Friday 19 October 2012

Old Becomes New Again At Midnorth Mercantile

Sustainability is, at heart, the process of making things last. Making clothes out of durable hard-wearing material, manufacturing them so that they don't fall apart after a little bit of use. The vintage and second-hand market has always pivoted on this ideal. Old clothes were made to last. With a little care and thought, they can have a new lease of life far beyond that imagined by the original manufacturer.

If you're ever in Minnesota, it's worth tracking down Midnorth Mercantile. This vintage menswear store, based in downtown Minneapolis, has made an art out of the craft of repurposing old clothing for the modern man. Owner "Moustache" Mike Ader understands that well-made clothes can improve with age. If they don't, due to cut, fit or wear, then he reworks them into desirable new items. Mike says:
"The purpose is to try to reuse all the materials in some form, whether that's in constructing something new out of old material, using the material to repair a less damaged garment to make it sellable, or using old and new materials together on a project like the Candy Stripe Tote."
Ah yes, the Candy Stripe Tote. This is probably the best example of the work that Midnorth Mercantile do so well. Crafted from Mike's collection of old Hudson Bay wool blankets and teamed with new leather fittings, their take on a classic blanket bag is already generating a buzz, even at the prototype stage. We're going to see a lot more of the Candy Stripe Tote, I feel.

Midnorth Mercantile have struck a fine balance between respect for vintage items, the craft and effort that went into them, and the demands of the modern fashion marketplace. The clothes and accessories look great, and have a heft and history that only makes them more desirable. This is not your average second-hand clothes store.

Check out the website for more.

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