Kelowna clothing store re-works and re-purposes vintage finds

Grey Hearts Denim is set to open on Feb. 15

Heads up to vintage and workwear lovers.

Grey Hearts Denim is a workshop and store in one, and it’s about to bring Kelowna some treasures.

Co-founder Sean Whyte said they’re re-working, re-purposing, and upcycling clothing and other vintage items to give them a new life.

And even if something is nearing the end, Whyte said they’ll still spice it up into something new.

Whyte comes from a fashion marketing background, shopping for and styling actors on movie and TV sets like Supergirl and Riverdale. He knows firsthand what goes into making an outfit work and fit a body well.

But he also knows about the waste the industry creates.

“I was attracted to the fashion industry (from a young age), but not in the superficial sense. And the more I was in it, certain things disenchanted me like the waste of clothing and the superficiality of it, and the have and have-nots of it,” Whyte said.

“We come across so much clothes, and good clothes at that. Sometimes, it just needs a new button or a zipper needs to be fixed… fast fashion has really changed the industry, especially in the last few years and it’s really gotten out of hand.”

This isn’t Whyte’s first time launching a store. He said he first launched a streetwear line in Edmonton about 15 years ago, but had to let it go once he moved to Vancouver.

But he’s back at it now that he’s in Kelowna.

“It’s more of a lifestyle. We’re not hung up on a brand or trying to be trendy. We like to carry classic pieces and quality stuff that people will appreciate and stuff they’ll use for a long time,” Whyte said.

“And if it ever gets to the point that you beat it up and it needs a repair, you can come see us. We have patches for that. Let’s just keep it going. Let’s not waste clothes.”

Grey Hearts Denim also sells leather goods from independent Canadian vendors, many based in B.C. Whyte said they specifically look for vendors who make items that look good but are also functional.

“At the end of the day, if you say you’re about workwear, it has to have utility purposes. Fashion is one thing, but function is another thing and we’re real proponents of the fashionability of function,” he said.

“If it just looks good and doesn’t do anything for you, then it defeats the purpose. It’s just a prop.”

Whyte’s co-owner Paul Reyes comes from a fashion design background and does the distressing and some of the alterations in-store. The two also have another partner, Carl Clark, who comes in from Alberta every few weeks.

Grey Hearts Denim will have its soft opening in the next few weeks, with the official grand opening set for Feb. 15.

The store is located at 1615 Pandosy Street. You can also check their Instagram to see some of the items they offer.

READ: Fashion production is modern slavery: 5 things you can do to help now

READ: Forever 21 fashion chain closing all Canadian stores in global restructuring


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

KGH Foundation establishes COVID-19 response fund to support frontline workers

Doctors, nurses and staff have been challenged to pivot operations to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Children of frontline workers to return to Central Okanagan schools

Approximately 500 K-6 students will return as 25 schools open doors on Monday

Four vehicle crash stalls traffic in Glenmore

The four-vehicle fender bender took place about 4:15 p.m.

WATCH: A wall of mist sits over Lake Okanagan as seen from Peachland

The video was captured by a Peachland resident on April 2

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

COVID-19: Upcoming season a question mark for Okanagan drive-in movie theatre

Enderby’s Starlight Drive In Theatre says it’s working on limiting capacity, among other safeguards

COVID-19: Online tool helps vulnerable people in North Okanagan receive aid

United Way’s tool connects those in need with pre-screened volunteers in the local area

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Woman raised in Shuswap on COVID-19 frontline with field hospital in Italy

Bev Kauffeldt is leading a medical team at the temporary hospital run by Samaritan’s Purse

Colouring book will feature images of Summerland

Project is a joint initiative of Summerland Museum and Summerland Community Arts Council

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read