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What happens when we run out of vintage?

Updated: Apr 23




‘So what happens when all the vintage is gone?’ is the question a friend asked me innocently a few weeks ago, which is also something I've been thinking about ever since.


With 90’s aesthetic being so prominent in music and fashion right now (the 20-year-repeat rule is definitely a thing) and also with the fight for sustainability in fashion being so important, it’s a completely fair point to think; will we run out of vintage?


It seems like all over the shop (pun genuinely not intended) vintage and secondhand pop-ups and sellers are appearing at an increasing rate. Depop is thriving with millions of users worldwide, Ebay is the newest and coolest place to find original pieces, and charity shops up and down the country are being raided by stylish people searching for what are probably your nans’ old clothes. And it never seems to end.


Myself, almost to an annoying point being vintage-obsessed, have never stopped for even a minute to think where or who any of it comes from. I completely understand that in 2040, what people are buying and wearing right now in 2020 will be considered ‘vintage’. That is how it generally works.


What I just can’t wrap my head around is how anything new right now will be at all good enough to wear, let alone be considered vintage. With the state of fast fashion right now, low quality, cheap and heartbreakingly damaging to the earth pieces of fashion are being churned out scarily fast. That is why the idea that 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and all previous decades fashion will one day run out, and soon be replaced with our highstreet items now is to me, absurd.


More than anything this has created an even bigger image in my mind of how damaging the fashion industry - luxury or fast, really is to the environment. It is 100% better for the planet to shop secondhand, and I will continue to do so because of the sheer love I have for it as well as its environmental benefits. However, I do hope in the haze of this current trend of nostalgia and ‘throwbacks’ that the supply of genuinely good quality and well-made vintage pieces we have now, won’t run out before being thrown onto yet another landfill of sad and abandoned clothes.


Here are some links discussing in more depth sustainability in fashion:


https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvaud/1952/full-report.html

https://www.fastcompany.com/90347710/bad-news-the-fashion-industry-is-actually-slowing-down-on-sustainability

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/has-fashion-finally-got-sustainable-2019


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