Six feel good reasons to shop vintage and pre-loved fashion
From designer bargains to caring for the planet, here’s why vintage fashion reigns supreme
words Sophie Lou Wilson
Gorgeous gorgeous girls (and guys) shop vintage. Whether you spend more time on Brick Lane or Depop, we don’t need to tell you that the pre-loved fashion market is booming. The pre-loved economy in the UK grew an estimated £6.5 billion last year alone, a 48% jump since 2020. There once was a stigma attached to wearing second hand clothes, but these days there’s nothing cooler than riffing “It’s vintage” when someone asks where you got your coat from.
For some, there’s no better way to spend a weekend than gliding up and down Kingsland High Street or popping into various charity shops in search of some one-of-a-kind fashion gems. But if you’d rather spend your Saturday mornings in bed or you find combing through rails physically exhausting, you can shop pre-loved online instead.
While SYLK’s physical boutique is in Manchester, you don’t have to go in-person to snap up some of their hand-curated designer finds. The founders, who bonded over their love of vintage clothes, started the label out of their tiny London bedrooms in 2016. From iconic Burberry trench coats to Dior sunglasses, their carefully curated selection of vintage finds focuses on gender-neutral, minimalist aesthetics that make them feel truly timeless. Hand-sourced locally where possible and coming in biodegradable packaging, the garments are selected with an aim to encourage more conscious shopping habits without sacrificing on style. It’s a firm favourite among influencers, including Molly-Mae Hague.
Meanwhile, our pre-loved edit from ROTARO extends the life cycle of clothes previously loved by the rental community. ROTARO is a rental fashion platform that offers another more conscious way to shop, discouraging quick purchases that you only wear once. A special selection of colourful shirts and patterned dresses is available to buy and keep forever so you can extend the life cycle of pieces that have been rented before.
Another thing to love about vintage is that every piece comes with a story. All the best jewellery has sentimental value, so if you’re looking for some bling with a history behind it, check out the fun vintage collection from independent fine jewellery brand, Pawnshop. Their pieces are sourced locally in the UK and you can find gems from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s that have been professionally cleaned and chosen for their unique style. Whether you want a chunky new ring or a one-of-a-kind pendant, these eye-catching pieces are sure to have the compliments rolling in.
But shopping pre-loved is about more than just finding the coat/dress/jewellery of your dreams – although it’s a great feeling when you do! There are so many feel good reasons to opt for vintage fashion. These positive feelings can extend well beyond the moment of purchase. So, below we’ve rounded up six reasons why pre-loved fashion is the gift that keeps on giving.
It’s better for the environment
We all want to do our bit to save the planet. Ditching fast fashion, or at least reducing your consumption of it is an easy, actionable change you can take. Shopping pre-loved lets you extend the life cycle of clothes and helps divert them from landfill. Recycling and reusing clothes means fewer polluting resources are being used to make brand new pieces. So, you can get the thrill of a new purchase without a guilty conscience – it’s a win/win really.
You can get designer fashion for cheaper
Some designer pieces never go out of style. Unfortunately, this means they rarely go on sale either. That’s where vintage resellers come in. If you dream of owning a nylon Prada handbag, for instance, buying it new might be a little beyond your budget, but buying it vintage is just about within reach. Result!
You can get one-of-a-kind pieces
Avoid that sinking feeling of arriving at an event to realise that you’re wearing the exact same outfit as someone else. If you want to find something that none of your friends have, pick out a vintage look. Not only can you experiment with mixing different styles and eras, but the experimentation will also bring you closer to settling on that all elusive personal style.
You never know what you might find
While most fast fashion retailers cycle through the same recognisable styles and trends, vintage shopping is more of a surprise. You might fall in love with a quirky clown charm, a fluffy mohair jumper or a dress with pigeons on it. It’s just as much fun shopping for the clothes as it is wearing them when they arrive.
It’s an investment
It might sound pretentious, but if you start thinking of your wardrobe as less of a wardrobe and more of an archive, you’ll probably think more about the purchases you make. Vintage fashion is an investment and the value of certain items can go up over time meaning you might be able to sell clothes on for more, or kindly pass them down to younger family members in the future if you’re feeling generous.
The clothes are better quality
The quality of new clothing is getting worse as fast fashion giants cut corners to keep costs low and race to keep up with microtrends. The good news is that you can still access the older, better quality stuff from vintage retailers. You might think that something second hand will have a shorter lifespan, but really the opposite is true. An investment vintage coat could last you a lifetime.
It comes with a story
Sure, you can order brand new clothes online, but where’s the fun in that? Pre-loved clothes come with a story, whether that’s the day you bought your favourite jumper at a vintage store you stumbled upon in Paris or how your new dress initially came from a rental platform. Rather than just saying a brand name and leaving it at that, pre-loved fashion can be a conversation starter.
Products are selected independently by our editors from the Woo online store, a carefully curated platform for feel good fashion, beauty, wellness and lifestyle, as well as externally. Discover more here.
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