There’s a hidden treasure a mere seven minutes away from UW-Green Bay’s campus, tucked away in a line of buildings.
Hidden Rivets Clothing Co. is a small local vintage clothing shop that recently opened in January. The shop sells and repairs vintage clothing, much of which comes from the Midwest. Over the weekend of April 14th, Hidden Rivets Clothing Co. held a sale event where they had a $5 pile sale. Walking into the shop, customers are immediately greeted with vintage clothing on the walls and on racks as well as music playing on the speakers. Customers have many different styles of clothing to look through and a wide variety of clothing, from shorts to jackets. One customer stated at the cash register, “It’s awesome. I really had a great time.” Customers can also expect to be greeted by the sight of the shop owner repairing clothes or arranging the clothes that are already out on the floor.
The owner of the shop, Ross Petasek, is the only employee. “I’m a one-man show. It’s tough to be small.” Because of this, he does not have the manpower to keep the shop open more than three to four days a week. With that being said, he wants to give as many customers as possible the opportunity to shop and find something, so he allows customers to schedule appointments if they cannot make it to his shop during his traditional business hours.
Petasek said that he gets a lot of his vintage clothing to repair and resell from friends and vintage clothing shops similar to his. “People want to use and wear second-hand clothing… so we just want to recycle as much as we can,” he said. Petasek has been into thrifting and self-repair since he was in high school. “I started out because I couldn’t find new clothes that I enjoyed or stuff that was too expensive for me, so I just started thrifting.” His main teacher for repairing clothing? “YouTube is my best friend,” he said with a laugh. “All self-taught. I wanted to learn for myself.”
Increasingly, researchers and environmentalists are calling for additional focus on clothing repair and purchasing second-hand clothing from thrift stores. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in 2018, only 2.5 million tons of textile-based material are recycled, while over 11.3 million tons of textile-based material were placed in landfills. Therefore, local avenues to solve this problem are being explored. “I’m really trying to get people to appreciate their clothing,” Petasek stated, “and the people that do will bring back… for repairs and try to keep their clothes alive longer.” As of April 14th, Petasek posted on the Hidden Rivets Instagram @hiddenrivetsclothingco that he will focus more on repairing and building clothes this summer rather than reselling vintage clothing.
The store’s business hours are Thursday through Saturday from 12 pm to 7 pm, with Sunday’s hours being from 11 am-5 pm. Being a new local business, potential customers can see information about his store on Instagram or through the email email@example.com.