By: Mary Pat Baldauf
Last March, I discovered Revente’s Last Call, a charity resale shop benefiting The Women’s Shelter in Columbia, South Carolina. I was about midway through my two-year journey to better health, and I needed some smaller clothes. I’d been steadily losing weight and couldn’t keep myself in a pair of pants for more than about a month. I visited Last Call for inexpensive clothes to wear during the transition, but I found much more: stylish, sustainable, affordable clothes; women helping other women; even new friends.
Being a long time “green queen,” I reduce, reuse and recycle. Thanks to Revente’s Last Call, I can also add shop sustainably to that list. Shopping at resale boutiques like Last Call, you can reduce your environmental impact in a huge way. Used clothes don’t require new materials, energy or resources to manufacture. They also don’t require new packaging or additional shipping. Even better, when my purchases become too big, I clean them and take them back for a third person to enjoy.
Lest you think shopping a re-sale boutique leaves you with no style, think again! The bulk of Last Call’s inventory is from the generous consignors of Revente in Five Points, where consignors may choose to donate their unsold items knowing they are helping support women in need through our shop. I’m not a “name brand” fashionista, but I’ve gotten some great high end and designer finds at Last Call. In addition, there’s a unique selection; it’s not the same thing you see at store after store in the malls and shopping centers.
And sustainability and style don’t win you over, the prices will. On my most recent trip to Last Call, I bought three great pieces for less than $55, including a fuschia Talbots cotton shirt ($15), a two-piece Singrid Olsen green sweater set ($20) and a black Larry Levine faux-wrap skirt ($15). If you “like” Revente’s Last Call Facebook page, you’ll hear about their special sales – they often have buy one, get one half-off sales – and also get a sneak peak at some fab pieces. Also, if you donate clothes, you also get a coupon for a percentage off your next purchase, as well as a receipt for tax purposes.
What differentiates Revente’s Last Call from other re-sale shops is 100% of net profits go to The Women’s Shelter, a non-profit organization that provide a safe environment for homeless women in crisis and the necessary resources to build strong and healthy lives. Since opening their doors in September, 2010, they’ve donated more than $44,000 to the shelter. That’s not all. They also help the women by providing suits for job interviews and other occasions. Phenomenal.
If you’re not sold yet, you have to meet some of the special women of Revente’s Last Call. First, there’s shop owner Debbie McDaniel, a real fireball! She’s a “buy local” advocate, style maven and all-around good person. She’s usually at Revente, and I always try to stop in to visit when I’m in Five Points. Patti and Chase run the store on a daily basis, and after shopping there for these last 17 months, they’ve become fun new friends! I remember the time I was there and fit into my first size 12 pants in years. They were as excited as I was! And Chase could be my personal stylist. She knows my love for color and patterns, and as soon as I walk in, she starts pulling things they’ve gotten in that “look like me.”
I’ve actually just about hit my goal weight, and I thought this would be the time that I started investing in more expensive pieces. But you know what? I’m still shopping Revente’s Last Call. It’s a great way to add stylish, inexpensive pieces to your wardrobe while helping others. It’s a win-win-win.
So whether you’re on the lookout for transition pieces while you’re losing weight, new pieces to update your wardrobe or new ways to save money in today’s economy, I recommend Revente’s Last Call! Last Call is located at 3015 Millwood behind an octagon building that used to be a florist shop. It’s also in the same area as Groomingdale’s, which is on Butler Street. It’s open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and parking is plentiful. Bring cash or a debit/credit card and allow yourself plenty of time to look and try things on.