Forest Park has many residents who are concerned about the environment. They are dedicated to recycling, composting and other means of conserving resources. But what about the waste that is generated by the clothing industry? Keeping clothes out of landfills is one reason Catherine Dodgson started her company, Dodgerie, which repurposes used clothing. Catherine likes the aesthetic appeal of these one-of-a-kind styles.
Dodgerie has primarily sold its clothing and homewares online at www.dodgerie.com but Catherine wants to sell these products in-person. That way, the customer can experience the garment and make sure it fits. To that end, she’s hosting a Dodgerie Pop Up at 408 Thomas Ave. on the weekend of June 9-11. She has long had her eye on renting this vacant storefront on Constitution Court and planned the pop-up to introduce locals to her line of products.
When I think of vintage clothing, I envision styles from the ’30s and ’40s. However, vintage means the product is at least 20 years old and showcases characteristics from that era. For example, the outfits worn by characters in the movie Clueless show off the classic ’90s look, three decades in the past. Clothing from the ’90s is increasingly popular with millennials. It’s not just the look; recycling styles also reflects their commitment to conservation.
The “fast fashion” industry generates huge amounts of waste in the manufacturing process alone. And much of the finished product also ends up in landfills. Every year, Americans discard 92 million tons of garments. Many members of the younger generation no longer want to pay the environmental price for living in a disposable society.
This is why vintage items are making a comeback. Generation X members buy reclaimed items to express their individuality while helping to save the planet. The total resale market is expected to double in sales, as more people embrace this lifestyle. Catherine’s Instagram account (@dodgerie), with over 2,000 followers, reflects the popularity of these vintage products.
She has been attracted to second-hand fashion her whole life and loves giving new life to these items. She finds they are better made and more durable than what’s being currently manufactured. It’s a thrill for her to discover these products at resale shops and estate sales — and also picks up unique pieces when she travels abroad.
Catherine not only curates the clothing, she cleans them and makes repairs if necessary. This is known as “upcycling” as opposed to recycling. She is not operating a thrift store, but her prices tend to be affordable. The upcoming pop-up will be a test to see if the location is viable as a retail shop.
Six years ago, Catherine and her husband David tested living in Forest Park by renting an apartment. They really enjoyed the neighborhood feel of the community. That’s why they purchased a home here. They not only invested in property but hope to invest in a business.
Catherine currently works full-time as brand manager for Kindred Vintage. Her sister, Susan, is the interior designer for this company. Prior to that, she worked with women who were victims of human trafficking. She took a break from this profession but hopes to someday offer support to these women from sales of vintage products.
The pop-up will not only offer products, they are providing drinks and refreshments. David will be playing vinyl from his record collection to add to the ambience. The hours of operation are 2-8 p.m. on Friday, 10-8 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday. Customers can find vintage fashion items that make a statement, while doing their part to preserve the environment.