Throughout this month and beyond IMAGE will be putting a focus on sustainable fashion and the ways in which we can limit our impact on the planet with the clothes we wear. First up is vintage shopping.
Clothes are a hot topic of conversation in IMAGE HQ. From the pieces we have bought to the ones we would love to buy, there isn’t a day that goes by without one of us expressing our adoration.
However, we are well aware of the impact clothes can have on the world. Fast fashion is a ferocious thing and is something that consciously we should slowly be moving away from. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to change and overhauling shopping habits even more so. But, there are small changes we can make that can help.
One of these is shopping vintage. The thought of endlessly searching through rails of old clothes may seem intimidating but the unknown is the best part of it. Finding a vintage gem is a high like no other. They quickly take pride of place in your wardrobe. And the idea that a story lives within them is enough to keep you going back again and again.
Related: Fashion Director Marie Kelly on sustainable fashion
We asked four IMAGE staffers to show us their favourite vintage finds and tell us why shopping vintage is important.
Sophie Teyssier, Social Media Manager
“I didn’t always love vintage, it took me some time to get used to the feeling of wearing something second hand. I used to think of vintage items as used and a bit worn down. But now I see them so differently! I adore finding vintage treasures and having unique pieces in my wardrobe.”
“I picked up these red Armani jeans trousers in a vintage shop in Paris for €20.”
“Sustainability is more important now than ever before and if buying vintage means I’m contributing to the cause then that’s brilliant. I picked up these red Armani jeans trousers in a vintage shop in Paris for €20. I love the pop of red and I feel like a Rachel from Friends when I wear them. Win-win!”
Erin Lindsay, Deputy Digital Editor
“I was about 13 when I first began to get the shopping bug, which coincided with getting a twenty quid allowance from my mam every Friday. I had to make that money stretch as far as it would go, and it led me to the wonderful world of shopping vintage. I really think that markets and charity shops and online vintage is where the real fun is in shopping — where’s the craic in getting the same stuff that everybody else has from ASOS?”
“The fact that shopping second-hand is a help to combatting the fast fashion beast is just a bonus.”
“Plus, the fact that shopping second-hand is a help to combatting the fast fashion beast is just a bonus. I got this leopard print blazer from online vintage site Imparfaite, which acts as a platform for French vintage sellers. I ordered it during their sale this summer (I think it was about 30 euro) and have been wearing it since. I firmly believe that leopard print is a neutral and that means that this blazer goes with everything, from dresses to jeans and t-shirt (like I have on here).”
Hannah Hillyer, Office Manager
“I bought these shoes at a designer re-seller ten years ago when I was 18. They’re Vivienne Westwood and were a style I had wanted for years, so when I spotted them second hand (but perfect) and massively discounted I had to have them.
“These are deliciously tacky and girly but I love to wear them.”
“They cost me a whole weeks wages at the time which was slightly outrageous but I just couldn’t leave them behind. The thing with buying vintage or second hand is that what you find is such a game of chance, there’s only one of everything so if you spot something like this that you love, it feels like fate and that you’re supposed to have it.
“These are deliciously tacky and girly but I love to wear them with all-black tailoring or a plain black dress with a red lip. They are the most cheerful thing in my wardrobe and make me smile when I look down at them. It’s just a shame they are so uncomfortable!”
Édaein O’ Connell, Staff Writer
“A few years back I would have been very much into vintage. It was the style of the 2011-2013 era but soon fell out of favour in fashion. Fast fashion and online shopping quickly took over and vintage was left to the wayside. It’s only in the last year that I have started to love vintage again. There is no better feeling than finding an absolute gem of a piece and knowing no one else will have it.”
“To you, it may look like a matadors jacket or that I might just fly away; but to me, it’s a fashion find.”
“This jacket was one of those lucky finds. On a recent trip to London, I visited Beyond Retro in Soho and after an hour of trawling through the rails, I came across this suede cropped jacket with shoulder pads and frills.
“To you, it may look like a matadors jacket or that I might just fly away; but to me, it’s a fashion find. It’s an ideal outerwear choice if you want to add a point of difference to an outfit. The key with vintage is being patient because it does take a while to find the good stuff. But when you do, it’s so worth it.”
Read more: The fast-fashion culture until I visited Asia
Read more: I thought I couldn’t afford sustainable fashion. I was wrong
Read more: The ugly side of fast fashion