A time capsule filled with grandma's finest clothing and jewelry.

In the midst of fast fashion lies Genesis Boutique – a nonprofit organization, antique shop filled with vintage clothing, encapsulating everything from classic pieces to current trends. Often times, thrift stores or secondhand shops are ignored because they are seen as dirty or filled with lower-quality items. But never fear, clean, beautiful and high-quality secondhand clothing does exist right here on the Space Coast.

Stepping into the upscale resale thrift shop is less like stepping into your local thrift store and more like walking through your rich grandmother’s closet. And as an added bonus, much, if not all, of the profit goes toward a good cause to assist the community. Genesis Boutique focuses on assisting homeless women and their children find shelter and receive an education.

Photography by Regina Cocker

“We encourage our residents to find jobs, improve their education, rebuild their self-esteem, develop the ability to be self-sufficient, and live independently in permanent housing,” says founder Mary Allen.

As I walked up the steps onto the homey front porch, there stood multiple racks listed as 50% off. Within the racks hung everyday basics and other pieces with individuality and flare. I couldn’t help but swoon over a soft wool skirt with my favorite florals and patterns alongside a classic Express jacket and a H&M blouse. The sale also included accessories. A wooden picnic basket of bags and purses caught my eye with vintage beaded clutches and genuine leather bags that were 50% off as well. I couldn’t help but feel an attraction towards the beautiful basket that held them… Classic gold clip on jewelry from the 1950s were delicately spread on mirror plates and feather boas and fur coats became the décor along the wooden staircase. Coach, Jimmy Choo, Chanel and brands carried at Nordstrom can also be found throughout the shop. I knew I would not be walking out of this shop empty handed when I came across a Banana Republic linen trench coat for $22. As it is an antique store, Genesis offers luxury brand names at a lower price, and the organized racks make it easy and enjoyable to search for those hidden gems. And, the women who volunteer their time to run the shop are so kind and made me feel like I was shopping with a personal stylist. Easily, it became one of the most entertaining and stress-free shopping experiences I’ve had.

Shopping secondhand also helps limits the effect of fast fashion. According to goodonyou.eco, “Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing, that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed.” Essentially, fast fashion is not only meant to get to the consumer as quickly as possible but is meant to be purged from your closet as quickly as possible. The focus is on poor-quality, trendy clothing that is not meant to stand the test of time. This, of course, has been proven to have a negative effect on the environment.

Fast fashion brands also manufacture clothing where labor is the cheapest, where laborers don’t have many rights and where conditions are unsafe. So, while secondhand boutiques and thrift stores do often contain items from these fast fashion brands, you are still playing a direct role in straying away from trends and from giving money directly to the brands. And, by shopping at Genesis specifically, you are putting your money towards a good cause and helping your community.

Shopping at your local Target or favorite retail stores have their advantages, and by no means are we telling you to stop your shopping days at the mall. But Genesis Boutique goes to show that you can still have access to high end clothing and support a store that is more sustainable, ethical and positively impacts the community.