If you’re on Facebook you know that you get ads all the time for websites like Temu and Shein and all sorts of stores where they’re advertising the latest fashions that you can pick the up for pennies on the dollar and there is a constant rotating stock of items that you can buy. The clothes are made for 1 wear or 2 wears and you can’t dry clean them or anything and they just kind of fall apart. These websites have started a ‘fast fashion’ movement. The concept of fast fashion being that a designer comes up with something and then it instantaneously gets produced around the world. As a consumer, you think ‘I’d like to look fashionable’ and you’re tempted to pull that trigger and order this ‘fast fashion’ or head to a store that caters to this movement, like the big mall stores or chains where there is a continuous rotating of these new fashions.
But what is this ‘Fast Fashion’ really promoting? A vendor that specializes in the resale of vintage clothing made the point that if someone subscribes to the ‘Fast Fashion’ methodology of buying clothing they should not then be talking about their concern for the environment, their concern for feminism or their concern for living wages because these concerns and ‘Fast Fashion’ can not co-exist.
Those are pretty interesting points when you think about it because how these ‘Fast Fashion’ items produced so inexpensively? The companies externalize the process of things like paying living wages or they externalize the process of making sure that the environment is cared for as these items are produced.
So, something to think about is the idea of ‘Slow fashion’.
‘Slow Fashion’ refers to paying attention to how things are/were made. It refers to the consumption of pre-existing items. Vintage or ‘Slow Fashion’ is not contributing to the overall degradation of the environment. A lot of times you can find things that are classically oriented and made for all sorts of body shapes and sizes and you can then acquire clothing that looks unique to the things that you like. There is also something different about buying vintage clothing where you know that the items have lasted 20, 30, 40 or 50 years already. They have endured handwashing and drying out on clotheslines and it’s they are still here!!!
There are also items that are being reproduced by the ‘Fast Fashion’ industry because they are popular. For example, Vintage T-Shirts. If you’re a t-shirt person you know that chain stores are reproducing t-shirts from the 80’s, why? Because they’re popular.
The antique and vintage malls that sell vintage clothing encourage you to think about whether there are vintage pieces you’d like to wear and be happy to wear. Consider that shopping at vintage stores is an alternative to the mindless shopping that we all do online and at the chain stores.
Shopping vintage gives us the opportunity to keep things out of landfills that don’t belong there, find new things we love and do it in a way that’s sustainable.
This is really what St. Louis Antique mall is about.