WearForward is a woman’s clothing store that can be described in many ways. It is size-inclusive, woman-owned, eco-friendly and affordable.
Owner Tori Runstrom originally launched the business as an online consignment shop from her home. However, an overwhelming response from the community led her to quickly realize that WearForward would benefit from having a traditional storefront.
“It just got to be too big to be online, which was awesome, but not expected,” Runstrom says.
Last month, WearForward moved into its new location at 98 E. Main Street, which is on the bridge over the Flat River and in Lowell’s historic downtown. Open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 12pm-7pm, the store features a variety of fashions to fit almost every body size and budget.
Lowell Graduate Breaks New Ground
Runstrom, who graduated from Lowell High School in 2015, is no stranger to the world of resale clothing shops. She spent approximately five years working in marketing for a resale retail chain before deciding she was ready to go into business for herself. “I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur,” she says.
However, she wanted to run her business differently than most other clothing consignment shops. For instance, she has made it her goal to be a zero-waste establishment. That means you won’t find any plastic bags here, and all materials used in the store are reusable or compostable. The price tags are even embedded with seeds and can be planted to grow U.S. wildflowers.
WearForward is also size-inclusive, meaning it carries a range of items meant to fit bodies of every shape. Runstrom says that translates into the store working to always carry a good selection of items in sizes ranging from 4 to 5X.
The store manages to be eco-friendly and size-inclusive while also keeping prices affordable. Runstrom says the average price of items in her shop is $12, and most goods can be purchased for fewer than $20. Still, if you’re looking for high-end brands such as Coach and Kate Spade, you’ll find them here too. Tori and her business partner Toria are trained to authenticate designer handbags.
How to Consign with WearForward
Those with a closet full of clothes to sell can bring them down to WearForward during store hours. No appointment is needed. Staff will review the items in a process that could take one to two hours. Those who don’t want to wait can drop off items and return later in the day to pick up any clothing that wasn’t accepted.
“We take all brands from Walmart brands all the way up to high-end [labels],” Runstrom says. The style of the item is more important than its brand, with WearForward looking for on-trend pieces. Right now, it is accepting fall and winter styles, and vintage clothing is also considered.
Once accepted, items are offered for sale for 90 days and are made available to both online and in-store shoppers. Sellers receive a 40% share of the sale price, and payments are made on the 15th of the next month. Items that don’t sell can be collected by owners after 90 days.
In the midst of a rather gloomy year, Runstrom hopes WearForward will be a bright spot where people can find affordable fashions in a welcoming atmosphere. She adds, “I am always here and ready to help women find new styles and confidence.”