Community is a boutique for sustainable fashion and locally made products, opened in downtown Athens, Georgia in 2010 by German native Sanni Baumgärtner.
Our mission is to create and sell sustainable clothing and goods by utilizing vintage and eco-friendly materials for minimum impact on the environment. We strive to foster and develop a local fashion and makers community with a sustainable regional supply chain for maximum impact on the local economy.
Our clothing label Community Service is created by redesigning vintage clothing into contemporary fashion, thereby extending the life span of quality garments and keeping them out of the landfill. The sewing area is an active part of the retail space to break down the wall between the consumer and the maker, thereby inviting curiosity and dialogue about the process of how our clothes are being made and who makes them.
In addition to our own clothing line, we sell hand-picked vintage clothing, and jewelry, body products, home decor and gift items by over 50 designers and makers, all based in Georgia. Community also offers alteration and repair services, and teaches sewing classes designed to show Athenians how to make, alter, and care for their own wardrobe.
By working with existing materials, Community tackles both the challenge of creating sustainable fashion in a way that is not harmful to the environment or the workers, and the textile waste problem simultaneously. Many of the problems in the textile industry developed through the disconnect between the people who make the clothes and the people who wear them. This has led to overconsumption, poor treatment of textile workers, and huge impacts on the environment. Through transparency of the process, and through education, Community encourages a renewed, balanced, and personal relationship between the consumer and their wardrobe.
Our redesigners are encouraged to use fabric scraps in their design and sewing process, and often come up with creative ideas that allows us to use small pieces, like turning them into scrunchies, or pockets and other design details.
Community goes beyond reducing waste in their business practices in that it generates "negative waste". By working with existing materials and turning waste into a sellable product, Community is reducing waste beyond what the business itself produces.