Vintage Helps Save the Planet
While environmental issues are constantly multiplying, we are starting to become conscious of how our actions affect the environment: from the food we eat to the cars we drive. The clothing industry is one of the worst culprits when comes to harming the earth. Fast fashion releases harmful emissions and creates sweatshop labor— the clothing manufacturing process is destructive. This is just one of the major reasons to love vintage. Wanna help Mother Earth? Stop buying mass-produced clothing that not only affects our environment, but also makes you look like any other Dick or Jane. Here are a few interesting facts:
- The average conventional cotton t-shirt takes 150 grams of pesticides to produce.
- The average westerner’s annual clothing purchases account for about 1/2 the amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted by a small car!
- America throws away two quadrillion pounds of used clothing each year!
Vintage is Classic
You can buy a little black dress inspired by original classic vintage silhouettes from a department store, or you could buy a beautiful vintage original for half the cost and better made. Thanks to classic staples to cyclical trends, a little black dress never goes out of style.
Then there are those rare wardrobe pieces that leave the scene and then come back again. Peasant tops have come back into style for the new boho trend, and you can buy a mass-produced one from Free People for over $150, or you can buy an original version from a vintage shop for a much better price.
- Top Left: Mexican Hand Embroidered Blouse $68 from LoveFaustine
- Top Right: Sheer Cream Embroidered Peasant Blouse $33.75 from CarlaAndCarla
- Bottom Left: 1930’s Hungarian CROCHET peasant blouse $158 from NOIROHIOVINTAGE
- Bottom Right: 1940’s Hand Embroidered Antique Romanian Peasant Blouse $56.51 from 5678Vintage
It’s no secret that the fashion world’s top designers literally borrow many of their styles straight from vintage pieces. It’s extremely common for a designer to find a vintage dress, make a pattern from it, and sell it as their own. Industry insiders have always been hip to vintage— and for good reason. Take a hint from the pros and buy vintage.
Dress original. Mass production of clothing not only kills our environment and encourages poorly-made items, thousand of individuals are wearing the exact same garment. If you want express yourself in an authentic, unique way, then buying vintage is one of the best ways to so. It feels great wearing rare or one-of-a-kind pieces.
Vintage fashions are anywhere from 20 – 100 years old. For the most part, these older items were produced in much smaller quantities than the mass produced clothing of today. Let’s not forget that out of the small amount that were originally made, most aren’t around today. This is one of the main reasons why so many Hollywood celebrities wear vintage on the red carpets. Angelina Jolie doesn’t want to wear the same thing to this year’s Academy Awards that Katy Perry wore to last year’s Grammys so stars ask their stylists to find them something one of a kind— something vintage. Wearing vintage assures that you’ll stand out from the masses in a trendsetting outfit that accentuates your individuality.
It’s Made Better
Now that production is being out-sourced to other countries everyone is becoming more aware of the problems this causes, people are looking to support businesses that make their products in America. According to KQED News, in 1960, 95% of clothes were made in the U.S. and your average American household spent over 10% of its income on clothing and shoes – equivalent to roughly $4,000 today. The average person bought fewer than 25 garments each year. Today only 2% is made in America and the American household spends less than 3.5% of its budget on clothing and shoes – under $1,800. Yet, we buy more clothing than ever before: nearly 20 billion garments a year, close to 70 pieces of clothing per person… or more than one clothing purchase per week.
We used to have a ton of unions in America for producing clothing, and people spent money more on fewer garments— hence the quality was better. Now we want to spend less for more and the quality disappoints. When you buy vintage you buying quality and the majority is made in the country it was designed in.
I can not tell you how impressed I am with the beautiful garments I find and restore. As a designer I know and appreciate the quality of the patterning, fabrics, and construction. The crazy thing is that it’s available at an incredible price; I can sell a beautifully made vintage black classic taffeta dress for $150, yet when you go into Saks Fifth Avenue today and find a designer dress with the same classic silhouette it’s going for $2,900, and the quality is just not the same.
You’re Helping Small Business Owners
Like Me! I went to school for fashion and costume design and I have worked in both the costume world as well as the corporate garment world as a designer. I have personally seen how the modern fashion scene works and I left because simply doing my job went against everything I wanted to be and represent as an artist. I said good-bye to my consistent paycheck salary to have more time with my family, to live more simply, and to be my own boss… selling beautiful garments, accessories and jewelry that are quality and ethically made. I struggle living on a fluctuating income, yet I still find time to design and create one-of-a-kind costumes and fashion, and I’m happy to have peace of mind and a more relaxing lifestyle.
Vintage is an Investment
How many pieces of new clothing can you expect to keep their value? Unless you are spending a small fortune on haute couture, just like a new car, your clothes lose value the second you take the tag off of them. There is a collectible market for vintage clothing and many pieces have value that rises with time. Not every vintage garment is collectable, but many are. There will never be more 1950s wiggle dresses, 1960s Pucci silks, or 1970s high-waisted Levi’s bell bottoms made. Because they become harder and harder to find with time, they become more valuable as they grow older. Vintage is money well-spent!