Fashion is one of the best aspects of local Tallahassee culture.
Keeping with the unorthodox nature of many elements of Tallahassee, the fashion styles trends seen around town are largely influenced by local vendors and thrift stores rather than traditional name-brand clothing stores.
An estimated 1.9 million tons of waste is produced by the fashion industry every year, and for those that are environmentally conscious, thrifting offers a sustainable alternative to buying from retail stores. The fact that second-hand buying is considerably cheaper adds to the appeal for many college students in the area.
One budding local vendor is Mf Tallycore, a collective that sells original pieces along with thrifted and vintage items at FSU’s Market Wednesday and other local vending events. For Mf Tallycore, selling thrifting and vintage items is more than a hobby.
They aim to make their consumer base more aware of their consumption habits and consider the impact of their clothing choices.
The group comprises five members, four of which are FSU students: Hannah Smith, Hannah Housand, Vee Towson, Adri Miranda and Emily Cook. They started Mf Tallycore in 2021 after initial success at Market Wednesday and have since expanded to larger events.
“We urge all our customers to buy directly from sustainable sources and form responsible consumption habits,” Smith said. “Second hand shopping will always be more sustainable than buying from fast fashion stores, [you’re] investing in timeless pieces instead of buying into a trend that will last a month will be better for your wallet and the environment.”
In addition to promoting their events and merchandise, Mf Tallycore stands out on social media for using their platform to advocate for current social issues. Fashion has larger implications on social movements and Mf Tallycore proves this by being conscious of the issues that impact their consumer base.
“There are problems within the fashion industry that need to be addressed and we try to uplift these causes; many of us also identify with the LGBTQ+ community and we use our brand to raise awareness for issues that affect us and our customers,” Smith said.
“We’ve also made sure to stay true to our values of being size inclusive, affordable and available to anyone of any identity.”
Another iconic second hand store is The Other Side Vintage, located right at the mouth of Railroad Square.
Family owned and founded in 2000, the store continues to be one of the most popular shops in the arts district and is a staple in the second hand clothing scene in Tallahassee. The Other Side Vintage is known for its whimsical curation sourced from over 30 local consignors and wholesalers across the country.
Aside from being a staple in Tallahassee fashion, The Other Side Vintage is committed to connecting with the community. They donate clothes to charities like the Lighthouse Children’s Home and FSU’s career center. They also host up-and-coming local artists that haven’t had the chance to perform in front of large audiences at their store on First Friday.
“Having a wide outreach like we do brings people down into Tallahssee and into the square, which is beneficial not only for us but for all of the businesses here,” said Brooklyn Croy, one of the co-owners of The Other Side Vintage. “It’s great for the tight knit community here.”
Since their inventory is sourced from vendors and wholesalers from across the country, The Other Side Vintage takes ethical sourcing and vetting their vendors very seriously. This is to ensure that their goods are authentic and their vendors are accurately compensated.
“We do a lot of research on who we buy from,” said Croy. “Since a lot of people want to be in our store, we want to ensure that we are being fair to everyone and that the things we display are high quality.”
Chloe Harbin, an avid patron of local vendors and The Other Side Vintage, says she prefers thrifting because she finds it more fulfilling than shopping at traditional clothing stores.
“Second hand shopping has so much more to offer than traditional clothing stores, and it’s really rewarding when you find something you like because it’ll likely last a really long time,” Harbin said. “It’s a fun and affordable activity to do alone or with friends while also being sustainable.”