Nestled above the streets of downtown Fredericton sits Bellwether, a quaint, locally-owned consignment store that aims to reduce the mass production of clothing, encourage conscious shopping and support local artists.
Thirty-four year old entrepreneur and Fine Arts graduate Laurel Green is the owner of Bellwether, which sells refurbished vintage clothing and accessories. The store accepts clothing from Fredericton residents and sells that clothing in-store. Once the item is bought, the consignor will receive a percentage of the profit.
Green said the opportunity to create this business arose when ReNeu Boutique, a previous local consignment shop, relocated.
“I was a consigner and sold my artwork there…and I kind of just spotted an opportunity to go into business for myself,” said Green. Green opened Bellwether consignment in April 2017 and business has been booming ever since.
“We have nearly 350 consignment accounts. I have clothing showing up almost every day that I get to generate from. It’s kind of like Christmas,” said Green.
Due to its limited floor space, Bellwether needs to be particular with the clothing they choose to sell.
“As you can see the space is small, so we need to be selective. Vintage clothing is what we are in business for. We also take high-quality boutique brands, as well as handmade clothing and accessories…stuff that is different and special.”
Green has always been heavily involved with the art community in Fredericton, so Green wanted to use Bellwether as another platform to support local artists.
“We often sell clothing and accessories from local artists…it’s good to give local artists some exposure,” said Green.
Green is a strong advocate for consignment shopping and believes having a consignment service in Fredericton is important for the community.
“It sort of encourages more conscious shopping. Kind of giving an opportunity for consignors to make a little bit of money from clothing they have already invested, or to exchange for new clothing,” said Green.
Green also touches on the environmentally friendly aspect of consignment shopping and stresses the importance of not supporting the fast-fashion industry.
“There are clothes here from the 1960s that are in mint condition. There is a lot of good quality clothing that’s kicking around that is actually in better shape than something you’d buy at H&M. You know, bought six months ago, washed three times and it’s already in bad shape,” said Green.
Bellwether is hoping to continue to reach out to the Fredericton community and encourage more conscious shopping in Fredericton.