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“Another driving force in the growth of secondhand businesses is the fact that it’s become more acceptable to wear used clothing,” she said. “Before the recession, there was a stigma.”
The DIY ethic also is on the rise. People have always been into sewing quilts or bags, but in the past two years, Trish Hoskins of sewing and knitting shop Crafty Planet has seen an uptick in fashion sewing.
The number of members at BurdaStyle, a five-year-old social network for sewing novices, grew to 753,184 in mid-May, a rise of 47 percent from a year earlier, the company said.
Sewing-machine sales are booming, too, with sales in the United States expected to top 3 million in 2012, according to SVP Worldwide, maker of Singer sewing machines. That’s double the number from a decade ago.
The trend is driven partly by the popularity of fashion-focused TV shows, but Hoskins says it’s more than that: “People want to be able to customize their look without compromising their ethics and breaking the bank.”
As much as Greg Martin loves his American brands, the 44-year-old Minneapolis man said it’s difficult to achieve a 100 percent ethically sound wardrobe.
“It costs a lot of money.” he said. “It’s kind of sad, but I don’t think you could do an entire wardrobe of all U.S.A. goods. You’d have to be pretty obsessive.”
Aimée Blanchette • 612-673-1715