Woman-owned shop, Sustainable Supply Co. is a sustainable, vintage clothing store located in the RiNo area. Owner, Melissa Galloway strives to create her shop around sustainable, one-of-a-kind items. Some of her most popular pieces are her vintage denim. Galloway is constantly finding new pieces to add to her shop. On her Instagram, she consistently posts reels to help customers find their perfect size of vintage denim. Galloway explains that sustainable, circular fashion is, “Fashion that has continuous life. Thrifting, donating, repurposing – are all ways an article of clothing can be circular. The lifecycle of the garment has a circular pattern, instead of linear,” she explained. Galloway hopes to start a conversation about why sustainable fashion is so important.
303 Magazine: What kind of relationship with fashion did you have growing up?
Melissa Galloway: Growing up I raised show cattle and pigs in San Antonio, Texas. As a little kid, I was running around wearing leotards and purple cowboy boots. I don’t think I knew I was into fashion, I was a little country girl wearing my Rocky Mountain jeans with my belt buckle showing — definitely a different style than what I have now. I got into more sustainable fashion constantly looking at Instagram. I’m more prone to dress those ways and be more fashionable. When I was in high school, basically everything that is in style now, was in style back then. It’s fun to be able to see the things come back in style and for people to own it and do it in a better way.
303: For those who haven’t been in your shop, describe the style and aesthetic of Sustainable Supply Co.
MG: You’ve seen a lot of my denim, and I have a lot of casual wear. I wouldn’t describe my clothes as all vintage — I like to use the word circular fashion. Not everything is vintage, but always some layer of sustainability to it. As far as the aesthetic — a lot of plants, it’s very airy and bright. It’s just good vibes.
303: What were your goals when you started your business?
MG: I had no idea what I was doing. I started with an Etsy shop — even the thought of an Etsy shop was terrifying to me. I self-taught myself everything. Goal number one was: don’t look at the big picture — just do step one. The thought of the big picture was terrifying to me. If you would have told me last year within a year of launching my website, that I would be selling in a Brick and Mortar — I would say no way. It was a lot of small steps of me teaching myself every little thing — I still am teaching myself.
303: What inspired you to make a sustainable/vintage fashion store? Why is sustainable fashion important to you?
MG: I love thrifting, I would find amazing things. I started to get more into fashion. That’s what got me collecting pieces. “I would find beauty in these thrift stores.” I joined Facebook groups — Levi’s Collectors Facebook group — It showed me how to be able to read the tags if something was actually vintage. That was the beginning of my interest in sustainable fashion.
Sustainable fashion is important to me because I get anxiety thinking about the planet and how we are so wasteful. I do these little things to try and help the planet. Having this business, maybe I can inspire more people to be sustainable.
303: What is the process of handpicking items for your store?
MG: I mostly pick items from thrift stores. I have a list of things I look for — I try to make sure an item that I pick checks off at least a couple of the boxes. It obviously has to fit my style and appeal to me or my customers. I look for vintage items — vintage is made better and mostly made by hand. Natural Fibers last a lot longer — I tend to go for those. Some items I have that aren’t natural fibers, if they meet some other requirements on my list, it looks cool and fits the style — I will get it. I look for a lot of Made in U.S.A. tags because it usually signifies something is older — we don’t make a ton of clothing in the United States anymore. Specifically my Levi’s denim — they haven’t made in the U.S.A. in a very long time — it’s a good indicator that they are vintage if they have the made in U.S.A. tag on them.
303: You offer a lot of vintage denim pieces, do you ever find it difficult to keep up with the latest trends and carry specific styles?
MG: As of now, no. I feel the mom jean is having their moment. If we ever go to low rise again — I’m in trouble. If 10 years down the line it’s different, then I think I’ll be able to keep up with it — but as far as Levi’s I don’t think they are ever going to go out of style. Some women have had 501’s for 20 years and still wear them. It’s one thing that everyone needs in their wardrobe — a good pair of denim Levi’s that can carry you through life. Levi’s is one of those brands that have been around forever — I don’t see them going anywhere. “A good pair of jeans will always be in style.”
303: You have a lot of Instagram reels about styling, sizing and measurements. What made you decide to do reels?
MG: At the time I was thinking this is something I know — let me help people, let me show people the four measurements I take when I measure jeans. From doing reels, I basically said let me help you find the perfect pair of denim. People started to message me and wanted to buy some — they would say these are my measurements, I don’t know what size to buy, can you help me. I would have them give me their measurements and go through my inventory and take pictures of what I have for the customer. I’ve found people are so much happier with their jeans when they do that — instead of buying a random size.
When people shop vintage denim — everything is measured by the actual waist size and the inseam because most vintage denim is 100% cotton and has shrunk over time — people are usually a different number size in vintage denim because it is shrunken.
303: What does the future look like for Sustainable Supply Co.?
MG: I only see us moving forward. I was hesitant towards RiNo because I wasn’t sure if that was my target market, but I am pleased with how people seem to like our store. We want to grow size-wise.
Last April, I was at a plateau and I wanted to level up — I started making reels on Instagram and my sales grew so much. I had no storefront yet — it was just Instagram and a website. I want to continue leveling up and keep growing my brand — create awareness on how fast fashion isn’t sustainable and how much actually goes into creating sustainable fashion. I want to grow my platform so people are informed about sustainable fashion.
A very short-term goal is to do a clothing swap event — everyone picks through other things and people get new things, we would have it at our shop to get more foot traffic.
Made to Last’s Clothing Swap event will take place Friday, September 10. Between 5pm-7pm. It will be at Made to Last Market, located at 2921 Walnut St. Denver, CO in RiNo. Bring gently used items from your closet that no longer bring you joy and find new pieces for yourself.
All photography by Roxanna Carrasco