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Davis Journal

Hailey’s passion for fashion launched her sustainable career

Jul 07, 2022 02:20PM ● By Sarah Segovia

“I would describe my brand as colorful vintage fashion,” said sustainable stylist and plus-size thrift fashion icon Hailey Petersen.

“I have been thrift shopping my whole life.” said Petersen.“But a few years back I saw a video I will never forget about the damages of fast fashion from stores like Forever 21 and I just thought we would never see people stop using fast fashion, but I personally decided to make more of a conscious effort to not shop at certain places and to do my research to shop more sustainably. So, for me, it was not too much of a transition.” 

Petersen said sustainable fashion matters to her for a couple of reasons. “My first, biggest concern with sustainable and ethical fashion is ensuring that the people making the clothing have safe working conditions and they are getting paid living wages. Second is the environmental impact. Did you know that 70% of the things that are donated to thrift stores end up in landfills instead, so more people shopping second hand keeps items out of the landfill.”  

Everyone has different accessibility and sizing, she said. “Of course there are the local thrift stores where you can shop, but there are also online vintage shops, or sites like Poshmark and Depop where you can easily shop second hand also. It’s crazy how much you can find online, so if sizing or other specific things are an issue, then online could be a great option. There are some great ethical brands you can shop at. Ethical fashion is usually more expensive, but some of my favorite shops are Big Bud Press and Lucy and Yak. They are both colorful and funky brands.”  

Petersen said her favorite thrift find of all time was a Gunnesax dress she found at the Goodwill Outlet. “It was in mint condition. I also have a small collection of  90s and 2000s Coach bags that I love. I got each of them for less than $10. 

She found Red Barn Thrift in Farmington a while back. “The store manager actually recognized me from social media and he showed me around the store,” said Petersen. “It’s a great little hidden thrift store. I find the most unique things for really cheap. Other thrift stores are kind of like corporations, but supporting Red Barn Thrift actually supports their drug rehabilitation program and it’s local. If you follow them on Instagram they even have some great Dollar Sales days. I found the best 80s Budweiser jacked in their dollar bin one time. Right now, they are working to expand the store, so they will be able to accept more donations and have more space.”

Being a more shy quiet person, Petersen said clothing, colors and style is how she expresses herself without having to talk a lot. “I would not say that I am famous on social media, but every once in a while someone will recognize me and it feels good to have people who care about the content I am putting out there,” she said. “I started putting myself out there on social media because my sister started a calligraphy account and I thought well, people always complimented what I wore, so maybe they would enjoy seeing my thrift finds.”

At the time, Petersen was working a desk job, but she loved thrifting and shopping and started posting her outfits for fun. “After my Instagram, I decided to start a YouTube channel and from there it became more and more of a passion,” she said. “Later, I started my Etsy store and it has developed more into a career through a bunch of trial-and-error. Now, this is my full-time job. I run my Etsy store, social media accounts, and I have some sponsorships. 

On my Instagram, @hailey_thrift_haul Petersen posts her outfits and day-to-day style inspiration. “On my Youtube channel I usually post videos about thrifting and sustainable fashion,” she said. “My Etsy shop is where I sell vintage pieces. I just launched my website to offer my styling services as a stylist. I am really excited to help others sustainably love their wardrobes.”  λ