You know the top I mean: white, with criss cross lines. It took forever to get one and you watched the batwing trend arrive, hoping it wouldn’t be another rara skirt situation. But finally you were allowed to buy one and you wear it proudly, posing like Madonna in her ‘Get Into the Groove’ video with your arms held high, showing off the fact that you, too, are current and trendy.
Where is it now? Probably for sale in a vintage shop somewhere. This is the thing, Bee, you own something that one day will attract a premium price because it is an Eighties Original. Sought After.
Who knew that what you see as standard fashion fare will one day be prized by teenagers who want that added something extra in their wardrobes. Doesn’t matter that it’s faded, ripped, pilled or threadbare – the more of that the better. Even brand new fashion is catching onto this, selling us ripped and frayed jumpers at full price.
I could be cynical about all this Bee; I could say ‘what goes around comes around’ and dismiss it as yet another trend that will come and go.
But I hope it doesn’t. Because actually I’m glad that what was once seen as just charity shop territory is now becoming mainstream. Where second hand was once stigmatised as ‘dirty and smelly’ and therefore worthless, is now labelled ‘vintage’, ‘preloved’ and desired for bringing a unique sense of style. OK, so these clothes might cost a bit more than your average charity shop bargain, but if someone is choosing a vintage hoodie over a brand new one, I’m celebrating.
Why? Here’s a couple of reasons:
- It’s a sign that recycling is becoming part of our culture. No longer just the preserve of the Germans, re-using and repurposing what would once have been consigned to the bin is so much better for our environment, our resources and our creativity too. You know as well as I do Bee: I though this day would never come.
- If someone is buying vintage, they’re not using their consumer power to fund the profits of companies who exploit their workers to make clothing as cheap as possible. Profit is king, and its slaves are most often young women like you, Bee, but they are unseen, unheard and unheeded. They are the ones sewing the seams and attaching the buttons to our clothes that are here one day and thrown away the next. We need a fashion revolution to change this; part of this is choosing wisely where your precious pounds are spent.
So, Bee, enjoy that rummaging, because one day those charity shop skills won’t be looked down on; they’ll be the key to getting the precious vintage finds that’ll mark you out as truly unique. And in the meantime, love those batwings!