Every woman (and her closet) needs to know about this company
What if there was a place where you could find a fabulous outfit and also feel like you were giving back to society? Well, look no further. That place exists and it is called Union & Fifth. In 2012, Pam Trefler cleaned out her closet and boy did they ever. Reinhard told Your Coffee Break they gave 28 boxes of clothes to on-line consignment shop Real Real which came out to over $40,000.
But instead of going out and just buying new clothes (like most of us would do) they took the money and donated it. They were able to build an entire Mac Lab for the non-profit organization Year Up. “We knew that women have things in their closets that they just aren’t wearing, but that they don’t want to just toss away. Why not help people turn unused assets into cash for charity? Voila! Union & Fifth was born.”
First things first: this is a company that helps you give away your clothes. Second: they make you feel better about shopping! “We are not only living our dream of creating real impact, but also helping others make their dreams come true. It’s great that we get to be around beautiful clothes and work with generous donors every day – but the best part is watching our charitable partners’ on-line closets fill up and turn into cash.”
Pam and Christena help you solve that dilemma a lot of women face which is that they know they have clothes that they can get rid of but they don’t want them to just go to waste. According to a recent survey, the average woman has about 22 pieces of clothing in her closet that she will never wear but won’t throw out! This company will make us change our minds. “Those of us [who] love fashion and shopping often let items languish in the back of our closets after our style has changed. Everyone has made a fashion mistake – the too tight dress, the too small shoes and it makes sense to pass them on. We have made it as easy as possible to clean out for a cause and feel good knowing [they] are making a difference…So really, why wouldn’t women want to get involved?”
Plus, this also helps women fulfill their need to carry out wonderful works of charity. “Women can feel confident that 75% of their donation goes to the charity of their choice – no fees, no formulas, just fundraising. We answer to the IRS as opposed to investors, so its crucial we stay true to our mission,” said Reinhard.
But even though this is a company that is all about helping others, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be about the fashion too. After all, they are seeing clothes from Gucci to Diane von Furstenberg. Reinhard says, “The clothes are really incredible. Oh the handbags make me swoon – From Chanel to Lana Marks they just scream, “buy me” when you see them. And we made a conscious effort to take all levels of well-made luxury products. It is great we have Gucci and Prada, but my day-to-day life, like so many other women, just doesn’t call for that. Chanel booties, fabulous Tod’s drivers, and the iconic red soles of the Louboutin are sold side-by-side [great staples from contemporary brands like Theory and Vince]. Really, there is something for everyone, and our prices really make buying good quality, luxury products, within reach for many people.”
As for what big trends they are seeing right now Reinhard is loving the resurgence of comfy wear in leather leggings and practical footwear (yah flats!) “Big chunky sweaters were so huge this fall and winter, and pairing them with a leather legging and flats just seems so real to me. Anyone can translate that look, and honestly, it reminds me of the Marc Jacobs in the 90’s that I obsessed over. I feel like as a reseller, we are getting really good at seeing what is old is new again, and our inventory of Manolo flats has been selling really well.”
As for her tips for keeping warm in the winter but also fashionable her go-to look is a crisp white button down with a boxy cropped cashmere Eskandar sweater and a Loro Piana scarf (which she described as “yummy”). For traveling she loves her cashmere leggings from Shi and swears by her Lanvin sneakers with cashmere socks.
So what is next for the duo? Reinhard, who works with another sister- in-law in addition to Pam, says they want to conquer women’s wear first and then eventually move into menswear. They are always looking for opportunities to raise funds for more non-profits. “At the end of the day, we are just a platform that is here to benefit others’ passions – so while we have a few tricks up our sleeves, who knows? We may even surprise ourselves.”
Union & Fifth is running a specially curated cart for Your Coffee Break readers here!