As we all move towards more mindfulness, we are becoming more conscious of how we invest our time, energy, space, and money. It's equally important to have that same energy when investing in our wardrobe. Although we love to look good, where we shop can unknowingly be harmful to the earth due to things like the chemicals used to dye fabrics, product quality, factory conditions, and sustainability. The toxic chemicals used to dye textiles, eventually find their way to the ocean and can irritate sensitive skin. Another point to keep in mind is the life cycle of these mass produced items. We typically rotate through fast fashion quickly because the quality isn’t as good. This leads to a lot of these swift buys that end up in our landfills.
Don’t get me wrong this post is not about to shame you for shopping where you want too (trust we are not innocent). We do however want to present some alternative ways to shop and vintage and secondhand clothing is a great avenue for a more sustainable and uniquely stylish wardrobe.
Clothing manufactured in earlier periods were made better, due to a lack of demand for mass production. If you're thinking “well vintage clothes are old, dusty, cut for my aunty, and smells like moth balls”, that's only half true. Truth is trends tend to rotate through cycles; so you will alway be able to find something current. As far as fit/style is concerned, reworked vintage takes classic designs and repurposes them into a modern silhouette.
You can curate a closet inspired by your favorite era and stock it with some one of a kind statement pieces by shopping in vintage stores or secondhand shops. If cleanliness is one of your concerns, read the company's guidelines on how they sanitize and care for their garments and make sure to always wash all clothes before wearing them, whether they are new or used.
Why shop vintage or secondhand?
First and foremost, you won't run into multiple people at brunch wearing the same look. Secondly, the more you thrift the less likely the garments will end up at the landfill. You’re doing a good deed for the environment and still treating yourself to quality clothing (it’s legit a win win).
I'm sure at this point you’re wondering WTH the difference is between secondhand and vintage (and all the other types of clothing out there) and how you can do your part. Don’t worry girlfriend, I am going to break it down for you.
The difference between vintage, secondhand, antique vintage, and retro vs fast fashion:
Vintage clothing are garments that are 20 plus years old, that now includes 90’s clothing (feel old yet).Vintage typically represents the era in which they are made. Vintage garments are more exclusive.
Reworked clothing is vintage repurposed to trendy or modern styles and silhouettes
Antique Vintage is clothing that is 100 plus years old, these garments are rare to find and are likely to have some historical associations.
Secondhand clothing is less than 20 years old, typically associated with the terms “thrift” or “thrifted”.Secondhand clothing is usually housed in places like the goodwill, salvation army, and thrift shops.
Retro is clothing that is vintage/era inspired but is not secondhand. These garments are newly manufactured.
Fast Fashion is trendy mass produced clothes, usually made overseas, that are at a lower price point and of a lesser quality.
How do you know if you are buying authentic vintage?
The important thing to think about here is where you're shopping. Goodwill’s or the Salvation Army are known to house mostly secondhand clothing; search hard enough you can find gems (plan to be there a while). Whereas, NYC shops like Procell on Delancey or The Vintage Twins in Soho are known for curating trendy vintage lines. Vintage pieces are mostly one of one with a higher price point but completely worth it due to the quality.
Let’s keep it real, we all love our fast fashion; sometimes we just need something quick and affordable, so by all means do you boo. However, If you are looking to become a more sustainable shopper, vintage shops and secondhand stores are a great place to start. They offer you a unique style that you can make your own and do wonders for our good sis, Mother Earth.
Are you not sure how to incorporate statement vintage garments in to your everyday wear? Looking for tips on how to style your favorite thrifted gem? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, reach out to us on our live chat or follow us on Instagram for styling tips and inquiries.