Right now, so many people are looking to support the Black community. There are endless ways to do so, such as donating to charities, reading anti-racism books, and amplifying Black voices. Another way is by shopping from a Black-owned vintage shop, which helps support small business owners, diversify the economy, and is more sustainable than purchasing new items.
Of course, there are plenty of websites that sell vintage clothing, accessories, and wares. But interestingly, on Instagram, you’ll find numerous pages that operate tiny vintage stores entirely on the app. Purchasing secondhand items is one of the best ways to reduce the impact of your shopping habit (second only to not shopping at all) — so we’ve compiled a list of 15 awesome Black-owned, online vintage shops, many of which are Instagram-based.
If you have missed scouring the racks of your favorite vintage shop during the coronavirus pandemic, get ready to spend hours scrolling through the websites and Instagram pages for the following 15 Black-owned online vintage shops.
Editor’s Note: This list was compiled through personal research as well as directories compiled by Full by Les and Marisol Muro (listed on this card); we encourage you to act with your money, and use those resources to find Black-owned businesses in any category and any area.
NXC Vintage Shop
Nello Vintage is a curated vintage shop that puts style ahead of fashion. Founder Chanelle Harris clearly has an eye for trendy pieces, but above that, she prioritizes sustainability, self-love, and defying labels. You can shop Nello Vintage on its website or on Depop, and you can stay up to date on the latest offerings on the company’s Instagram.
Fyre Vintage’s founder Dayna (aka @daynabyday) aims to fight against fast fashion and the mass production of clothing with her sustainable vintage shop, which she curates to embody “street and chic” fashion. You can shop Fyre Vintage’s selection of secondhand crop tops, blazers, vests, skirts, purses, and more on its website, Etsy, and the ASOS Marketplace. Fyre Vintage also donates 10 percent of its profits toward sourcing sustainable clothing for women's shelters in Detroit.
Based in Natchitoches, La., Washington Ave was founded in 2010 by Lakeitha Washington. The online vintage shop’s mission is to continually “bring exclusiveness to the vintage game while adding Southern Funk to everything [they] touch” — a philosophy evidenced by Washington Ave’s fashionable and funky offerings, which range from knit clutch bags to clip-on earrings to popcorn blouses. In addition to regular vintage fashion drops, Washington Ave also offers styling services.
Gizmo Vintage Honey
Gizmo Vintage Honey is “creating the art of selling vintage clothing through music and dance.” The Brooklyn-based outdoor vintage shop’s Instagram page isn’t only filled with photos of the clothes it has for sale, but also of the shop’s owner dancing and hamming it up. You can DM Gizmo Vintage Honey to purchase any of the items on her page, or tune into one of her live auctions on Instagram Live. Plus, the company ships worldwide.
BLK MKT Vintage
Founded by Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart, BLK MKT Vintage is a Brooklyn-based secondhand store that sells vintage wares that highlight the Black history and the Black experience, from posters to VHS tapes to T-shirts. BLK MKT Vintage’s website is up and running amidst the coronavirus lockdown even though the storefront is currently closed.
Madame Matovu Vintage
Madame Matovu Vintage is an iconic fixture of Manhattan’s West Village, located on 240 West 10th Street. According to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, founder Rosemary Wettenhall, a longtime New Yorker who is originally from Uganda, first opened the shop in 2007. In addition to homewares, jewelry, and accessories, Madame Matovu Vintage sells art, decor, homewares, and other unique pieces. The shop is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but you can peruse its offerings (and classic window displays) on Instagram.
Tatyana Zhane founded online vintage shop Jane Dottie in 2019 in an effort to “combat fast fashion and bring quality sustainable styles to her community all while giving back to women in need” and create a platform that is not only “eco friendly but all things women empowerment.” The Jane Dottie website is filled with vintage clothing available for online order, as well as handmade bandana tops and scrunchies made from vintage fabric, and candles made by Ryann’s Candle Club, aka Zhane’s 8-year-old sister Ryann Taylor.
Located in Purcellville, Va., Nostalgia Boutique is a brick-and-mortar vintage store that owner Silas opened in 2016. The shop, which sells clothing from the 1920s to the 1980s, antique furniture, home decor, and more, recently reopened after COVID-19 closures. For those who don’t live in the area, Nostalgia Boutique pivoted to online sales during the pandemic, so you can shop a few of its offerings on Instagram.
Curated by shop owner Megan, the Etsy shop Circ Antiques is “an eclectic online variety shop of antiques and vintage.” On the shop, you’ll find an antique cake stand from the 1800s, vintage Friedrich's & Campbell Sunglasses, a mid-century Artco 8-day hanging clock, and so much more.
Day Fifty One Vintage
Vintage and Soul
Memphis-based Instagram vintage shop Vintage and Soul is all about sustainable slow fashion, and you can shop the handpicked curated vintage items on the page by sending over a DM. If you’re a fan of Fran Fine aka The Nanny's style, you’ll probably love Vintage and Soul, as the fashion icon is the most-heavily featured person in the shop's “vintage inspo” Instagram highlight.
Black Culture Vintage
Curated by GAC, Black Culture Vintage sells vintage apparel that strictly represents Black culture — primarily vintage T-shirts. Black Culture Vintage recently hosted a Black Lives Matter charity sale, where more than $200 was raised and donated to Reclaim the Block, a coalition working to get Minneapolis to move funds from the police department to other agencies.
Jamil Thrift recently started hosting “story sales” on Instagram, where a bunch of vintage items drop on the page’s Instagram story, and followers can claim the items via DM. Founder Neko Jamilla is currently working on a website for Jamil Thrift, and she also co-leads a Seattle-based, women-led collective called Rise to Action, which raises money for the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance and the Northwest Community Bail Fund.
The Collective at IndigoStyle
Located in Brooklyn, IndigoStyle Vintage’s brick-and-mortar shop recently reopened after COVID-19 closures, and you can also shop the Collective at IndigoStyle online. IndigoStyle offers a mix of vintage items, as well as products from a variety of small brands owned by people of color. Founder Sheryl Roberts is a former model and commercial actress who sources “stylish eclectic apparel at affordable prices” for her vintage shop.
If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.