Conscious Consumerism

Shopping gently used goods this summer with fabulous style

By Vanessa Pascale

Retro Cool. Boho hip. Internationally chic. In the heart of Decatur, nestled amid the hustle and bustle, are stores offering a treasure trove of hidden gems. They are the places where sustainability meets style and environmentally conscious shoppers thrive.

Gregory Akroyd believes that, as a community, if you commit yourself to making a difference in how you think, act and shop in regards to the environment, everybody wins. The COO of T.E. Wilcox Home calls the mindset conscious consumerism, where prioritizing quality over quantity translates into supporting businesses that embrace eco-friendly practices and choosing to reuse and recycle whenever possible. “By giving new life to vintage items and repurposing, we can significantly reduce waste and minimize our environmental impact.”

T.E. Wilcox is one of a number of local shops dedicated to being champions of the movement, weaving threads of eco-consciousness into the fabric of our community and breathing new life into pre-loved garments. It is a transactional landscape where every purchase tells a story of hope, renewal and collective action.

As more local retailers jump on the resale trend, they – and you – become part of the worldwide market for secondhand goods (clothes, furniture, musical instruments, sports gear, etc.), reach is expected to hit $350 billion by 2027, according to ThredUp’s “2023 Resale Report.” In the U.S. alone, the secondhand market is expected to reach $70 billion by 2027, per the report.

So, if you are looking to refresh your wardrobe or home, unload treasures and make space for something new, meet three environmentally conscious store owners with three distinct visions for Decatur’s world of gently used goods.

For Wild & Funky Home goods

T.E. Wilcox Home
131 E. Trinity Place

The concept for T.E. Wilcox Home originated from owners Parker Ray and Tranise Coryell and their passion for hunting down one-of-a-kind pieces, and desire to preserve and share them with others who appreciate the beauty and character of vintage items.

COO Gregory Akroyd says the retailer is passionate about recycling and reusing because it believes it is crucial for both environmental sustainability and preserving unique pieces of history. “Fast furniture, mass-produced and cheap, contributes to extensive environmental waste. By giving new life to vintage items and repurposing, we can significantly reduce waste and minimize our environmental impact.”

This means prioritizing quality over quantity, supporting businesses that embrace eco-friendly practices and choosing to reuse and recycle whenever possible.

The store’s selection changes nearly every day, so stop by early and often.

Summer Finds

Customers can expect a curated selection of quality vintage furniture and vintage-inspired home décor sourced from estate sales, private sellers and flea markets. Ray and Coryell spend their weekends hunting for vintage and vintage-inspired pieces, just like the team from The History Channel’s “American Pickers” who travel to find great antiques traveling around in a van. For vintage-inspired and new goods, T.E. Wilcox does its best to identify items that will easily complement and intermingle with vintage treasures seamlessly. The goal is to elevate the appreciation for each new item, transforming it into a timeless heirloom.

If you’re interested in selling, connect via Instagram @t.e.wilcox or by email at


For Women’s Consignment & Furnishings

Finders Keepers Consignment Stores

2853 E. College Avenue

Women’s Clothing:
2134 N. Decatur Road

It’s the one-of-a-kind items that grab Lee Ann Harris’ attention. While she knows them when she sees them, when she sees that “I-cannot-live-without-this-item” on a customer’s face, it takes on a whole new meaning.

And there’s more to it. The Finders Keepers owner loves what being in the consignment business does for the community. “Shopping resale is the ultimate in supporting your community because consignments are sourced locally, and those consignors are earning money they are putting back into our local economy – a bonus for our customers shopping sustainably and saving money.”

At Finders Keepers Consignment Stores, which includes home furnishings and women’s clothing, the mantra is something old to you is something new to someone else. “By shopping at consignment stores in our communities, you can enjoy a wide range of benefits from reducing waste and saving resources to supporting local economies and promoting a culture of reuse,” Harris.

At its Furnishings Store, you will find gently loved, on-trend items, while the women’s consignment store features everything from apparel, shoes and accessories. Featuring an eclectic mix of items, its inventory continually changes.

Summer Finds

During the summer months, Finders Keepers loves receiving outdoor furniture and décor items. At its clothing store, seasonal items such as maxi dresses and sandals are in demand. Both stores accept inventory six days a week, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. No appointments are necessary.

Being in business for more than 40 years, the stores feature tens of thousands of consignors and shoppers.


For Eclectic Antiques & Contemporary Pieces

Kudzu Antiques + Modern
2928 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue

George Lawes is passionate about making the environment a better place through recycling. For years, he and his wife, Kate, have been deeply concerned about the environment, so much so that they hosted an environmental news show on TBS called “Network Earth.”

“Modern society’s creation of enormous amounts of trash and that waste of resources is one of our world’s most pressing challenges,” George says. “When we all drop our recycling bins on the street, we think we are making a difference, and, in a tiny way, perhaps.”

Walk into Kudzu and you will find pieces procured from its buyers, who travel overseas to places like Europe seeking out antique and vintage items. Many of these need repair and restoration, which is done in-house. The team also seeks out handmade, recycled and upcycled items from India, Mexico and South America, along with buying from local sellers and homeowners.

At Kudzu, it is the items someone else might have discarded that are a joy to sell – items that it has found worn and broken, and then brought back to life. “It is satisfying to fix something, an effort which is quickly becoming a thing of the past in our world,” George says. “I hate sending something to the landfill.”

Summer Finds

Summer inventory focuses on the outdoors, including a large selection of upcycled items. This includes things like yard art from Mexico that is made from recycled metal, and traditional vintage porch furniture such as restored metal gliders, rescued antique watering cans from roadside brocantes in France, as well as lots of pottery made from simple abundant clay.

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