Westdale thrift shop Drop Spot Vintage keeps its stock fresh and sustainable

Earth Day is behind us, but the climate crisis isn’t going anywhere.

And, Hamilton-natives, Jacob Pennock and David MacMullen have brought together their interest in reselling sneakers and sustainability, and turned it into Drop Spot Vintage, a sustainable thrift store on 895 King St. W.

MacMullen said he and Pennock like to “dabble in whatever is hot” in the fashion industry and provide customers with affordable, vintage and fashion-forward clothing items.

Drop Spot’s apparel is curated around MacMullen’s and Pennock’s style while still following current trends. “It’s kind of like an ever-changing selection, just depending on what the market demands,” said MacMullen. Essentials items like T-shirts and crewnecks are some of Drop Spot’s bestsellers.

Vintage T-shirts and sports jerseys are a big seller at the Westdale vintage shop.

Drop Spot’s items are also sold on Grailed, a community marketplace for men’s vintage clothing and on Etsy, another marketplace which connects sellers and buyers. Prices can go from $25 for a vintage American motorcycle T-shirt to $200 for a Grateful Dead vintage T-shirt.

Since opening their business in August 2021, the duo has traveled across Ontario and to the United States to source and sell new items at vintage events.

“I’m going for a trip again in Europe, doing the same type of thing, just curating clothes that the people who live there could care less about, so you can get stuff at really low price points.” said MacMullen.

A vintage 1982 McMaster jacket used as decor at the Westdale shop.

Drop Spot has attracted local and loyal customers from McMaster, who are always looking into scoring a one-of-a-kind find.

“The students are to be able to get certain pieces of clothing and have a one-stop shop, whether it be shoes or the hats or being able to be creative with their fit designs. It’s something that we’re passionate about personally,” said MacMullen.

A partnership with Red Bull and Hamilton night club Zen Lounge put Drop Spot on the map for its target demographic of young adults. The store hosted a pop-up shop at McMaster’s student center where they distributed the energy drinks and sold exclusive items at affordable prices.

According to Kijiji’s Second-Hand Economy Index report, between 2015 and 2018 the numbers of second-hand disposal and purchased items by cities in Ontario, showed Hamiltonians have the lowest number of purchases, at 44 per cent. On the flip side, we have the largest number of donations, at 73 per cent.

A selection of vintage T-shirts and sports jerseys are a big seller at Drop Spot Vintage.

MacMullen talked about the stigma around buying used clothes, and addressed some of the concerns people might have when thrift shopping, such as size and quality.

“We have a display of a lot of celebrities in the shop, who obviously have money just to buy new clothes but still choose to take a sustainable route,” said MacMullen. “The quality of a lot of the vintage clothing, whether it be ’80s, ’90s or even like early 2000s, was just made with a lot better quality stuff. So everything does tend to last longer if it’s nicer.”

MacMullen also said creativity and having a unique style doesn’t require a lot of money. “If you’re buying a new outfit now the clothing is usually going to be more expensive. We like being able to provide cheaper options.”

Vintage sneakers for sale at Drop Spot Vintage.

Drop Spot’s popularity also grows through wholesale to other vintage stores in Ontario. MacMullen said the amount of turn over also helps them to keep their stock fresh. “I think just the lure of being able to come in once a week and have a completely different selection to choose from is what sets us apart from a lot of stores, especially in Hamilton.”

MacMullen and Pennock are looking forward to the summer, when people are outside and excited to explore new businesses.

“We are still trying to get out there, as most of us opened during the COVID-19 period. So we’re really excited.”

Sports jerseys are a big seller at the Westdale vintage shop.
Sports jerseys are a big seller at the Westdale vintage shop.Cathie Coward/The Hamilton Spectator

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