Hola amigos! This week, we’re going to give you some reasons why we reckon it’s pretty choice to deck yourself out in ‘pre-loved’, (or as the Fashion Kids say, ‘vintage’) gears. Reasons to do this are great in number, so we’ve compiled a compact list in handy bullet point format!
We’re sure that if you come to the clothes swap this week at uni you will meet some new, cool like-minded individuals. These people are just friends you haven’t met yet… Clothes swaps are a great way to bond with your mates, and will help to increase solidarity in your group of friends! It’s a great reason to have your pals around for a pot-luck dinner and a few drinks. You could add a theme as well, Swiss Retro maybe?
Reducing Our Ecological Footprint:
This world is filled with pre-loved goods of high quality, yet many of us are all too eager to keep on buying, simply for the fun of it. It takes a considerable amount of energy to produce clothes, not to mention ship them over to us, and this is often not reflected in the price we pay as consumers in the more ‘developed’ world.
Doin’ it for the People:
Another cost that the price of our clothes often doesn’t fairly represent is the labour that has gone into production. Most of the big global brands like Nike and Reebok, and even ‘local’ companies like Glassons, outsource their labour to countries where they can get away with paying workers less than a living wage. If you need new stuff, choose ‘fair trade’ brands where you can, like No Sweat shoes or American Apparel, or better still, locally produced goods to support local business. Chances are it’ll be better quality than its low quality made-in-China equivalent! Op-shops, of course, are super-cheap and good on your social conscience as well, with the money made usually going to charity (and you get to befriend cool old ladies in the process; maybe they will ask you round for scones!)
Buying second-hand clothes is exhilarating. Rooting through the bargain bins like a bush pig searching for truffles can often give the shopper a well-earned sense of satisfaction. Co-authors’ personal recommendations: include the Carterton and Wanganui Salvation Armies, where cool old Smurfs curtains and a royal blue velvet blazer were purchased. You can also find some choice stuff for your flat dress-up box… (what do you mean you don’t have a flat dress-up box? They are a flat asset!) Also, in the event of that really great find, you can always make a few dollars on them down at the slightly schwanky “boutique” pre-loved clothes shops, like Ziggurat.
Seriously though, clothes are important. Pretty much everyone wears them! Take responsibility for what you buy and for the environmental and social impact of the production of it. Read the labels next time you’re perusing the racks. Even if you weren’t the one with the bright idea of outsourcing manufacturing to sweatshops, by buying products made there you are indirectly encouraging those practices. Ask any economist to give you a spiel on supply and demand – and demand local or fair trade clothing!
If you are keen to exchange some of your old clothes for a small koha to Gecko, sack up those old cargo pants and checkered grunge shirts from days gone by and bring them to the quad this Wednesday 5th April for some goodness. Chur.