Thrift Shopping

Miceala O’ Donavan provides an insight into thrift store shopping, sovaldi saving more than just a few euro

mind serif; font-size: small;”>Have you noticed how the economic recession has affected fashion? Given ever-tightening clothing budget restrictions, cheap it’s pretty lucky that its cool to customize your own clothes again, grow your mousy roots out until they look “ombre” and lust after anything that looks like it was made in the 90’s. All you have to do is raid the attic. The vintage look is firmly in style and it’s not just super hipsters who are getting in on the action anymore – how many pairs of Levi cut-off inspired shorts did you spot in any high street shop this week?

The vintage look has become so popular that many shops have started creating new clothes designed to look old. If you have been rolling your sleeves up and delving through all the insane clothes in your local second hand shop to find the treasure underneath, props to you. But if you’re one of those sillies who have been heading to American Apparel or Urban Outfitters to spend four times more on your Grandpa jumpers you need to read on.

It can be difficult to convince some people that they need to shake off their “that’s icky” feelings about the concept of second hand clothes. You might be freaked out by the thought that someone might have died in that sweet little embroidered cardigan or by the dubious blood-like stain on that fringed leather jacket. But come on, loving the vintage look but not having the guts to actually wear it is pretty, well, lame. Would you rather wear something bland, straight from the factory and replicated enough times to guarantee seeing it on someone taller than you who weighs less? Or would you choose something unique, with character and a mysterious past? And if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all wanted to drop a “thanks darling, its vintage” at least once.

Plus there’s a lot more to be said for vintage clothes than personality. They may be old, but in the past, clothes were made to last. We’re living in an era of “fast fashion” where replicating catwalk looks as quickly as possible is the main agenda for many high street shops. It’s exciting that everyone has access to red hot trends straight from the designer, but inevitably, this has a detrimental effect on quality. A lot of the stuff you’ll find in your local charity shop is probably in better condition than that Penney’s dress you bought a few months ago.

Unfortunately, bargain prices can also come with the cost of being a product of unfair labour. Even with the more expensive brands it can be a nasty shock to learn about the reality of the working conditions the clothes are made in. And there can be no denying that the “disposable fashion” industry takes a toll on the environment like every other. Heading to the bottle bank is one way to contribute. Recycling your dresses from the 1940’s, hats from the 50’s, handbags from the 60’s and shoes from the 70’s is a lot more interesting. 

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