VIN­TAGE VAL­OUR – ex­plor­ing the ben­e­fits of sec­ond-hand shop­ping

Jes­sica-belle Greer un­packs sec­ond­hand cloth­ing’s stylish and sus­tain­able re­tail re­nais­sance.

Simply You Style - - Con­tents -

Liv­ing in a coun­try once rel­a­tively re­mote from the malls of the world, many New Zealan­ders used to count on sec­ond-hand shop­ping to de­liver niche in­ter­na­tional de­signer brands. Yet even though al­most any la­bel can now be de­liv­ered at the touch of a but­ton, pre-owned cloth­ing is even more preva­lent to­day.

Whether stock­ing a lead­ing la­bel’s pre­vi­ous sea­sons or vin­tage pieces – con­sid­ered to be items 20 or more years old – the num­ber of high-end re­sellers is in­creas­ing. After watch­ing her par­ents build pop­u­lar na­tional re­sale out­post Re­cy­cle Bou­tique, Aimee Egdell opened sec­ond-hand store Tatty’s, which is now in two Auck­land lo­ca­tions. “It’s part of our cul­ture to make use of what we have and think out­side the box,” she says. “Sec­ond-hand shop­ping is a way to do this.”

With sus­tain­abil­ity a ma­jor fo­cus of the 21st cen­tury, a wider range of peo­ple are also cot­ton­ing on to the need to re­home their clothes to avoid wastage. “Shop­ping sec­ond hand is now not only con­sid­ered ac­cept­able, but a pos­i­tive choice to make,” says Egdell. “Re­cy­cling is a way to bring about change – en­vi­ron­men­tally, eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially.”

Me­laina New­port-karaitiana, owner-op­er­a­tor of Napier’s Aroha and Friends, says she sells a se­lec­tion of pre-loved pieces along­side new-sea­son stock as part of the store’s eth­i­cal agenda and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the in­dus­try. “It’s re­ally im­por­tant that you’re re­duc­ing the amount of cloth­ing that’s end­ing up in land­fills,” she says. “You’re valu­ing the hours of craft that go into high­fash­ion pro­duc­tion, be­yond the fresh new ticket price.”

One of the orig­i­nal sec­ond-hand des­ti­na­tions in Auck­land, Scot­ties Re­cy­cle has been cu­rat­ing de­signer cast-offs since 1999. Co-owner Sonja Batt cites both sus­tain­abil­ity and the thrill of the chase as key to its suc­cess. “Its pop­u­lar­ity has grown con­sid­er­ably due to the ex­cite­ment of find­ing the un­ex­pected, and the abil­ity to pur­chase a de­signer item at a frac­tion of the cost.”

Eclec­tic store Zig­gu­rat opened in Welling­ton in the 1980s and cur­rent cus­to­dian Kate Bryant says an in­crease in aware­ness of the ben­e­fits of buy­ing sec­ond-hand has en­hanced its pop­u­lar­ity. It’s the best way to find a one-of-a kind piece ready to walk out the door in, she says. “When shop­ping in a place like Zig­gu­rat, I’ve done all the work for you. Each item is hand-picked for its unique­ness.” With shop­pers now hap­pily mix­ing high-end and high-street for a new kind of fash­ion cred, styling gar­ments from col­lec­tions past as well as the cur­rent sea­son is a fun way to add cre­ative flair to your look. Take a se­quinned retro top teamed with a pair of jeans, for ex­am­ple. No longer just a night-time look, com­bine it with flats and sim­ple ac­ces­sories for an ex­cuse to wear sec­ond-hand shine any­time.

An in­crease in retro and vin­tage ap­pre­ci­a­tion means there’s never been a bet­ter time to pe­ruse these bou­tiques. Pas­sion­ate re­tail­ers are more ded­i­cated than ever to de­liv­er­ing the tri­fecta sec­ond-hand shop­pers seek: high-qual­ity, in­ter­est­ing pieces at a rea­son­able price.

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