A festive guide to ethically sourced retailers in Oakland
Holiday season is here. *Bells jingle softly in the distance; steam rises off a cup of hot chocolate.* A miraculous and much-needed week or two of rain, nippy temperature and shop windows dutifully bedecked in honor of various winter festivities all confirm it.
Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah or a non-denominational gathering of friends and loved ones, the winter season is a fantastic opportunity to dress up, down and generally all around. By this I mean, don’t dress to impress someone else, but let’s dress the heck up for ourselves this holiday season! Let’s give the gift of feeling great in our clothes—to ourselves first and each other by proxy. I’ll cheer a glass of dairy-free eggnog to that.
See below for a few Oakland establishments ready and enthusiastic about providing any and all patrons with sartorial options this holiday season. Go, be merry, be fashionable!
2355 Broadway, Suite 1 Oakland 94612
Loyal East Bay readers might be familiar with Taylor Jay already—last year I wrote about her story, inspiration and designs. Her dreamy-comfortable and utterly stylish fashion line makes a slight over-indulgence at dinner or the desire to dance all night unrestricted by tight clothing totally available. Taylor Jay’s pieces are made from soft, buttery fabric that moves with the body and is effortlessly stylish; it’s the nexus of comfort and excellence. Shoppers can stop in the shop to snag a sweet kimono set, a romper or a dress and meet Taylor herself; she’s often in the shop.
3223 Grand Ave., Oakland 94610
Founded by Lori Tiedemann in Berkeley in 2017, Radbird is a fashion and consignment store that now also has an Oakland location, just across the street from the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland. Radbird is chock full of local artists’ work and vintage consignment, and one can build essentially any outfit at either location. One can go head-to-toe Radbird this holiday season and know that finds there will last. In Tiedemann’s words, “We hope to show the community that fast fashion is not the way to go, and that purchasing a quality piece means that you will keep it for a lifetime and not just a season.”
MAPLE STREET DENIM
4266 Piedmont Ave. Oakland 94611
Maple Street was founded by Julie Harleman in 2014 and is a no-brainer for those looking for well-made, built-to-last options. From durable overcoats to cute dresses to stellar-fitting jeans, this is a great spot to find an outfit that not only works for the holidays, but all year round. There’s a funky, Americana vibe in the shop, and a great perk of this spot is that they’ll fit customers for jeans to ensure the best possible purchase.
STANDARD AND STRANGE
5010 Telegraph Ave. Oakland 94609
Also a familiar name to those who read EBX, Standard and Strange is another ethically sourced, environmentally conscious spot in Oakland that promises to provide a stellar suite of lasting apparel. Founded by Jeremy Smith and Neil Berrett, the shop, which also has locations in Santa Fe, NM and Brooklyn, NY, is a proverbial mecca of brand options. Shoppers can find Montaro, Fountainhead Leather, North No Name, Simmons Bilt and more. Each of these items is a work of art, made in moderated batches and built to last. That leather or denim or knit one has been looking for can be found, knowing it’s a lifetime buy.
4188 Piedmont Ave. Oakland 94611
Mercy Vintage has a super cute vibe, with femme undertones and a creamy, elegant palette. This is a pearly dreamspace of mellow grace in clothing and jewelry. The shop keeps its eye on designers whom they consider “the makers of future vintage” and loves a minimalist look: linens, silks and anything seeming like wearable art. Shoppers can find vintage and contemporary and an enthusiastic, super-stylish staff, excited to help put an outfit together. A chiffon over blouse, a beige French chore coat, a pair of brass hoops or a pair of chartreuse mules can all be found here.
4200 Piedmont Ave. Oakland 94611
The shop just celebrated its 10-year anniversary, and Good Neighbor is indeed a good neighbor to have for the art, fashion and selfcare-oriented in the East Bay. Owner Dana Olson is on the same tip as my other Oakland-based recommendations regarding slow fashion and mindful consumption. Her goal, and what customers can expect to find, is a selection of jewelry, plants, body products, makeup and clothing all geared towards bringing softness, self love and opening to the body, heart and mind. As Olson herself says, “Our mind and our heart health manifest in our physical body—having tools to help us ground, enliven, manifest and feel safe are things we need to navigate this human experience on Earth.”
482 49th St., Oakland 94609
This woman-owned and operated clothing brand is an Oakland/Ojai dream, bringing a beautiful balance of trending styles and classic lines to their apparel and accessories. Shoppers can come for the plaid bucket hat; stay for the quilt coat. Golden and her team are committed to making clothing that promotes movement and fun, and their clothing is made in collaboration with a woman-owned co-op in Peru, a fair-trade certified factory in India and a family-owned, fair-wage factory in Hong Kong.
Any of these are excellent options for a holiday outfit that will last long after the season ends. Cheers and good tidings!