Shopping vintage – or preloved – is more important than you may think. Though it’s a very popular trend right now, it has so many more benefits than just providing you with a new ‘fit.
These days there is an increased interest in sustainable and ‘conscious fashion’, as we are constantly made aware of where and how our clothes are made. Lyst – a shopping search website – detailed how searches for “organic cotton” have risen by 23%, while “recycled plastic” has seen a 35% rise in interest since January. Fashion searches including the keyword “biodegradable” have also increased 10% since the beginning of the year. Proving now more than ever, we want something that is good for the planet.
Whether it is for environmental reasons or just to look unique, here are some of the best reasons to shop vintage!
As seen with Boohoo’s fall from grace, fast fashion brands are being increasingly exposed on their malpractice within manufacturing. Boohoo and sister company Missguided are currently facing modern slavery investigations following a report that uncovered workers are being paid as little as £3.50 per hour. Paying workers pitiful wages and exploiting them enables these brands to keep costs low so they can flog the newest ‘trends’. It also enables these companies to go beyond the fashion calendar and to drop new clothing items every few weeks. With companies churning out clothes at rapid rates, consumers are quick to discard the last drop. This prompts the question, how is this sustainable? Well, it simply isn’t.
Buying vintage combats this problem. Instead of contributing to these brands, explore the world of pre-loved. You’ll often find that marketplace apps – for example Depop – are full of items from these fast fashion sites. So, instead of buying the item straight from the retailer, scope these apps as more often than not someone has bought the item, decided it doesn’t fit and is reselling!
Another plus of shopping vintage is less synthetic materials are used. Think of it this way, maybe the garment you’re buying is synthetic, however, it’s used and already exists – instead of a new one being created just for you. This lessens the chemicals and dyes used to produce one, meaning that little bit less pollution. Clothes with man-made fibers do not decompose in landfill, so it’s important that we do try to use them until they’re on their last legs. Failing that, up-cycling the salvageable fabrics is always an option!
If not for the two causes above, another great reason to shop vintage is because it’s just cool. Who wouldn’t want to strut around in a pair of genuine 70s flares and an 80s jumper? Major style points to those who dare to mix decades, it’s not for the faint of heart. Often, clothing that is older can last even longer due to more durable construction methods, this means you and your new looks will last years together.
I won’t preach to you and condemn you if you do shop fast fashion every now and then as it is affordable, but it really is important to consider other clothing options and if you can try to invest in pieces with a longer lifespan. We all trip and buy new sometimes, and if so, we must try and give the garment the longest life and then return it to a charity shop so it can be given a new life!