Why are so many people raving over vintage clothes…still? Charlotte Lloyd discusses why these types of clothes are more than just making people feel trendy.
I remember moving to Newcastle about two and half years ago now and there was this one vintage clothes shop that I thought was the best thing I’d ever seen. It was called ‘Cream on Darby’ and it had everything from women’s to men’s clothes both branded and non-branded, as well as accessories.
The shop still stands in the same place just with a different name. I thought I was so cool for getting tank tops that had the ‘Guess’ logo or the ‘Ralph Lauren’ symbol. But what is it about vintage clothes that continue to make it such a popular phenomenon. With people buying second-hand clothes left right and center, vintage markets are being set up every second weekend. See, vintage clothes aren’t exactly cheap, and repurposed material that is further made into garments even reaches new heights of the market.
It is something that I have always been fascinated with. In this article, I will be talking about vintage clothes and repurposed materials, rather than second-hand shops where clothes have been donated.
A little while ago, I had every intention of attending a Vintage and Pre-Loved Clothing Warehouse Sale in Carrington. The items they had ranged in prices and brands. From anything up to $50 with brands like Princess Polly, Spell and the Gypsy, General Pants Co, and Seed, to only mention a few. Another example was a stall set up at the Olive Tree Markets where a lady used old fabrics to make into new floral pantsuits and jumpsuits. I’d seen this stall every time I attended the markets and one day I just decided to get one on a whim and I love it to bits. But when looking at these two examples, it’s clear that vintage varies on a large scale and the price really depends on branding and the amount of effort sometimes repurposing can take.
But one of the reasons I am going to explore is the idea of ‘fast fashion’ and Gen Z. I am a lover of clothes. I have too many to count and the fact that I work in a retail clothes store doesn’t exactly help. But, there are so many arguments that can be said about the effects ‘fast fashion’ can have on the environment. One of the major things that ‘fast fashion’ accommodates is the constant changing and emerging trends. The new trends which are released every 2-3 weeks, mean a whole new bunch of clothes are made to fit into consumer desire and want. But what happens to all the clothes that were only just made. The main argument against ‘fast fashion’ is the amount it produces and the unprecedented rate that clothes are made, dispersed, and then discarded.
H&M as an example has an initiative in place to combat this issue. This is called ‘Conscious’. This is where customers are invited to take bags into their local store of old clothes, bedding, intimates, swimmers, etc. They don’t have to be in pristine condition and the materials thereafter can be used are repurposed into H&M stores globally. All H&M stores worldwide hold this initiative and any piece of clothing in-store with the green ‘conscious’ tag has been made from these repurposed clothes.
This is where Gen Z comes in. The future of our planet is significant to the younger generations, who take a particular interest in keeping the earth clean and doing what will give us the best future. The effects of our actions and the consequences that these can have are becoming alarmingly clear to a lot of people and by reducing something such as ‘fast fashion’ with repurposing old clothes, the effects of this will decrease if only by a little bit.
There is now a recognition that maybe things we do could be hurting the planet rather than aiding it. Vintage clothes, as much as they are a ‘trend,’ means that people are really getting the wear out of a clothing item that could have been so easily discarded at half the expectancy of its use.
So whether you’re vibing or consciously making the effort to be more earth-savvy, vintage clothes are here to stay!