By Nancy Varekamp | CNews Editor
The nearly one year since Concordian Allyson Medeles opened the Pacific Holiday consignment shop hasn’t been easy. Perseverance, ingenuity, experience in clothing retail and dedication to sustainability propelled her.
It doesn’t hurt that the storefront at 4443 N.E. Fremont St. has housed consignment shops for 30 years. During the eight weeks indoor shopping was banned, customers turned to Instagram offerings on @pacificholiday and appreciated curbside pickup.
“The neighborhood has been using us as their local boutique/closet,” Allyson reported.
“People are becoming more hyper local. They check here before going to malls or downtown, whether it’s yoga pants, running shoes, comfortable sweaters, whatever.”
Allyson promotes comfortable clothing in the caftans she designs, and in consigned items in the store.
“We also don’t really focus on luxury goods,” she explained. “But we like quality. Sometimes that’s less expensive and sometimes it’s more expensive. I wouldn’t call us upscale, but we are affordable.
“We probably have the most caftans of any store in town,” she added. That includes her Hermosa line. Allyson’s love of summer – and casual, resort-style wear – is the foundation for the shop’s name Pacific Holiday.
But that doesn’t mean the store will lack clothing for winter weather. In fact, Allyson will offer gift items for the holidays, and she’ll promote the shop’s gift cards.
Longtime consignment shopper, Allyson believes strongly in clothing sustainability.
“It’s just such a better way to go, gentler on the planet. That’s especially true with the recent ‘fast fashion’ movement of buying cheap clothing, wearing it once, getting a hole in it and sending it to the landfill.”
Her website, PacificHolidayPDX.com, quotes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: “Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned and, if nothing changes, the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. Extending the life of our garments is the most direct way to cut waste and pollution…”
Allyson goes two steps beyond reselling clothes. Her own Hermosa caftans are made of deadstock fabric, the leftovers of larger designers.
Moreover, Pacific Holiday offers its consignors an easy way to donate their unsold clothing. The store offers to send those items to Rose Haven, a local day shelter and community center. It serves women, children and gender nonconforming people who experience the trauma of abuse, loss of home and other disruptive life challenges.
Allyson pointed out, “It’s a good fit for us, since we have plenty of women’s clothing.”
Nancy Varekamp is semiretired from her career in journalism, public releations and – her favorite work engagement – writing and editing targeted newsletters.