Let's talk vintage (and why you should be buying more)!
We are constantly made to feel we always need more and faster trend pieces by fast fashion retailers. I know I even feel the pressure to always have the latest and greatest and even when you have something new, it's very quickly... well, old. I think we are all becoming more aware that fast fashion simply not sustainable for our wallets, wardrobes or the environment. Our purchases matter, so let's change our perspective.
Shopping vintage and second hand pieces is one of the best ways to improve sustainability in the fashion industry and an alternative method to shopping. Vintage, thrift, swapping clothes, hand-me-downs and consignment are all ways you can shop second hand - and for cheaper. Since, I was 16 and received hand-me-downs from my mum and my sister, I fell in love with thifting and shopping second hand. I loved the idea of hunting down treasures and pieces that were totally unique. I still love and wear my sister's old washed black CK tee and a lot of my mum's knitwear and accessories to this day.
I understand for a lot of us though, it can be a strange experience to wear something that was worn and owned by someone else, with obvious signs of wear and an imperfect fit. Flip this perception on its head because vintage shopping is seriously a win-win. What I love so much about finding vintage pieces, is that the fact that it's worn in and has a story behind it. The imperfections only add to the uniqueness and character that the piece already has. Now, I am not saying you need to buy dirty old clothing - there are plenty of places popping up now that do all the work for you from collecting, repairing and cleaning to make your hunting a lot easier. It is certainly more work, whether you hunt at a Vinnie's yourself or a curated boutique, than shopping on your favourite fast fashion site, but I think it's totally worth it.
This 1970's powder blue suit jacket gives me life and is probably one of the best vintage pieces I own. I found it in my recent trip to Bowral at a shop called, Dirty Jane's. They have huge space that features a number of dealer's from vintage clothing to antiques. Now, this jacket, doesn't 'fit' me by any traditional definition of the word and that's perfectly okay. The fast fashion industry means there are a lot of the same thing everywhere whereas vintage pieces actually forces me to explore shapes and cuts that are not currently on the market. Vintage shopping is freeing from the constant trends and fast fashion consumer industry. I love anything and everything oversized these days, so this jacket was totally up and alley.
Shopping second hand means you can create looks you never thought you could or recreate a lot of the high fashion looks you love on social media. If you're on a budget, as ethical and sustainable brands tend to be more expensive, then vintage shopping is a great alternative to get pieces for a fraction of the price. Not only that, but you're aiding keeping that clothing out of landfill too and preventing waste, because the garment has already been produced.
So, if you haven't yet managed to dip your toes into the second hand clothing ocean then there's no time like the present! I highly recommend your local Vinnie's or Salvation Army, or if you want a bit more of an up market experience, Surry Hills is the place to be, Miss Brown Vintage is my favourite.
Photography by Jordan Lee on 35mm film