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Resale resurgance: 3 high-quality boutiques to visit in Milwaukee



Thanks to both the humbling recession and the green movement, people are looking for new ways to go easy on their pocketbooks and on mother earth. A cluster of high-quality resale boutiques are popping up in Milwaukee and have people thinking differently about fashion.

Resale shopping can be a true adventure and brings the sense of accomplishment in scoring the best possible deals. Most important, it leaves less of an impact on the environment by reducing the carbon emissions of producing new clothes. Check out these two new boutiques with unique and eco-friendly concepts.

Retique, 190 N. Broadway, owned and operated by Goodwill Industries, remains true to the Goodwill mission, but has a very different look and feel. Like many of Goodwill's newer retail stores, it boasts a clean, well-organized layout and has the feel to a boutique, not a rummage sale like some Goodwill stores. Retique offers designer labels, brand names and vintage items.

Retique is all about recycling – they even reuse store fixtures from other boutiques and retailers. The entire inventory is second-hand and comes from other Goodwill drop off sites (so don’t expect to drop off a garbage bag of old goods at this location.)

Although Goodwill has tested this model in different cities, this is its first boutique-style store in Milwaukee. Retique celebrated its grand opening Memorial Day weekend with various events and promotions from other local vendors. 

Rethreads, 2943 N. Humboldt, urges customers to reduce, reuse, and recycle in their own closet. Customers have the option to shop, sell and trade at this local boutique. They offer shoes, accessories and home furnishings along with clothing for men and women.

If you are selling, Rethreads asks that all items are clean, in good condition and in a bin with a lid. Upon inspection, they will offer 35% cash or 50% store trade for in-season items.
The spacious store carries designer brands and a variety of apparel ranging from athletic gear and outerwear to cocktail dresses and skirts.

If it's higher-end designer duds you are after, be sure to check out East Town Women’s Resale in the Third Ward (159 N. Broadway) that specializes in designer names and furs. They have occupied the third ward storefront for over a decade now, but have been in existence in Milwaukee since 1928. East Town Women’s Resale boasts brands such as Armani, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Coach, Chanel, Prada and Versace.

Resale is fashion with a conscience and has gone way beyond your local thrift store. New boutiques have put a special emphasis on ‘going green’ and allow shoppers to splurge without the guilt. After all, trends recycle, so why shouldn’t the clothes?

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  • John 5 years ago

    Wonderful story and so relevant right now. I hope she continues to display her skillz at the Examiner.

  • shopboy 5 years ago

    Lela, 321 N. Broadway.

  • Kristin 5 years ago

    Don't forget Lela in the 3rd ward. They have been mixing new and consignment fashion for years.

  • Kimberly 1 year ago

    Don't forget Nearly New on N. Green Bay Ave.