As you are reading this I am off being very self-indulgent on an all-girls shopping trip to Melbourne!! It’s become a recent habit for several of us to plan a long weekend away from our families, a trip away, just girls. This fun consists of a visit to the day spa, seeing a chic flick at the movies, lots of over indulgent consumption of spectacular food, some top shelf vodka to wash it all down and carving up the dance floor to the early hours of the morning.
Sounds awesome right? Well it really is, I highly recommend it. The theme of the trip is to get away and have some fun, but the true purpose of the trip is to shop! I don’t mean pop into a few shops to see what’s there. I mean a dedicated day to nothing but shopping.
It goes like this, we are up early and dress in our most comfortable clothes, I’ll be wearing my new Nike kicks. We have a quick breakfast and are ready, waiting for the shops to open at 9am. We then shop for a solid 8 hours! Only stopping for a 20 minute lunch break. Now this is a little extreme I know, but as Mum’s the desire to walk around the shops with absolutely NO interruptions, no one asking to go to the toilet, no one asking for something to eat, no one asking to if we can go home, just a FULL day of peaceful indulgent shopping, its pure heaven!
The glamor side of my personality is immensely satisfied, it’s better than Christmas morning. However the hippie side of me is deeply disturbed!!
Recently I have been researching a lot about vintage fashion. My interest was sparked when I read Sophia Amoruso’s book #GIRLBOSS. Sophia is the founder and CEO of Nasty Girl, a 100 million dollar fashion empire built on her need and love of vintage fashion. Her passion for clothing from previous decades got me thinking. Why don’t I shop vintage? Why am I hooked on the addictive consumerism that is fast fashion?
The constant thirst of us consumers for change in stock from our favourite retailers, has them stepping up and meeting our greedy needs. Zara, one of my favourite place to get my fashion fix updates its stock twice a week! Gone are the days of updating our wardrobes four times a year to match the seasons!
The desire for many of us to stay on trend has an enormous impact on our precious environment. Textile and leather waste in Australia is considered too costly and difficult to prevent from going to landfill, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates 88% of this waste is sent straight to landfill, this figure is larger than plastic waste which is 77%!
New clothing can make us feel like a new person, it has the ability to boost confidence and feel good about ourselves. What if start buying clothing that can still do this, without the environmental impact? Hello vintage fashion.
I did a little vintage reconnaissance this week, it was completely outside of my usual beautifully decorated box I like to stay in. I hit my local charity shops for some retail therapy. I have shopped there before, looking for items of clothing that could be used for costume parties, but never to find items for my own wardrobe. It was a different experience. I rummaged through rack after rack looking for items that I wouldn’t find at a shopping mall. I found numerous items, all in great condition that I would happily wear, however they were items I could have bought at the mall. Nothing older than a couple of years.
It got me thinking about Sophia Amoruso, she dedicated all of herself to finding quality vintage fashion to sell online to her consumers when she was starting out. She would be the first person to rummage through donated charitable goods, she would jump over people at garage sales to get to the box of second hand clothing, just looking for classic vintage clothing. What if this was happening here in my part of the world?
Next I went to checkout my local vintage shop, Designer Op-Shop. This was what I was looking for, vintage clothing without the rummaging! A store where all the hard work has been done for you. A beautiful shop giving you that retail fix without the guilt of mass consumerism. You can find true vintage items and good quality second hand items for a fraction of the usual retail price. Just like Zara they have new items each week and you can be excited to pop in and see what’s there.
Now I didn’t buy any vintage items on my journey this week, it wasn’t from a lack of desire, it was a lack of sizing. When you shop vintage you are limited to one item, in one size. There’s never going to be the same dress in an 8, 10, 12, 14. So shopping vintage for me is going to be about forming relationships with local vintage shops. Letting them know what I might be interested in and my size, hopefully I will start to accumulate some wonderful vintage pieces into my everyday wardrobe.
So my shopping trip with the girls will still go ahead, this time around I will be a lot more conscience about my purchases and TRYING not to get wrapped up in fast fashion. I will also ensure we visit at least one vintage shop, you never know what we might find.
Have a brilliant weekend.