The history and diversity in Bloomington inspired two local companies, Select Sports Outfitters and Top It Off, to merge and become one store called 1818 Apparel Company.
The company was named after 1818, the year Bloomington was established. These companies were inspired by the culture and creativity of Bloomington to bring custom and high-quality products to the city.
1818 Apparel is both a retail store, offering trendy clothing for men and women, and a custom clothing shop that does screen printing, embroidery, heat transfer and laser etching to both clothes and objects like water bottles and cups.
The store is located on 1200 N. College Ave. and opened its doors Oct. 2.
Retail Manager Sandy Hayes said she purchases clothing for the retail section that stand out and often reaches for eco-friendly companies.
“People in Bloomington really like to buy things that are for a good cause, and they really care for the environment,” said Hayes.
Hayes chooses items from companies like 30A, Real Deal Brazil and Hippy Tree. These companies all make their products out of recycled products.
Along with these clothing companies, the store also carries many local companies that create new products like bath bombs and beauty products out of recycled materials, too.
Jeff Harrington manages the customization part of 1818 Apparel Company and said he wants to partner more with organizations on the IU campus along with the rest of Bloomington and the surrounding communities.
“What we want people to know is that it’s better to order from here than to order online,” Harrington said. “You often don’t get to see the product until after it arrives when you order something online, but here you can come in and actually feel and see what you’re going to order.”
How 1818 customizes embroidery orders:
Customers call and set up a meeting with the store and come meet with a designer to help design the clothing you’re looking to purchase.
- Choose garments to customize, design and then choose whether to screen print or embroider.
- If the design has the IU logo on it, it will be sent to IU for approval.
- For embroidery, the design must be digitized and converted into a stitch file so the machine can embroider it into garments.
- The garments are placed on the embroidery machine that stitches the design chosen.
- After the machines finishes, the clothes will be returned to the client between 7-10 business days.
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