BY BARB BERGGOETZ
Every shirt with the label 30A Dumpster Diver is made from eight, 16-ounce plastic bottles retrieved from landfills. The hats and bags from Real Deal Brazil are made from repurposed heavy canvas trucking tarps. And the lip glosses, perfumes, and soaps from Columbus, Indiana-based Garb 2 Art are packaged in recycled materials.
These eco-friendly products were among those that appealed to Sandy Hayes, general manager of 1818 Apparel Co., when she was ready to stock unusual and stylish brands. Two previous Bloomington custom apparel businesses—Select Sports Outfitters and Top It Off—merged last September to create the new business. The 1,700-square-foot shop, located at 1200 N. College, opened in October.
Customized apparel and merchandise for Bloomington schools, sports leagues, Greek organizations, businesses, and the Indiana University community remain 1818 Apparel’s primary business, says Hayes. But, the store’s local owners (who wish to remain anonymous) wanted to add retail products from Indiana and other U.S. suppliers, with an emphasis on eco-friendly clothing and gifts, she explains.
“I think they’re something the Bloomington community naturally seeks out, so I thought they were a good fit,” she says. “We are really focused on unique offerings, not what you see at the mall.”
Customers can find soft, moisture-wicking bamboo performance wear from Free Fly Apparel, based in Charleston, South Carolina. Jewelry from Restrung, of New Orleans, is made from recycled guitar strings. Among Bloomington products are hand-poured soy candles from Grey Harp Candles and prints and cards from Adam On Point.
Seth Teeters, 1818 Apparel’s marketing manager, says the company carefully selects its suppliers, choosing those that are good civic partners. “We try to only work with brands that are responsible,” he adds.
For more information, visit 1818apparel.com.