Boston consignment store combines sustainable fashion, music and artwork, creates inclusive community


Jessica Xing

DIVERSITY Consignment stands at 713 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain. The thrift shop has curated a collection of clothing meant to give everyone confidence regardless of who they are.

Jessica Xing, deputy photo editor

Even from the outside, DIVERSITY Consignment draws in customers with its bright blue exterior and colorful, fun window art. With its racks of secondhand tees, artwork-covered walls and large collection of vinyl records, DIVERSITY Consignment has gained a reputation for the unique inclusive community it has created.

Ian Drake, the founder and owner, first opened a consignment store in Pembroke in 2016 before moving to Centre Street in Jamaica Plain in 2020. Since then, DIVERSITY Consignment has contributed greatly to the arts and thrifting culture found in the area. While a number of other thrift stores, such as Goodwill and Boomerangs, are located on the same street, DIVERSITY Consignment has taken a unique approach to incorporating music and art into its business model, making it an attractive option for thrifters.

The store sells mostly vintage clothing in all different sizes, styles and colors. Its collection of clothing is geared towards eliminating gender boundaries and prioritizing confidence in being able to express one’s personality. There are also various shoes and accessories for sale, and anyone can bring in clothing that they’re looking to consign.

DIVERSITY Consignment also features artwork for sale made by local artists, using their paintings, prints and drawings as temporary store decorations to promote them.

A staircase in the corner of the store leads to a basement area decorated with LED and string lights, psychedelic tapestries and more artwork. Here, customers can find more clothing, a wide variety of vinyl records for sale and a lounge area open to all, complete with a couch, a small TV and some controllers. The store also often hosts events in this area, such as concerts and karaoke nights.

A smaller room in the basement, dedicated to DIVERSITY’s By The Pound program, contains large boxes of unorganized clothing. Customers can find a better deal sifting through this section, with each pound of clothing being only $2.

DIVERSITY Consignment has managed to turn a thrift store into an inviting community space for all through its creativity, sustainability and arts-centered business approach.

Various pieces of clothing such as sweaters and t-shirts hang on display in DIVERSITY Consignment. Colorful signs labeled the type of garment each rack contained. (Jessica Xing)
Art prints and jewelry sit scattered on a table. Most of the prints for sale were created by local artists. (Jessica Xing)
A customer shops for clothes off the t-shirt rack. DIVERSITY Consignment has implemented a 30-day consignment policy in which any items that aren’t sold after 30 days can be returned to the consignor. (Jessica Xing)
Jeans of different colors and sizes hang on display. DIVERSITY Consignment has consistently offered clothing of all different sizes, usually ranging from XXS to XXL. (Jessica Xing)
Individual shoes of different styles sit on wooden racks at the front of the store. Each shoe was tagged with its size and price. (Jessica Xing)
A customer reaches for an item off the “heavy jackets” rack. DIVERSITY Consignment favors vintage clothing from brands such as Nike, Levi’s and Carhartt. (Jessica Xing)
T-shirts and sweatshirts with DIVERSITY Consignment branding hang on a rack near the front window. DIVERSITY Consignment created its own custom apparel to sell to those who want to represent their love for the store. (Jessica Xing)
A staircase leads customers down toward the basement section of the store. T-shirts, artwork and string lights decorated the walls surrounding the stairs. (Jessica Xing)
More racks of clothing sit in the basement. Dim lighting and string lights created a more calm and homey atmosphere in this area compared to the main store space upstairs. (Jessica Xing)
Vinyl records sit on wooden shelving on display in the basement. People have both bought and sold these records at the store. (Jessica Xing)
A small TV and game controllers sit in the corner, surrounded by psychedelic tapestries and string lights. DIVERSITY Consignment created a small lounge area in the basement open to anyone looking to relax. (Jessica Xing)
Clothing that hasn’t been sold in a while is piled in boxes as part of DIVERSITY’s “By The Pound” program. 100% of the proceeds from the program have been donated to YW Boston. (Jessica Xing)