Saturday, 25 June 2016

why vintage fashion is better than fast fashion

Yesterday I finished work experience at The Tab at their offices in Shoreditch. I spent most of today catching up on sleep and reading. I loved working in London last week. I wrote and published so much everyday as well as leaving the office to go and talk to other people. On Tuesday I shot the best street style on Brick Lane and asked people their opinions on rogue summer trends. You can read that piece here. The next two weeks will be quite relaxing, but I am excited for the rest of the summer for festivals and going on holiday. 

After my last exam earlier this month I went to COW vintage where they had a huge sale on summer dresses. I bought three to complete my summer wardrobe. Sheffield has so many amazing vintage shops that I frequent often. Most of these visits just involve browsing because student budget. I wish that there were more vintage shops near me at home, but the closest is London and they tend to be more expensive there. I prefer vintage clothes because they are unique, do not directly finance unethical practises such as sweatshops and animal cruelty and give you the smug hipster satisfaction of answering, "it's vintage" when someone asks where you got your dress/shirt/jeans/skirt from. 

This dress is very cool and comfortable because of how light the fabric is. I tied a scarf from H&M round my waist as a belt to change up how I had worn it earlier in the week. Antonio took these photos after we drove to a field to see an abandoned bridge. These photos remind me of a People Tree campaign, which is fitting given how in this post I am going to talk about the ethical benefits of wearing vintage clothing.

Vintage items of clothing are to be treasured. They are a fuck you to throwaway fast fashion. Once you are done with vintage items you can recycle them back into another vintage store where they will be worn and loved by someone else. The more people that shop for predominantly vintage clothes, the smaller the demand for sweatshop produced, environmentally unfriendly fast fashion. The fact that vintage has become so stylish is a huge step in the right direction for the fashion industry. Now when I look round Topshop, I think that I could buy similar but more unique pieces for much cheaper in vintage shops. One of my most recent high street purchases was from Alexa Chung's archive collection for M&S, demonstrating how vintage has really integrated into the mainstream.

However, you can still only find quality vintage stores in cities. Small town charity shops that smell of old people and are full of last season Primark do not quite have the same charm. I applaud anyone who has ditched fast fashion completely, but I still make the occasional Topshop or Zara purchase. At the moment I am trying to cut down on the clothes I buy because I really don't need anymore. For years I've justified satiating my desire for new clothes because it means I can post them on this blog, but you don't need a lot of clothes to be creative with the ones you have. Going to uni made me realise what I actually wear, with the clothes I left at home rarely being missed. Plus, having less clothes makes choosing what to wear much quicker. 

I have just read the sad news that Bill Cunningham has passed away. I owe a lot to him as an inspirational influence in my life and the fashion industry owes even more to his vision and work ethic. He shaped street style, without which fashion blogs may not exist. I'd link to the post I wrote in 2012 after I watched the Bill Cunningham New York documentary but it was essentially just a 15-year-old fangirl rant. I've been searching for the perfect Cunningham-esque blue jacket to wear for when I'm taking street style photos for The Tab. I didn't think that an 80-something year-old man would have such an influence on me as a teenager, but he has definitely helped shape me. I hope that by the time I am 87 I have lived as fulfilling a life as he did. Bill, you will be sorely missed. 

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