Oldies and goodies Illustration by Kathy Yoon

Oldies and goodies

Environmentally friendly Crossroads Trading Co. buys and sells retro fashions in Old Pasadena

By Erin Loomis 05/06/2010

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Occasionally I have been known to find myself strapped for cash. I will not point fingers, except maybe in the general direction of my closet. My guilty, guilty overflowing closet, which contains a very cluttered, very beautiful, very large chunk of each and every one of my paychecks. Obviously it’s the closet’s fault that I have what might be construed as a shopping problem. Luckily, this “too many clothes, not enough cash for new clothes” cloud just got a lovely, local shopping silver lining. 
Crossroads Trading Co. recently opened the doors of its newest store right here in Old Pasadena, and local fashionistas are pretty damn excited.  Imagine if you will a place that sorts, selects and organizes lots of awesome “pre-owned” designer clothes. Now imagine that this same place will give you cold, hard cash for the items you once loved, never wear, but have a bizarre attachment to. 
You know those really expensive designer jeans that don’t really fit anymore, but might someday if you lost part of a leg in a car accident? You can put them in a bag and take them down to Crossroads on Colorado, right smack in the middle of Old Town. They will buy them, because despite the fact that they don’t fit you, they are brand name and in great condition. Then you can either cruise around in a sea of delicious vintage and use store trade credits from the sale or hit the road with some cash. 
You also can avoid the guilt associated with leaving a loved item with strangers, because these strangers know their stuff and will help find those pants a good home. Doesn’t that feel better inside? The money helps assuage that guilt a bit as well, if I do say so myself.
Crossroads is a San Francisco-based company with a couple of other stores in the LA area. What makes it different from some of the other buy-sell-trade type places around town is the fact that it is really dedicated to the environment and charity work, as well as the recycling of fine fashion. 
The company loves to talk about the fact that it is keeping textiles out of landfills, which is something most shoppers don’t think about when they go cruising for a new ensemble. I personally don’t like to think about the fact that my new jacket might end up clogging up a landfill in a few years while I am ripping the tags out with my teeth in order to get into it faster (sorry Mom, sorry Mr. Orthodontist). Whether we want to think about it or not, it is a fact that textiles really do contribute to filling up landfills, and we should be more conscious of it, or even just support those who will do it for us.
It feels kind of good to know someone is around to remind us to be better to our environment, and hey, if they make a buck doing it and keep some cool fashion on the streets, they have my vote. 
As if the whole saving-the-world-with-kickass-fashion-at-discount-prices thing weren’t enough, Crossroads also offers shoppers an option to have a donation made to charity in lieu of getting a bag for their purchases. Cutting waste never felt so fashionable.
It may seem intimidating at first to saunter up to the counter and hand over your clothes to be judged, but take your time, take a breath and remember that the clothes should be clean, in style and in season. Besides, what’s the worst thing that can happen? You might have to take something you own and probably secretly still love back home with you. No harm, no foul, and if all goes well you can buy or trade your way to new and exciting fashion frontiers. 
If you don’t have time (or the guts) to hang around while they sort through your stuff, you can drop it off and come back 24 hours later to reap the riches and/or pick up the pile of stuff they didn’t want. I’m not sure if that is an amazing concept for busy humans or catering to shear laziness, but I like it. 
If selling and trading your used duds isn’t your idea of a good time, but vintage clothes are, it’s still worth checking out, and I’m sure your local charity donation center won’t turn away that old Prada handbag you fell out of love with last season. 

The new Crossroads Trading Co. store is at 104 E. Colorado Blvd., in Old Pasadena, and is open from 11 a.m. to 7p.m. every day. For more information on buying, selling and fun statistics about the environment, check out their Web site, crossroadstrading.com.

Contact Erin Loomis at madeupbyloomis@gmail.com.

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