For Bangor resident Logan Hanson, thrift and vintage shopping and collecting is about more than just finding cool old stuff. It’s about taking things that might otherwise be thrown away and giving them new life in the hands of someone else.
Those are the dual aims behind the Maine Vintage Collective Market that Hanson founded and organizes. It’s a new, monthly pop-up market in the Bangor area that features a curated selection of vendors selling used, vintage and upcycled clothing, shoes, accessories, records and home decor.
“We all kind of have the same mindset, that there’s so much stuff out there that with just a little attention can have a new life,” Hanson said. “And yeah, I think we all love cool old stuff.”
The next Maine Vintage Collective Market is set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 24 at the Bangor Arts Exchange, on Exchange Street in downtown Bangor. In addition to 14 vendors from all over Maine and New England, the event will feature a DJ, a bar and ample opportunity to peruse and hang out.
“You will see a lot of different types of things, from really old, classic stuff, to more contemporary items,” she said. “We’re really trying to up the amount of home decor available. I think since the pandemic, and people spending more time at home, they want things in their homes that are unique, and that not everyone else has. If that’s the kind of thing you want, that’s what we try to offer.”
Hanson, 33, moved to Bangor from her home state of North Dakota with her boyfriend in October 2020, after the pair decided they wanted to move somewhere with lots of hiking opportunities. They made their move in the midst of the pandemic, however, and Hanson began to feel isolated.
She started the Maine Vintage Collective the following fall, not just to provide a place for people to shop sustainably, but also to meet like-minded people. The first market was held in September.
“It’s hard to meet people when you’re not a student or in a job where you interact with lots of people, so this was definitely a way to connect and feel a sense of normalcy,” she said.
Hanson grew up going to garage sales and thrift stores with her mother, not just for fun but also out of necessity.
“It always felt like treasure hunting, and also, if we didn’t get things from thrift stores, we weren’t getting anything at all,” she said.
Eventually, Hanson began selling vintage goods online, and still sells via Instagram and Depop. Buying, selling and trading used clothing is about more than commerce for her, however — it’s about sustainability. She also goes through estates for those hoping to settle up the affairs of loved ones who have recently died, identifying clothing and accessories that can be reused.
Later this year, Hanson hopes to offer clothing swap events, where people can bring their gently used clothes in good condition and swap them with others, or simply donate them to people who struggle with financial instability.
“Our planet is suffocating in textiles, so if I can offer some small remedy by mending, laundering and selling one item at a time, then I am really happy,” she said.
For more information on the Maine Vintage Collective Market, visit its Facebook page.
Correction: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect photo attribution. The photos were provided by Samantha Melanson.