Local coffee shop holds thrift pop-up sale on Earth Day 2023 Local coffee shop holds thrift pop-up sale on Earth Day 2023

Usually, if you want to use the bathroom at Peaks Coffee Company, you’ll have to ask for a key to the 505 on Walnut Ave’s lobby. On Earth Day last week, customers were surprised to see that door open turning the restroom’s into changing rooms.

Walking in they were exposed to racks of clothes, shoes, jewelry and other items as a bunch of vendors were ready for the vintage pop-up event. It’s similar to thrifting — all the items sold are second-hand, but they are all at least 20 years old, which is the mark to be considered vintage.

Michelle Pfaff from The Cherry Pit said her goal was to spread the store’s mission which is to divert people from shopping fast fashion and shop for clothes from past decades that can be worn again.

The Cherry Pit has been located on the bottom floor of The McCarthy Mercantile on South Salina St. in downtown Syracuse since 2021.

Pfaff came up with the idea for the store when she wanted to think of ways to thoughtfully get rid of clothes she often impulse-buys at thrift stores. Customers can stay up-to-date on outfits available for sale by following the store’s Instagram, and they can sign up for clothing swaps through the link in the store’s bio.

The vendors in attendance were:

  • Big Nose Vintage

  • Sassafras Vintage

  • Rocko’s Vintage Life

  • Brash Vintage

The owner of Peaks, Kelsey Ball, said this was Peaks’ second vintage pop-up event of the year. The first event took place back in February. Ball said she likes to hold one of these per season if she can, but she specifically thought Earth Day would be a good time to spread the message that good fashion doesn’t have to be brand new.

“I personally love thrifting and buying second-hand clothes, and an event like that seemed to go hand-in-hand with Earth Day,” Ball said.

Ball said this would also be an opportunity for her coffee shop customers to get the chance to meet new business owners.

One of these owners, Jes Munk, decided to sell her items for the first time ever at the event. Munk said she had heard from a former Peaks employee that any vendor was welcome and decided to take the leap to sell.

A woman pointing at a clothing wrack
This was Jes Munk’s first time selling her items in person and not on her online Etsy shop.
© 2023 Brittany Miller

Munk was selling a little bit of everything — from bolo ties to scarves to tiny crocheted cactuses in addition to vintage clothes.

She said she had previously been selling the cactuses on Etsy, but recently bought a house that was full of clothes.

“I already knew how to sell one thing, so I thought I could sell the clothes I didn’t want,” Munk said.

Pfaff said events like these can be used to show alternatives to fast fashion.

A clothing rack
The Cherry Pit has been selling vintage clothes in its downtown Syracuse store since 2021.
© 2023 Brittany Miller

Fast fashion is a common phrase used in contrast with thrifting or second-hand shopping. It can be described as clothing that is produced cheap, fast and in response to a clothing trend.

Pfaff said it’s common in fast fashion stores to see the same exact patterns and prints over and over again to the point of looking like “copies.” The benefit to buying vintage, she said, is that you can only find one of each item.

“It’s a great opportunity to also find really unique pieces that you know no one else will really have,” Pfaff said.

“I personally love thrifting and an event like that seemed to go hand-in-hand with Earth Day.” -Kelsey Ball

Pfaff said the store is a regular at Peaks’ pop-up events and went to the last one. She is looking forward to future pop-ups.

“I’m excited for the pop-up season because it’s always fun going to new places and spreading the word,” Pfaff said.

Jes: There’s little bolo ties and then these are all handmade cactuses that I made out of yarn and croqueted them. We have scarves and a bunch of vintage and retro clothes. I recently bought a house. The house was full of clothes and I was like ‘Oh I should sell some of this.’

Michelle: I’m here because it’s Earth Day and the mission of The Cherry Pit is to divert people from shopping fast fashion and shopping clothes from past decades that have plenty of use to be re-worn again. I see it as a more unique experience than going to a fast fashion store where copies of the same trend is being sold over and over again. Shopping vintage and shopping second-hand you’re most likely finding a piece that nobody else will find or have. It’s just a better way to be unique and have more diversity in your wardrobe.

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