Ecologie Vintage

A peak into our Small Business!

Nancie VannComment

It is Small Business Week, and truth be told, I had no idea about it! My name is Chelsea, and I am the store manager at Ecologie. I am the one that most of you probably think lives in the backroom! The store owner, Nancie, is the one you rarely see, but when you do she is wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and is searching for her glasses. She is the creative genius that fuels this lovely store!  Together, we work around the clock to run our small business! 


This morning I woke up around 7:30 a.m. and answered a few questions from our Instagram story. ( Ya’ll are some night owls!) I looked at the weather and saw that it was going to rain today.  My first thought was “S#!%, I have a photoshoot for Instagram/Website this afternoon. Please tell me it is going to end before 2pm!  Yes! It is probably going to stop.”  I got up and tossed some high waisted shorts into the washer, because I forgot to do it last night after I cut them.  We sell hundreds of pairs a year, and they are all hand cut and distressed by me or Nancie. 


I had tried to get out the door to go to the gym, but it was raining.  We all know that rain kills any motivation to get out of your pajamas, so I texted Nancie to make sure I should keep the same photoshoot time, and to let her know I was running late. She has already been up for a few hours crunching numbers, trying to decide the best course of action regarding our new lease, the future of our store, and as always, researching current trends.  Should we open another location? We need to build a wall in our store, but where should it be?  Go big and take over the whole space? Should we add men’s clothing or home decor?  What would our customers want to see from us? Should we send out a survey or go with our gut?… These questions go on and on, and we can’t answer any of them without creating about 100 more.  


You can understand why we had no idea it was Small Business Week.  We are just too busy running a small business!  All of this happens before the store even opens at 11:00 am.  Owning a small business is 24/7, and honestly, the pay is not amazing.  However, I suspect most of you see our undying passion for our store. We are up early, work an entire day at the store, and then go home to post/edit Instagram pics while sitting on our couches. We know our customers love our store as much as we do, and that is why we strive to make it the best place to shop everyday.  Not knowing about Small Business Week is just fine by us, because we embody the spirit. (But thanks Google for letting me know this morning.) This is just a peak into a day before and after open hours.  


We also have a wonderful staff that keeps our world running, and yet we are still behind on a million things that need to be done. Our goal is to be the best little store around, and to love our customers the best we know how. If you need something, we want you to have it, because with out you, we wouldn’t be open. With that being said, we hope that you continue to love our store as much as we do!  We are always looking for ways to improve, so please always feel free to give us feedback.  Call us, email us, comment on social media, leave us a review on Yelp, etc… It is what drives us to keep moving forward and making Ecologie Vintage & Resale the best place for you!

My Search for Sustainable Fashion at Town Center Mall

Nancie VannComment

As I was preparing to give a seminar on fast fashion, it occurred to me that I had never actually tried to shop for sustainable clothing in my own community.  Since I own a clothing store, I haven’t needed to go elsewhere for the past seven years with the exception of buying a few special dresses for weddings, etc…  

Let me begin this story by saying that I loathe going to the mall.  The only reason I ever go there is to do style research or to shop for the afore mentioned special dresses.  However, I knew that in order to sufficiently find out if there was sustainable fashion in Kennesaw, Georgia, I would have to enter the gates of….the mall.  

I knew this was going to require asking the sales associates questions about their merchandise, but I didn’t expect to engage in such meaningful discussion with so many young women.  Everywhere I went, I was warmly greeted and enjoyed lengthy discussions.  No one I met had ever heard of Ecologie, and certainly did not seem to be aware of what the fast fashion industry was, but I left encouraged that there are smart young women out there who were ready to learn.

I did not go in to every boutique or store on this trip, but I am excited about returning soon to visit the rest.  My goal was simple.  Could I find sustainable fashion at Town Center Mall in Kennesaw, Georgia?  Next, I wanted to know if the store employees knew anything about their company’s efforts to be sustainable (or if they even tried?).  I can answer both of those questions by saying, “very little, if any at all.”

One store manager took me to a product that is made in the USA, and was sourced from a renewable bamboo.  She worked at My Story, a locally owned boutique.  Granted, there was only one product in the entire store, but she knew where it was, and more importantly, understood what I was asking for.  I happily purchased that item, because I am a firm believer in putting your money where your mouth is.  Talk is cheap right? 

Meet Kayla, the store manager at My Story boutique.   We had great conversation, and I ended up purchasing the most eco-friendly thing I found all day.

Meet Kayla, the store manager at My Story boutique.   We had great conversation, and I ended up purchasing the most eco-friendly thing I found all day.

I also visited the two, big fast fashion brands at the mall, H&M and Forever 21.  What I found was to be expected, cheaply made clothing that hit every new “must have” trend.  I looked at tags, quality, and design and compared them to the clothing I had seen in the smaller boutiques.  In general, if you are going to shop at non-sustainable stores, buy from the higher quality boutiques such as Francesca’s or Brooklyn’s.  These stores do not support sustainability at this time, but the quality of their products is much superior to H&M and Forever 21, which means their pieces will hold up through washing and drying more than the one or two times.  Also, some smaller boutiques are locally owned which is good for our local economy. 

Overall, I was encouraged by the people I met while being disappointed in the merchandise I found,  but there was one thing that defined my trip. In H&M and Forever 21, I saw shirts that said “girl power”, and “women are the future”.  There is currently a movement in our country that is telling young women they can do and be anything they want.  Many of these empowered young women will purchase “girl power” type clothing to express themselves.  What they will not think about is the women who made that shirt: young or underaged girls slaving away in a sweatshop somewhere in Bangladesh, being paid less than a fair wage. Often, these garment workers are beaten if they complain or try to improve their circumstances.  They are not empowered. They are enslaved by fast fashion. 

I don’t blame anyone for being unaware of this issue. Most Americans are blissfully uneducated about the origins of their clothing and the costs it has on human and environmental health.  We have a long way to go just to scratch the surface of fast fashion and begin the process of becoming a sustainable community.  I hope you will join me in learning what we can do to be a part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.  

Need cheap clothes? A young woman somewhere in Bangladesh is slaving away as we speak so you can have them. 

Need cheap clothes? A young woman somewhere in Bangladesh is slaving away as we speak so you can have them. 

What is Fast Fashion, and Why Should You Care?

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In 1950, most American clothing was designed to last.  Fabrics were chosen for durability, and attention was given to the construction of a garment. There was no concept of a dress being purchased only to be worn two or three times, then discarded.  Silhouettes changed slowly which gave women a chance to invest in quality pieces, or sew them at home. 

Currently in America, a typical 21 year old will purchase more clothing in one season than she would have in an entire year in 1950. Not only will the modern girl purchase more, she will purchase more frequently.  Stores such as Forever 21 and H&M want us to stay “on trend” in order to sell us more.  In the past, there were two seasons: summer and winter.  Eventually, spring and fall also emerged as actual fashion seasons.  There were only four distinct times of the year most women shopped for clothing, and styles took years to completely transform.

Now, companies that produce “fast fashion” want us to always be looking for the next trend.  They rush to produce pieces seen on the runways during fashion week, and in doing so, produce low quality products that can be cheaply purchased.  Their goal is to keep us wanting more for less.  

If you have ever purchased clothing from these stores, (and most of us have) you know that even after the first washing, most items will either look a bit worn or begin to fall apart.  Seams will have small holes, and knit fabrics will begin pilling. When the item is worn and washed again, the damage continues.  By the third time you wear it, you see advertising from the store telling you what you “must have” now.  The worn item in your closet is pushed aside to make room for the latest piece, and the cycle begins again.  That is fast fashion.

Why should you care? Fast fashion is bad for the environment.  From overloaded landfills to dyes running into rivers, fast fashion creates enormous amounts of textile waste.  Fast fashion is bad for the health of the people who manufacture it.  Garment workers across the globe are barely paid, work long hours, and most work in hazardous factories.  Fast fashion is bad for our culture.  It can create a consumer who seeks to find a false acceptance in a world of selfies and status.  It encourages consumers to never feel satisfied.  Fast fashion is bad for the traditions of workmanship.  It places value on quantity instead of quality.  

What can you do to help?  Buy quality products that will last from stores that are environmentally friendly, shop resale and vintage, learn to sew and up-cycle your clothes.  It will be hard to stop shopping at stores that mass produce cheaply made garments, because the prices are so low.  It is a habit, and habits are hard to break.  We want to challenge you to shop only resale for three months. If you would like to learn more about fast fashion and how you can make a difference, please email us at  Ecologie Resale & Vintage is dedicated to helping you be “on trend” without fast fashion!