((HEADER: HAS SUSTAINABILTY TAKEN FORM IN VINTAGE CLOTHING?))
((STANDFIRST: VINTAGE CLOTHING HAS BECOME A MAJOR POPULAR TREND OVER THE YEARS BUT HAVE THEY SUSTAINABILTY TAKEN FORM IN VINTAGE CLOTHING))
The definition of ‘Sustainability’ is ‘quality of causing little/no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time’. Vintage clothes have become very popular over the past few years and considered a fashion trend due to how many people have now chosen the ‘eco-friendly’ route to find their clothes. For me I love vintage clothes as you can find really unique pieces that is more my style.
On Instagram, there many accounts available for vintage clothing. One of my favourite accounts is @Vintagethreads.eu, who posts photos of vintage clothing that he sells on his site for his followers to buy. Real name Charlie Oxley has over 40.6k followers and over 1,000 posts, I asked him for his opinion on why he thinks vintage clothing has become so popular. “Firstly, people want to be different, they don’t want to look like a Boohoo model, so people have a massive interest in having a unique feature which is what vintage clothing gives you, it gives you something completely different that no one else has worn.” He says that it is ‘more accessible’ as “6 years ago no would do it.” He mentions ‘Depop’ which is a ‘peer to peer social shopping app based in London’ which he says is “a massive driver as the opportunity to get into the market and the competition is now coming as vintage clothes is coming more normal as the opportunity for people to give different style from the 90s/80s.” He argues that it is ‘affordable’ as “people can’t afford a Gucci top out of the store and so vintage clothing gives you that opportunity as it is more affordable.”
I also did an Instagram poll on my profile to see what my followers think of vintage fashion, as I asked ‘Do you buy vintage clothes? if so why? And if not why?’ to try and see what people my age thinks of it. The results came to a 61% ‘yes’ and a 39% ‘no’. Some of the reasons why they would buy vintage clothes are “because it is unique, exclusive and eco-friendly”, “Vintage clothes fit in with current trends and simply our own trends” and “it is better for the environment and you can get nice designer things for cheap. However, some of the negative reasons were “It takes ages to find something you like, sizes aren’t good and they’re gentrified charity shops”, “not usually my style” and also “It’s because it’s hard to find places that sell any and then when you do it’s even harder to find pieces I like.” I feel like the reasoning behind on why they do and don’t buy vintage clothes fits into the location as more of the reasons on why they do buy vintage clothes are from London, where literally everywhere there are vintage shops, to name a few there is the vintage market’ on brick lane, ‘Blue 17 Vintage’ in Islington, ‘Rokit’ in Camden, and many more, as well as there are different styles. Whereas most people who said no were from Liverpool which there isn’t much choice available to buy vintage clothes compared to London.
British Vogue has written an article on the 23rd of January 2020 called ‘Demand for Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier is on the rise and Bella Hadid is in on it’. Which they described what Bella Hadid wore “Taken from Gaultier’s Jeans collection, the ’90s piece – a favourite decade for the model – was accentuated in a casual way that only Hadid knows how to pull off. She wore an oversized denim blazer shrugged over her shoulders, beige low-slung jeans with stitched seams on show, and a multicoloured hat reminiscent of musicians from the era.”
A big collaboration that fits into the return of vintage clothing is the Umbro x Pretty green collaboration which launched this season. It has been 25 years since the first Oasis album and so they decided to bring back the vintage pieces from that era, and so on the 6th of November the release party happened. ‘The preview event included the opportunity to shop the collection before it went on general sale.’ From their website they describe their collaboration as an ‘ode to vintage 90s sportswear silhouettes, infused with a healthy dose of rock’n’roll’. The collection was available on the 7th of November and it sold out within a week which shows how popular vintage clothes has become as it now influences the designers.
Another article that has written about vintage clothing is the Evening Standard, ‘why lending, renting and buying second hand is on-trend in 2020 they included a statistic ‘Roughly £30 billion worth of clothes are thought to lie, unused, in wardrobes around the country, while the value of those garments finding their way into landfill each year has been estimated by WRAP to stand at £140 million. They also said ‘wastage and plastic pollution: fashion has a lot to answer for. Which is why the emerging trend of lending, renting and buying second-hand clothes has been so welcomed by sustainability campaigners.’
Overall, I believe that 2020 is the year where vintage clothes will become even more mainstream, in addition to sustainability I also attended a talk with fashion designer Stuart Weitzman, which he argues that the ‘essence of design is the function’ and so he uses biodegradable materials like leather as they are more comfortable than leather.
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