ColumnsThe Seeker

Roam & Dwell Wants to Change the Way We Look at Retail

A new way to fashion

Good news for the eco-conscious or eco-curious: Roam & Dwell, a new brick-and-mortar concept offering sustainable, affordable and ethically-sourced fashion and beauty products for both men and women, opened its doors in the old Salon 1226 space in Plaza Midwood this fall.

“The DNA of the store is sustainability,” says co-owner Tracy Sanchez, whose goal is to understand the supply chain of the products and private label Roam & Dwell will offer locals.

Conceptualized on the belief that wellness isn’t limited to what you put in your body, but also encompasses what you put on your body, Sanchez and business partner Aimee Shlussel’s casual luxury and planet-friendly boutique has sprung forth.

Taking an ethical approach, the duo maintain a working relationship with the individuals that help bring their products to life, including organic denims, cottons, and vegan leather produced from cactus. Never heard of it? It is 100% organic, sustainable and more importantly, biodegradable.

Roam & Dwell
Roam & Dwell is located at 1226 Central Avenue. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

The boutique shares a wall with Established Hair Studio — a recently opened hair salon co-owned by hairstylist Emily Warner and barber Ian Counts. Warner has styled Sanchez’s hair for years, so the adjoined spaces feel like a natural fit. The communal space co-creates a true experience for both salon visitors and clothing shoppers alike.

About the brand name itself, Sanchez reveals Roam & Dwell is the contrivance of quarantine.

“How desperately all we want to roam but all we can do is dwell,” Sanchez explains. “It’s the integrative concept of wherever you go, there you are.”

But with phase three potentially nearing the end of its term, perhaps the opportunity to consume consciously will make people feel whole again. With fast-fashion trends quickly fading (we’re looking at you, Forever 21), Roam & Dwell builds upon a new set of lifestyle values emerging in retail: community, quality, transparency and consumer control.

“No waste fashion” was listed as a 2020 top trend by Trendhunter, which means wearing the same outfit twice is no longer considered faux pas. Consumers still want to shop but also feel good about their purchase, like fashion with a purpose. With this in mind, Roam & Dwell is certainly set to exceed shopper’s expectations.

Upon stepping into Roam & Dwell, a familiar feeling washes over me — the minimalist decor is bright, relaxed and welcoming. The lengthy front-facing windows capture the eco-friendly theme perfectly, taking advantage of the natural sunlight beaming inward and set the shop aglow.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of Roam & Dwell: It will also feature a wellness bar! Menu options will include locally sourced coffee with hemp-infused options. I can easily picture myself sitting at the window-facing countertop, sipping a latte, and chatting with a girlfriend on a lazy weekend afternoon, people-watching for what’s happening at Thirsty Beaver across the street.

One of the wellness bar goals is to make health-centric, organic products accessible and enjoyable to all. Sanchez discloses her reverie of expanding seating to the outdoor patio once cool weather subsides and spring approaches — a vision which will surely add to the allure of the neighborhood.

The list of services and products extends beyond apparel and wellness bar items. Roam & Dwell will also feature their own organic skin-care line, including a face mask scrub and serum. Think all-natural products that can be ingested without causing harm: hemp-derived with Tremella mushroom extract.

The hemp plant contains natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and other healing compounds that can help improve the health and appearance of skin. Tremella mushroom extract is considered one of the top beauty superfoods — a moisturizer that brightens skin and improves elasticity.

According to EarthDay.org, “How we shop and care for our clothing is one of many ways we can reduce our carbon footprints and protect our water sources, the earth, and the public health.

Roam & Dwell
The wellness bar. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Some tips to go green and clean up our wardrobe include shopping locally, buying organic products, seeking clothing made of natural fibers, and supporting sustainable brands.

By doing so we can support our local economy, reduce the use of pesticides and microplastics to keep our water sources clean, and curtail support for eco-negligent companies.

Until Charlotte adopts mandatory recycling and composting laws like San Francisco’s ultra-progressive Zero Waste by 2020 goal, it’s thoughtful and eco-friendly concepts like Roam & Dwell that will help pave the way toward future change.

Their grand opening will take place Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28 — the perfect opportunity to shop smart and discover locally-sourced gifts this holiday season.

Roam & Dwell is located at 1226 Central Avenue, Unit B. Their hours of operation are Monday- Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. You can follow Roam & Dwell on Instagram and Facebook. Read past Seeker columns here


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