A new clothing shop in Parksville brings recycling and unique fashion together with a consignment focus and a re-love attitude.
Rcubed is the creation of Nadia Weber Olafsen, a graphic clothing designer and a mom whose adventure into the fashion industry began with screen printing her own designs onto used clothes. After testing the waters with a home-based business, she recently opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Parksville.
While she continues to create and sell her own graphic-designed clothing online and in her shop, at Rcubed Clothing at 148 Morison Ave., the focus is on consignment.
“People bring me their old clothing, which is still in impeccable used condition, and basically I sell it for the both of us,” she explained.
“A lot of these women bring in impeccable used clothing that can be re-loved by somebody else.”
The practice fits neatly into Weber Olafsen’s philosophy behind Rcubed, and the growing acceptance and interest in finding unique fashion pieces that can’t be bought from box stores.
When Weber Olafsen launched Rcubed in 2016, she began it as a clothing brand, screen printing her unique, West Coast-themed designs onto used clothing for women and children.
Each piece continues to feature designs created from the ground up by Weber Olafsen, and screen printed by her.
“Rcubed stands for R to the third power, which is reduce, re-use, recycle,” said Weber Olafsen.
The brand took off (it’s now in 11 stores in Canada, Weber Olafsen said), and as shops began putting in orders and asking for brand new clothing, she stopped printing on used clothing. Still, her reduce, re-use, recycle philosophy has remained, and is in practice at the consignment boutique, which opened in July of 2017.
“The whole concept of re-using something or re-loving something, it’s a huge movement right now,” she said. “From reclaimed furniture to clothing to… one of the local potters actually uses beach glass from the beach and re-fires it within her pottery, so it’s like there is such a movement with re-using things. And why not?
“I don’t think we need to create more waste than we already do. I think it’s important, if we can, to give things a second life and re-love them.”
Even the displays and furniture in her store are second-hand, she said.
Weber Olafsen notes that’s all a bit of a changed perspective from her youth, when she rejoiced in purchasing new clothes. Though, at the same time, growing up in a small community away from major cities, she placed value on the things that she did manage to get.
“If something got ruined, we put some artwork on it… I grew up giving things more love after the fact,” she said.
Now, Weber Olafsen said, she has about 1,000 brands represented at her shop, with more than 300 consigners bringing in a variety of styles and sizes, in addition to the pieces that she sources herself.
With a high turnover rate, that means there’s always something new at the shop, she said.
“I have no idea what’s coming in the door every day, and I think that’s the fun of it too. Women really like to shop, and some like the hunt of finding unique pieces,” she said.
The store also has boutique clothing from Island stores, taking in their overflow pieces, as well as artisan goods.
“Everything in the shop that’s not clothing or shoes or purses is actually made on Vancouver Island,” said Weber Olafsen, including pottery and apothecary items.
Meant to be trendy and affordable, the store also has a play area in the back with toys for kids to play with while their moms shop.
Business has been great, Weber Olafsen said, with great support from local businesses and the community as a whole. The store already has regulars who visit weekly, and those from out of town who make sure to drop by when they’re in the area.
“I’m so grateful, so blessed,” she said. “The experience has been humbling, to say the least. The community has been more than accepting and encouraging,” with businesses viewing each other as supporters rather than competition.
Rcubed Clothing is located at 148 Morison Ave. in downtown Parksville. To check out Weber Olafsen’s branded clothing, go to www.rcubedclothing.com.