Is Buying Vintage Really Saving The Environment? | We Vintage Skip to main content

Is Buying Vintage Really Saving The Environment? 

What are the true costs of fast fashion and what does it mean to buy vintage clothing instead of new? 

a collage describing the article visually

Vintage clothing is in the fashion spotlight - and with good reason. Yes, the older styles look better. Everyone wants that PERFECT oversized sweatshirt fit. But the main reason that even celebrities are ditching their cut and sewn winter warmers for pre-loved jackets? It's better for the environment to buy second-hand.  

New clothing production is killing the environment - especially water pollution from washing cotton during manufacturing processes. Synthetic materials such as polyester are heavily used. These plastic fibres can take over 200 years to decompose, which is shocking when 72% of our clothing contains these fibres.

Shopping vintage means you're buying items second-hand rather than new. Therefore, more clothing does not have to be made for you to add to your wardrobe. Reducing the negative impact on the environment by shopping vintage is a way to show you care about the planet whilst getting creative with your wardrobe.

Vintage Clothing is...

Images describing why vintage clothing is environmentally friendly alongside other beneifts

The Fashion Industry

Many modern fashion companies exploit worker rights - paying them poorly. They don't care for the planet. Vintage clothing sellers save garments from going to landfill. The fit of vintage is also much better than most items on today's market. After all, why pay today's inflated RRP when you can find a vintage steal, right?  Here's 3 facts about the fashion industry:

Companies burning unsold clothing even made the news in recent years. The biggest brands: Nike, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Urban Outfitters to name a few have been accused of doing so to 'maintain scarcity. It's also coincidentally cheaper for them to destroy their clothes - adding to increasing carbon emissions. Learn more >>

Sharing, repairing and recycling clothing are all becoming more commonplace, with Zoomers and Alphas learning more about sustainability during their education. Notably, Greta Thunberg is someone who champions sustainability - speaking out against modern fast fashion and a supporter of the vintage clothing trend. Shopping vintage not only combats the environmental impacts of clothing production, but it stands against worker exploitation. Both are horrendous practices. 

Shia LaBeouf wearing a vintage outfit aesthetic

Pop culture icon Shia LaBeouf sports a vintage aesthetic regularly. The final boss thrift store champion, Shia, is a perfect example of looking good second-hand. But why is thrifting cool? The fashion market is heading towards a more circular economy, with vintage clothing resale at the forefront of this. Thrifting is fun and you find some vintage gems at unbelievable prices... 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does vintage clothing fit? Vintage clothing doesn't follow modern sizing rules. If it fits you well - go off measurements, not what's on the label. Two vintage jumpers can be the same size and fit entirely different. Vintage clothing is sized on the collection at the time. Look at Length and Chest measurements listed by the seller, and consider how well it will fit you before buying, or try it on for size! Taking your usual size is the way to go if you're starting out and can't get a good feel for the product before buying. 

How is it so cheap?
Thrift stores sell at super affordable prices to move vintage garments on and make money for their respective charities. Vintage reseller companies often buy damaged or unclean vintage clothes and fix them up to be as good as new, passing the saving on to the customer. Just because they're second-hand does not mean they are unfit for wear - and vintage market price tags reflect condition, age and scarcity.  

Is it real? It can be hard to tell whether vintage clothing is real, especially when it is designer. Over the years, bootlegs and replicas were popular amongst streetwear enthusiasts on a budget, so it's essential that you do your research before buying so you don't get stung with a fake item from a dodgy seller. We Vintage only sells authentic items which are individually authenticated by experts in the industry. 

Celebrity Trend Setters

Celebrities are always in the public eye. They're often associated with looking stylish and beautiful and thus, what they wear and how they wear it sets trends for their followers to imitate. So let's take a look at which major celebrities have adopted the vintage clothing trend, helping to skyrocket its popularity with the new generations of shoppers...

Kim Kardashian wearing a black puffer jacket from The North Face

Kim Kardashian. A-Lister Kim has 300M+ Instagram followers and her own TV shows. This fashion icon has been spotted wearing a black North Face puffer jacket running errands. She often opts for vintage high-end when frequenting the runways and social occasions, usually seen wearing vintage Versace and The North Face... 

Drake sent the media into frenzy when he sported this Fall 1991 Yohji Yamamoto jacket at The Nice Guy in LA when meeting friends.

Drake wearing a leather jacket
Kendall Jenner wearing a grey puffer form The North Face

Kendall Jenner opted into the craze for vintage puffer jackets from The North Face, often seen in the super rare Brown puffer and classic Grey 1996 Nuptse. 

Bella Hadid rocks an emerald green 1996 Nuptse from The North Face after COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were lifted. Normcore New Balance and distressed vintage pants complete this 80s - 90s aesthetic.

Bella Hadid wearing a green North Face puffer jacket


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