Vintage clothing popup returns to downtown Elgin for the summer

What's old is new again, again, as a vintage clothing popup opens up for a second summer stint in Elgin Saturday, May 13.

Elgin Vintage will occupy the storefront that is normally the home of Able Shoppe in downtown Elgin at 23 S. Spring St. Able owner Liv Melchers is doing her own popup in downtown Chicago for the summer.

Elgin Vintage owner David Hill, 22 and the son of Daily Herald photo editor Brian Hill, started the online venture as a senior in high school at St. Edward Central Catholic in 2019.

While home for the summer from Eureka College last year, the environmental studies major opened his first popup location in a storefront on Market Street behind the Jewel on Larkin.

He said his business model shows that capitalism and sustainability can coexist.

"It can work together if you want it to," he said. "It's awesome, because I'm doing something that's interesting to me and I'm also making money and promoting sustainability by keeping clothes out of the dump."

The store, which will be open Thursday through Sunday, stocks everything from band and concert T-shirts to college sweatshirts to colorful 80s sweaters as well as jeans and pants. Hill said some items are priced as low as $15, with most items coming in at around $25.

Hill hopes to open a permanent location in downtown Elgin after he graduates in the fall. He also hopes to keep saving clothes from landfills.

The EPA estimates 17 million tons of textile waste was generated in 2018, a figure that represents 5.8% of all municipal solid waste.

"That's what I preach with Elgin Vintage, keeping these clothes out of the dump and giving them another chance, rather than buying new fast fashion clothes that are cheap and made out of bad materials that get thrown out even quicker," he said.

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