Vancouver is home to a selection of vintage stores in the downtown core, along Main Street, and Commercial Drive. But three thrift-loving sisters have noticed that there’s something missing.
Sharalee Prang, Melissa Klaassen, and Shantini Klaassen recognized a gap in the market for a vintage store with a greater selection of larger sizes available. That’s why they’re launching a new pop-up: Generous Clothing.
Taking place on Saturday, March 16 on George Ferguson Way in Abbotsford, the event is set to cater for women size 10 and above.
The sisters discovered that, although the average woman in Canada is between a size 10-18, most clothing stores cater to size 10 and under, which makes the vintage selection for larger sizes limited.
Size 10 will be a jumping point for Generous Clothing, and Shantini Klaassen says that there will be more than 1,000 pieces on sale that size up to a 56-inch bust and 50-inch waist.
“We’ve also created our own sizing system of 1-4 by measuring each garment to remove some of the guesswork and inconsistency that goes into vintage and modern sizing, and take out the stigma that comes with traditional sizing,” Klaassen explains.
Now living in different cities, when the three sisters get together, they always try to find time to sneak out to their favourite thrift shopping spots. With Generous Clothing, their aim is to create opportunities to celebrate bodies that are often excluded from fashion, and provide affordable opportunities for people to shop responsibly.
“We understand that for many people, sorting through used clothing can be overwhelming and discouraging. But for us, it’s a fun challenge. Coming from a frugal family, we all started shopping used as teenagers, and have over 60 years of thrifting between the three of us,” Klaassen explains.
At the event, attendees will find clothing sourced from various outlets in Vancouver all the way down to Portland, from thrift and charity shops, flea markets, estate sales, and consignment stores. “You name it, we’ve raided it for great clothes,” Klaassen says.
Melissa Klaassen has made a selection of handmade garments from deadstock fabric which will be available at the event. The sisters have also picked out some men’s shirts in great colours and patterns with durable fabric, and made some slight alterations to create lines for a curvy body.
They’ve also done aesthetic alterations to make your life easier, such as removing shoulder pads and a handful of rhinestones. But Klaassen says they do have stock with these features remaining for those who appreciate them.
Guest vendor Studio Natoyaista will be bringing in some vintage goods made from natural fibres, postcards, and photographs. There’s also going to be a small selection of footwear and other accessories on sale, including vintage handbags.
“Thrifting has a thriving culture in Vancouver, and we hope that as people become more aware of the eco-friendly nature of second-hand shopping, it will stay affordable and become more size-inclusive,” Klaassen adds.
The trio will be in attendance at the event and hope that everyone walks out with an outfit they “feel great” in. Don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bags with you.
When: Saturday, March 16
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Where: 33771 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford, BC