This & That
Extra information on how to make your life a little more sustainable
This month we are disusing the influence of denim on our culture. It is hard to talk about denim without talking about the denim jacket. The denim jacket has been a wardrobe staple for workers since the early 1900’s when the first jean jacket was produced by the Levi Strauss Co. Their main invention the “Blue Jeans” found great success among the ranchers and miners and it didn’t take long for Strauss to realize that the new pants needed a jacket to go along with them.
Rumor has it that the first jean jacket was invented back in 1873 but did they not go into mass production until 1905 and it became an instant classic.
A few years ago Levi’s had a competition to locate the earliest denim jacket produces by the company in the Unites States. Apparently the winner turned in a jacket that was created in 1910 at a Levi’s factory in San Francisco, California. The jacket sold for $2,000 to vintage clothing collectors that were keen to make the article part of their collection.
Some of the newer jackets from the “First Edition” series created in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s can still be located or purchased for anywhere between $200-$500.
Other denim companies like LEE Mercantile and Wrangler also came out with their version of the Jean Jacket. Some of the older railroad denim jackets created by LEE that were used by railroad workers can be found at various vintage clothing shops or on ebay auctions.
Jean Jackets in Pop-culture
I am sure that there are not very many wardrobes that a jean jacket has not been part of at one time or another. From the 1950’s through the 1980’s the jean jacket was used to show the rebellious side of ones nature.
Every subculture has found away to adapt denim jackets to their genre, from punkers to prep’s and cowboys to hippies, jean jackets are used to represent one’s true colors.
Today, teeny-bopper stars in Hollywood rock their jean jackets as much as the metal head on sunset strip.
The popularity of denim jackets fades in an out over the decades but it seems the trend is coming back again stronger than ever.
Celebrities and rock-stars alike have their pictures taken everyday wearing some variety of a jean jacket in it’s entirety or with the sleeves cut off turning into a vest. A vintage blue jean jacket is very much in demand now, with many buyers for vintage clothing store stocking their shelves with a range of sizes and styles. This clothing is not only worn by metal heads now, but is now very much in favor by fashion conscious people as well.
Now I leave you with a girl and her jacket…
When I think of vintage clothing I think of Chanel for vintage dresses, Screen Stars for vintage t-shirts and Levi’s for vintage jeans. Although vintage Chanel dresses are very rare and getting harder and harder to find, while Screen Star t-shirts are slowly disintegrating into old whipping rags or bed time tees, vintage Levi’s are still around – tried and true.
Denim has been an American favorite since the gold miners would wear through their old canvas trousers back in the late 1800’s. That is when denim manufactures like Levi Strauss first came on the scene in San Fransisco, CA back in 1847.
Historically, denim jeans were worn by the miners and farmers as essential work wear items due to their hard wearing and rugged nature. Through the ages denim became more popular and fashionable, production increased at such a high pace that some classic fits were lost in the process. However, by means of utilizing this 150+ years of denim experience, vintage collectors recycle, reuse and refurbish Levis and other durable labels for continuous use.
Levis in Pop Culture
Denim is in the lime-lite today as much as ever. Everyone from celebrity models, rock stars, movie stars and television starts can be seen rocking their favorite vintage jeans just about everywhere they go.
Vintage denim has been a used in Hollywood over the years to portray a tough guy image, much like the tough jean. From western flicks to biker flicks including any gang boy flicks or tough guy flicks – actors will be scene wearing some denim, if not all denim.
There are three things that stand out when someone wheres a pair of vintage jeans.
The way that they look
The way that they fit
The way that make you feel
Vintage Levi’s Look
Vintage Levis have an authentic look that contemporary designers are always trying to mimic. Weather it be the natural way that the denim has evolved over the years of wear, or the subtle whisker fade in the old indigo died jeans, vintage denim begins to take on an identity of it’s very own. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this one-of-a-kind look ignites personal bond with the owner, giving them a sense of individualism and freedom.
The Way the Vintage Levis Fit
Sometimes the jeans are more loose fitting, othertimes they are fitted, the style will depend upon what fit you prefer. A good pair of jeans is in the eye of the beholder. If you are the one that wore the jeans down from the first day you put them on, then the denim will mold to your body over the years. If you are looking to find a good pair at a vintage shop you may have to try on over a 100 pair of jeans before you can find one pair that will fit you perfectly, but when it does you know that you have found a keeper. Sometimes you can just take them from a boyfriend that spent years wearing them in – hence the term “boyfriend jeans”
The Way They Make You Feel
A good pair of vintage Levis makes the owner feel more confident, this may be from the years of breaking in or developed from the bond that the have with his one-of-a-kind pair of jeans. Those who wear jeans almost everyday say that they have a hard time wearing something other than denim. The durability and comfort often make you feel more protected from things that may normally affect you.
This month at Dust Factory fashion & Recycling we are going to focus on vintage denim and how it has become part of our culture. Check back for some more updates
1. Buy less and buy smart: Check those labels. Search out brands and products that reflect your recycled lifestyle. There can be a huge difference in the contents of everyday items like laundry detergent, household cleaners and more. Don’t rush out to buy the next new thing you see on Good Mornig America of Dr. Phil. Garages and basements all over the world are filled with junk that we really didn’t need – the solution – don’t buy that crap in the first place. It’s important to support brands and products that reflect your values (stay out of that big box store). Don’t be a victim of fads and the mega-brand marketing machine. Look for items that perform more than one function so you can Do more with less.
2. Keep it local: Shop at your local vintage store instead at the mall. Buy veggies from local farms and farmers. Search out local craftsman for things like furniture and home decor – items that can often be made of reclaimed wood are usually of the highest quality. Keep small businesses alive.
3. Recycle and reuse more: Make sure you go the extra step in getting your refuse into your local recycling stream and out of the landfill. Also, forget using paper towels and small versions of things (like bottled water) that come in plastic containers. Start using simple things like reusable dish towels, reusable water and drink bottles and reusable grocery bags. Little things can make a big difference.
4. Try to live more sustainably: Install a new programmable thermostat in your house, it will help you save time and energy. Start a garden. If possible, grow your own fruits and veggies. Even apartment dwellers can start a container garden or kitchen herb garden. Gardening can help both your pocketbook and your waistline. Purchase vintage clothing and used products to save money and add some character and style to your home or wardrobe. If you’re at the beach or a park, pick up some trash to help the community – you can never have enough clean, natural space.
5. Drive less and drive ‘green’: Be aware of your driving patterns. Drivers can increase their gas mileage and reduce their emissions by driving sensibly. No quick starts and stops. Use that HOV lane and cruise control. If you have a short commute or your grocery store is nearby hit the streets on your bicycle and save on fuel and emissions. Make your next car a fuel efficient model.
Dust Factory Vintage Clothing Wholesale would like to announce the opening of a Vintage Showroom/Distribution center open in Rotterdam, Netherlands with a special selection of premium vintage items from the USA available to our European customers.
The warehouse will be open for visits and to ship to the EU & UK for a limited time only!
If you have a vintage clothing shop in Europe and would like us to ship you an order from our Rotterdam location, or if you would like to set an appointment to visit the location to please fill out your contact information below and one of representatives will get back to you:
as of 4/12/14 — PLEASE NOTE: WE ARE NO LONGER STOCKING OUR EU WAREHOUSE. ALL EU ORDERS WILL SHIP FROM OUR US LOCATIONS.
STATUS UPDATE: We closed down our EU warehouse because it was more cost effective for our EU accounts to receive the freshest, stock available from the source. We are able to source much more grades of american vintage clothing from our US distribution centers, which gave us more control over the quality and quantity that was needed to meet the demands for our EU buyers. Join the other 50 buyers across the EU that order from Dust Factory on a regular basis. If you would like to place and order, you can OPEN AN ACCOUNT HERE
- College Jackets
- Mohair Jackets
- Railroad Jackets
- Branded Jackets
- Faux Fur
- Leather Jackets
- Army Jackets
- Heavy Winter Mens’ Mix
- Jean Jackets
- Cardhart Jackets
- Nylon Baseball Jackets
- Vintage Sweaters / Cardigan, Pull-over, Holiday
- Members Only
- Track Jackets
- Polyester Pants
- Vintage Jeans
- Vintage Levis
Vintage Clothing Women:
Vintage Tops & Dresses:
Vintage Dresses 50’s-70’s
Vintage Clothing Men:
- Western Pearl Snap Shirts
- Men’s 50’s-70’s button Downs
- Vintage T-shirts
- Vintage Flannel Light
- Heavy Flannel Shirts
Vintage Wholesale Extras:
- Vintage Blankets
- Vintage Mix Boxes
For more information about Dust Factory Vintage Wholesale European Vintage Clothing Distribution Center please contact a sales representative or fill out the shop information request above.
Article Originally Published At Born Activist.
For over 12 years now the skilled team of designers and buyers at Dust Factory Vintage Clothing Wholesale has been processing thousands of pounds of clothing a day in attempt to recycle the clothing before it hits the landfills. Each piece that can be used in a vintage retail outlet is sent their wholesale division, pieces that are damaged or stained are sent to the re-construction division and items that are modern or too contemporary for the vintage market are sent to charities.
“The formula took a while to put together, but after a few years of supplying retail stores it all started to come together.” said John Charles, one of the founding members of Dust Factory.
It all started out with a vintage clothing store for the creative team at Dust Factory. Nearly fifteen years ago they opened their first retail store in Dallas, Texas. After studying the market and coming up with a retail formula that worked almost right from the get go, the next obstacle that they had was finding enough product to meet their growing customer demand. At the time there was a small vintage clothing wholesale warehouse in Atlanta, Georgia that was supplying their own chain of retail stores along with a handful of other vintage clothing shops. With a keen understanding of trending products and passion for recycling, Dust Factory purchased the small wholesale vintage clothing company in Atlanta and began developing a plan to wholesale vintage clothing to the far reaches of the world.
“The move from vintage retail to vintage clothing wholesale wasn’t easy, hell, It still isn’t easy, you have so many factors that are uncontrollable that if you don’t have passion for what you are doing you might as well shut the doors and think of something else to do” said John Charles when asked if they were still as passionate about recycling clothing as when they started.
“The buyers and graders have their own set of obstacles, sometimes they can process a hundred pounds of t-shirts and they are lucky to use 60% of them, other times they process a thousand pounds and can only use 20%. There is no telling, it’s not like calling your manufacturer rep in China and saying, double the production on item blah blah blah… We have realy strict criteria that each piece needs to meet as far as quality and style before it makes our grade. Many of our accounts understand how the used clothing industry works and do very well with out vintage mixes, but the more you grow, the more accounts you open, the more accounts you open the more you open yourself up to buyers who have no clue what they are doing.”
Dust Factory produces quality wholesale vintage clothing grades for bulk buyers offering them the convenience of ordering vintage products similar to that of a contemporary brand. Over the years Dust Factory has perfected buying options making it easy for buyers to cater orders to meet their specific needs. As the company continues to grow and takes on new accounts in different markets they often expose themselves to some buyers that attempt to take advantage of their company and service.
“Every brand and company for that matter has to deal with these type of customers,” said Sandy Johnson, one of the International sales rep’s with over 15 years experience in the fashion industry “Imagine selling products sight unseen, you know that the grades are great, your existing customers know that the grades are great but Suzy Q. over here that has no idea how the industry or marketing works thought that she should get a whole batch of 1970’s ACDC and Led Zepplin concert tee’s, I wish it was that easy. If a vintage item sell’s for over $100 on ebay it is most likely rare, when we get them they go straight to our mixes, but we don’t get them in all the time…nor should we if it is rare. Suzy Q. probably needs to call a target vendor not a vintage wholesaler. What is interesting about Dust Factory is they don’t advertise these items nor did they develop a business around the them. They knew that there was larger market for the urban vintage style as opposed to the trendy this opened the door to ‘save more clothing‘ as JC puts it, something they learned in their retail days. When it comes to selling vintage clothing wholesale, what might be common sense to some buyers was a get rich quick scam gone bad for another. This makes all the time recycling, grading, cleaning, repairing, sizing, itemizing, shipping and consulting a lot of work for each piece, much much more work than a $1.00 t-shirt with a logo on it made at sweat shop in South America, without a passion for what we are doing none of us would be here.”
Never before has such a passionate and eco-conscience team of designers and buyers worked together with the same goal in mind to educate people about recycling clothing and provide a way for people to open a sustainable business in their communities. If you would like to find out more about wholesale vintage clothing check out Dust Factory Vintage.