By: Shannon Reilly
Around the middle of the semester, Oxford can start to feel isolated, so weekends are the perfect chance to get out. Cincinnati is only a short drive from Miami, but what is there to do when you get there? This past weekend I visited the Over The Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati and found several shops that are secondhand, sustainable and unique. Here are some places to check out during your next visit:
This “concept shop” is not only aesthetically pleasing, but environmentally conscious. Their clothing is designed by local artists and manufactured in the United States under fair and ethical conditions. It is artsy and cute, and though it can be pricey, it is supporting a small business that is operating ethically.
Wolf Pack is a boutique that has clothes that look like they could be sold at Urban Outfitters, but their products are of high quality and manufactured ethically and with sustainability in mind. At the center of the shop is a rack of secondhand selections that fit with the aesthetic of the shop but are more environmentally friendly. They also have earrings, cards and posters designed by local artists.
As you walk into Tim’s Picks, there is a good chance it is Tim saying “Hi” to you. He greeted me and my family and talked about how he acquired the extensive collection of antiques and vintage clothes that filled the store. It started back when he went through his relative’s collections of stickers and coins. He has since bought fun, vintage items through auctions and shopping secondhand, like the denim jacket I bought there.
The Candle Lab
The Candle Lab is just as its name implies: a place where you can design your own candle scent. The more you look around the better it gets; it is sustainably and ethically sourced. This is the perfect place to go if you are looking to make a personalized gift for yourself or a friend (or if anyone wants to make me a coffee-scented candle!).
This shop was probably my favorite. It is a not-for- profit, secondhand art supply store. It is both trendy and adorable, and it’s also my grandmother’s crafting dream. It had everything from buttons and frames to paints, stickers and earrings designed by local artists. Check out their popular Instagram account here.
In recent years, the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati has rapidly changed into a trendy area with ramen restaurants, concept shops and five-dollar matcha lattes. It looks like a textbook example of gentrification, a topic that GreenHawks writer Allison Forsythe explored earlier this semester. This encouraged me to research whether the new businesses and apartments pushed out people that had lived there before, but it doesn’t seem conclusive yet. It is important to keep this in mind as we shop and voice support for policies that uplift communities without pushing people out. For now, I was happy giving my money to environmentally-conscious and unique shops that have given a new life to Cincinnati.
Photos courtesy of Shannon Reilly