A staff of 40 busily maintains a huge retail space with over 40,000 pieces of vintage and contemporary clothing on sale on every day. The Garment District started as an offshoot of a textile company which produced wiping cloths for industry. When manufacturing moved out of Massachusetts in the 1980’s, the textile business was sold and The Garment District was opened to complement the early retail activities of By The Pound (click here to learn more about By The Pound).
The Garment District immediately caught the fancy of savvy clothing buyers in New England and it has expanded steadily to become one of the largest operations of its type in the world. At present, The Garment District processes several million pounds of clothing a year. Over the years it has developed sources as close as Somerville and as far away as California. These varied sources ensure that The Garment District always has fashionable and affordable clothing.
Approximately one piece in twenty is selected, steamed, and tagged for sale in the store. Other useable items are sold through our sister store By The Pound. Clothing that is not stylistically interesting to retail customers is baled and shipped to the developing world for reuse.
Items which are unrepairable or soiled are sent to a “shoddy mill” and are ground up for other uses. The Garment District has been a green company from day one. It is also committed to its Cambridge community and works closely with many local charitable agencies.
The Garment District also sells new shoes, clothing and accessories. The staff is committed to the mission of being an ethical recycling company which offers “high quality, affordable clothing for any taste”. In 2008, The Garment District welcomed Boston Costume into its 200 Broadway home (click here to learn more about Boston Costume) and now By The Pound, Boston Costume and the Garment District provide 3 great shopping experiences under one roof.
For many years The Garment District had a large consignment department: however, we have found that in these difficult economic times, people living pay check to pay check can’t wait to see if their clothing will sell. With this in mind, the Garment District now buys clothing directly from the public and pays cash on the spot. You can either make an appointment to sell your clothing or come in during our open purchasing hours (click here to learn more about selling us your clothes).