled and 85% of our clothing ends up in landfills. It is imperative that action be taken to keep resources available for future generations.

Linn comes from a “frugal” household. Her grandmother, like many of her generation, would make rugs or potholders out of discarded clothes. Old pants became cute shorts, or were used as patches or embellishments for other clothes in need of mending.

As the child of divorce in the ‘80s and ‘90s, Linn and her mom had very little but her mom made do. As a kid, she was ridiculed for her makeshift apparel. She recognized that all she could do was to figure out ways to make her clothes look good. Out of necessity, Linn’s original, fashion-forward style was born.

Trends are a driving force at Moxie’s, but that isn’t the main focus these days. After keeping an eye on customer behavior, Linn realized that the Moxie’s shopper should have options. Vintage-lover or trendsetter? Costume designer or textile artist?

Guiltless, recession-proof, sustainable shopping … now there’s a trend!

Along with the thrill of helping people feel good about themselves, Linn also really likes the thrill of the hunt for new finds: the treasures.

Moxie’s, along with a multitude of likeminded, locally owned small businesses — such as Just for Looks Home Furnishing Consignment in Morton – are making a positive difference in our world.

Whether you want/need to tighten your belt, maintain your sick style, or promote sustainability, the next time you find yourself in “need” of fashion, do us all a favor: Type “second hand consignment near me” in your computer’s search bar and create your own style on a dime. Guiltless, recession-proof, sustainable shopping … now there’s a trend!

Roxy Baker

Roxy Baker

is a local radio personality at Peoria radio station WWCT, 99.9 on the FM dial, half of the Rik & Roxy in the Morning broadcast from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday
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