Seattle shoppers are more environmentally conscience than ever before, and with rapid climate change upon us and evolving priorities, consumers are looking for additional ways to help save the earth. One way locals are helping the environment is through buying from, and selling to, consignment shops. When clothing is recycled, the resources used to produce and transport new clothing are not wasted.
Local consignment stores are booming as the desire for sustainability and reducing the fashion industry’s impact on the environment becomes more important. One such store has served West Seattle with gently loved clothing for over 25 years.
“Funky Jane’s opened in West Seattle over 25 years ago under the name Kathy’s Kloset,” said Panida Vilaythong, the store’s owner. “A few years later, the store was purchased by a woman named Jane, who changed the name to Funky Jane’s. I believe she had it for maybe five years or so before selling it to another owner who ran the business for about 20 years before selling it to me in 2019.”
As a young person, Vilaythong loved thrifting and sifting through other people’s old treasures. She dreamed of having her own consignment store, and felt grateful for the opportunity to purchase Funky Jane’s.
“I grew up in the Midwest where I noticed consignment stores would open up and then pretty much stay open for years.” said Vilaythong. "Each consignment store is a little different. Some, like Funky Jane's, are for people of all ages, shapes, sizes, genders, and styles. Then there are other consignment stores that are very specific. They have a niche market like high-end items or drawing a certain type of shopper.”
However for Vilaythong, consignment is all about saving the planet and extending the life of the garments.
"As a human on this planet, it’s important for me to contribute and do my part to help the environment,” she said. “The way that I can do that is to encourage resale, up-cycling, and recycling of all sorts. Funky Jane’s allows me to do that.”
Funky Jane’s is an all-inclusive, seasonal shop that caters to every one. Vilaythong doesn’t want the shop to be gender specific or known for any one particular style or brand. She is proud that her consigners are just as eclectic as her shoppers.
“The spectrum of clothing I carry ranges from every day basics to fun, funky pieces,” she said. “Currently, I’m supporting a lot of local artists. I have a number of jewelry designers and a number of artists who paint on garments then consign through Funky Jane’s. You never know what you're going to find. We have high-end designer labels like a Helmut Lang, Prada and Fendi, along-side funky and fun vintage pieces.”
Vilaythong believes that as humans, we should do what we can to help the earth and prevent further pollution caused by wasted energy and resources. By encouraging others to purchase their clothing second hand, we can all do our part to make a difference.
“When you walk through the door at Funky Jane's, it's like walking into your best friend's closet,” she said. It's also about the experience of hanging out and engaging in conversation at the neighborhood store. Funky Jane’s is for anyone and everyone. Everyone can find something at here.”
Funky Jane's is located at 4455 California Ave SW in West Seattle. See their website for hours online. Want to support more small businesses like Funky Jane's? We're proud to collaborate with Intentionalist, an online guide that makes it easier for you to find/connect with diverse local businesses owned by women, people of color, veterans, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities.