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Truth be told – vintage shopping wasn’t always on my list of things to do in life. However, after watching many vintage shopping videos, tips for vintage shopping and having a look in vintage shops myself, this opinion made a true 180. These are 10 reasons to start vintage shopping and how to get over the fear of vintage shopping.
I am sure everyone here has seen a video, blogpost or a social media post about vintage shopping. People who almost only shop vintage clothes and create the best outfits. Or people who love buying their home décor from vintage shops like I love doing too. Many of these items are easily upgraded with some love and paint.
What is vintage? If we’re talking about clothing – the usual starting point is clothing that’s 20 years old. This can range from 1920 to 2000. Obviously, this is all technically speaking. Some people may get rid of their clothes after wearing it for a few years and donate it to a vintage store. You’ll may buy clothes that are only 5 years old from a vintage store! Good to know is that it doesn’t have to be the old fashion clothing from dozens of years ago.
How to get over the fear of vintage shopping
Sooooo I have a confession to make. I have a fear of contamination and vintage shopping used to freak me out. Buying clothes that someone I don’t know wore before? Hell no. Absolutely not.
However, there are options for people like me. Most vintage stores dry clean the clothes before selling them and have a tag on the clothes if it has been dry cleaned. This is perfect for people like me who are a little squeamish with vintage clothes. A good old sniff test might do the trick too. Look for bigger stains that are difficult to get out and may not have been cleaned by the dry cleaner.
I do love to shop vintage for home décor items and I do not have any fear of contamination with these items. It’s solely for clothes and shoes. Definitely have a look at your local vintage store if you’re on the hunt for the perfect item in your house. Like I said, items can have a huge upgrade with some paint and creativity!
Read more. Read the blogpost about the magic behind shampoo bars.
6 reasons to start vintage shopping
Vintage shopping cost less money
Because all the items in a vintage store are second hand, they are always less expensive than new items. This is great if you love saving money and if you’re not into spending lots of money on clothing and items but do love to get new clothes. Vintage stores sell clothing from brands that cost a lot more if you would buy items from the newest fashion season.
Vintage clothes have better quality
In the old days, years and years ago, overproduction wasn’t as big as it is now and fast fashion wasn’t completely here yet either. Most stores try to produce as much as they can, to sell as much as they can, with the lowest price possible nowadays. This used to be different and clothing from years ago, before overproduction and true fast fashion, were better designed with a higher quality. Prices nowadays are hardly comparable to years ago.
Vintage clothing encouraged creativity
Whenever I walk into a vintage store, the brighter colors and patterns immediately draw my attention. The stores sell neutral clothing as well, but what I love most is the vibrant clothing in the stores. It makes it exciting to start pairing new outfits and to get creative with your fashion style.
Read more. Ready to travel more sustainable? Read my travellers guide to travelling more sustainable.
Vintage clothing prevents material waste
How hasn’t thrown away clothing before? I have, before I got interested in vintage shopping. It is such a waste to throw it all away because the materials can be recycled and used for new clothing. Vintage shopping is even more material preserving because we just buy the entire clothing piece. It gets a second life!
Vintage clothing is better for the ecosystem
Did you know that more than 2 million tons of clothing get into landfills each years? And did you know, that cotton cultivation is one of the most demanding agribusinesses? It accounts for 2.5% of the land use but accounts for nearly 7% of herbicides and 16% of all insecticides. All the chemicals left are usually dumped in water.
Aral Sea is one of the prime examples – most of the water has been used for the cotton cultivation in central Asia. The dust contained a high concentrations of pesticides. The pesticides become airborne – it travels through the air – and eventually poisons locals.
You will also lower your carbon footprint because new clothes involve a manufacturing process and transportation process to the stores.
Read more. Do you love home decor like? You might like my blogpost about how to make a house feel like a home!
Vintage clothing prevents human and animal exploitation
Especially fast fashion is guilty of human exploitation. It happens way too often that workers in another country or continent in the world have to work under pitiful circumstances to create the clothing we later buy in the stores. Many, many clothing brands are working on this problem which is amazing. However, we’re not quite there yet. Vintage shopping prevents the extra human exploitation because, among other things, it helps in the prevention of overproduction.
Furthermore, we all know that animals have to contribute in the making of our clothing. The leather products are sourced from beef cattle and our warm cozy sweaters come from sheep. Animal welfare is a true issue here. Sheep do not always survive shearing. The leather is not always a by product from the meat industry, which means animals get killed to provide leather for the industry. Birds do not always get killed before being plucked and do not always live a happy life.
You help the cute happy sheep in the meadow near you. You help the happy cows enjoying the outdoor near your house. You will help so many animals in living a better life. We often think: it’s not going to make a difference if I do it on my own. But you’re not alone. More and more people shop vintage and help creating a better environment for the humans and animals.
We will make a difference if we work together, but the change has to come from within. I have to start before making a difference. Because if everyone think they’re not going to make a difference – we are definitely not making a difference.
Did this all convince you to give vintage shopping a go? Whether it’s for your clothes, shoes or new items in your home. It is a fun process and gives a total new experience compared to regular shopping. I’m excited to live closer to Rotterdam in a few months to explore the vintage stores in the city!
Do you have any favorite vintage finds? Tell me in the comments!