A sleeveless pocket-dress tempts your hand to skim its cobalt blue floral print until its dangling tag — and lengthy narrative — catches your eye.
"This item was handmade at a cooperative in Africa that provides sustainable livelihoods for women while preserving the artistry of batik, an ancient handmade fabric art that is traditionally passed down from mother to daughter," reads the tag.
"There's a ton of effort that goes into telling each piece's story," says Revive owner Lisa Dunn.
The Cleveland Heights boutique has a painstaking product philosophy — the apparel, shoes, accessories, edibles and gift items it offers must be fair trade, and must be eco-friendly.
Since opening in 2006, Revive has become Dunn's answer to a dilemma she discovered as her childhood passion for sewing grew: The fashion industry has ties to sweatshop labor. "I felt deflated," Dunn says. "Nothing is beautiful if it's made off the back of exploitation."
Dunn designs her own line of skirts, necklaces and housewares for Revive, then sends her sketches to 28 artisans and cooperatives in 11 countries to execute the ideas. When the items arrive at the store, they're hung from racks made from salvaged wood or stretched across Amelia Earhart vintage suitcases, which once belonged to Dunn's grandmother.
Dunn also works with international artisans to alter their existing designs specifically for Revive, from requesting hem lifts to changing up a product's color.
The store's forest green chevron scarf ($28) is spun, woven, screen-printed and side-rolled with silk by Indian artists. "We adapted their black and white chevron graphic to the green because it's trendy," Dunn explains. "The artisans give us exclusivity to this color and pattern combination."
Revive's line of Colombian-made jewelry, such as an aqua-colored necklace ($28) with tagua nuts, an alternative to ivory, is a customer favorite.
"I saw there was a way to [operate a store] ethically," Dunn says. "I felt a renewal of love for fashion. That's why I named the store 'Revive.' "
When You Go
2248 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-371-2778, revivestore.com
Simply Charming — Baubles, Bijoux and Bibelots pops with color and enchanting greeting cards, handbags, accessories, journals and baby clothes.
2254 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-321-1296, simplycharmingtheboutique.com
shops & boutiques
12:00 AM EST
October 28, 2013