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The revival of vintage: Everything you need to know to be thrift-savvy

CMS 120A Capstone Project

Wed, Apr 20th 2022 03:25 pm

Good things come to those who thrift

By Megan Axelson and Maria Bargnes

Special to Niagara Frontier Publications

What is Vintage Fashion?

“Vintage” is a term used (in fashion) to describe old clothing made between 20 and 100 years ago.

However, for a piece of apparel to qualify as vintage, it must comprise stylistic elements relevant to the trends of those times. Items older than 100 years are described as “antique.”

The term "vintage" is used to describe clothing between 20 and 100 years old that is also clearly representative of the era in which it was produced. It could be said that to be called vintage the piece should strongly reflect styles and trends associated with that era.

•1970s: Platforms, Birkin bag, flare jeans, boho-chic, boots (especially thigh-high), block heels, khaki

•1980s: Izod golf shirts, gold chains, blazers and sweaters with strong shoulder pads, stilettos

•1990s: Baggy flannel shirts, leggings, big sweaters, chokers

How Did It Become So Popular?

The accessibility of used clothing is so much easier to get your hands on versus traditional shopping in malls or stores that are known for fast fashion.

”The popularity of vintage has come through education, and it’s a response to fast fashion”  Frank Akinsete said.

Vintage fashion became so popular because of the education and the facts that were shown to various communities.

Business took advantage of this new era of fashion and started selling clothes and unique finds from years and years before.

The Goals of Vintage Fashion

Vintage clothing is good for the environment, because the clothes already exist. No new resources or energy has been used to create them, while the only carbon footprint left by vintage fashion is that of transportation and minimal repairs.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a more sustainable source for the clothing and fashion industry

What is Fast Fashion?

“Fast fashion is a relatively new phenomenon in the industry that causes extensive damage to the planet, exploits workers, and harms animals,” said Solene Rauturier, a publisher for the website goodonyou.eco.

Fast fashion is cheap and resembles trendy clothing that is promoted greatly throughout our culture.

This type of fashion is produced at such high rates to meet marketing and consumer demand. Take places like SHIEN, for example. It mass produces and at a high demand. It is also promoted widely throughout social media and all over the world. The brand makes it easy and affordable to buy clothing and have it shipped right to your doorstep.

Goodonyou also explains, “The idea is to get new styles on the market as fast as possible, so shoppers can snap them up while they are still at the height of their popularity and then, sadly, discard them after a few years.”

It is almost normal in a sense; it is what we are used to.

How do we break that barrier?

Hoping on the New Wave

A poll was recently conducted among the students of Niagara University, asking two questions: “Do you own any pieces of thrifted clothing?” And, “Have you ever donated any clothing items?”

Out of 81 votes, 88% said yes to owning thrifted clothes, while 12% said they do not. Out of 86 votes, 93% said they have donated, while 7% have not.

It was interesting to see how many people have taken part not only in thrifting, but also the process.

In order to be able to have the clothes to thrift, you first need people to donate them, right?

In addition, three girls from Niagara University were selected at random to be interviewed on the concept of vintage fashion.

Hannah Matthews was the first to be questioned. She was asked, “Do you know what vintage fashion is?”

 She stated, “Of course I do. It has been becoming more and more popular from what I have heard. I see a lot of Instagram accounts popping up on my feed related to vintage fashion and thrifting. I think it is pretty cool that people are starting to catch on to this trend more and more.”

She proceeded to say, “A great thrifting Instagram page I like to scroll around on is fionasfitzz, which is managed by a girl named Fiona Jordan. On this page, she features clothing articles that she has thrifted and sells them to her followers. It’s a cute page everyone should go check it out ”

The second individual to be interviewed was Lucy Piscitelli. She was posed with the question, “Do you like to thrift?” She added, “Yes, I do. It is fun and affordable. In all honesty, being a college student you have to know how to spend your money wisely, and thrifting is a great way to do that.”

The third and final student was Kara Klinski. She was asked, “How should the barrier of fast shopping be broken?”

She exclaimed, “Unfortunately, I do not believe that it will ever truly be fully broken. I do, however, believe that vintage shopping is on the rise. I think it is a new trend, and social media has definitely helped play a big part in making this type of shopping more popular.”

Diving into the social media aspect, she mentioned,”I see all over TikTok and Instagram these influencers that say they have thrifted items when their followers ask where they may have gotten a specific clothing item. I think seeing celebrities say they have thrifted makes it easier for their followers to go out and do the same. However, there are still going to be your standard individuals who choose the fast fashion option.”

Some Places to Check Out

If you are a college student from Niagara and looking to hop on the trend, some places you could check out are The Goodwill and The Salvation Army. These places offer a variety of clothing that will help your wardrobe and your pocket out.

The Ultimatum

To thrift or not to thrift? The choice is ultimately up to you. If you partake in thrifting, you are:

Reducing waste

Creating one-of-a kind wardrobe

Purchasing high-quality goods for lower prices

Supporting your community

So what will it be? The decision is yours.






Niagara Frontier Publications works with the Niagara University communication studies department to publish the capstone work of students in CMS 120A-B.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of NFP, NU or the communication studies department. Moreover, every effort has been made to adhere to the principles of journalism, encourage the proper use of sources, and discourage anything that would constitute plagiarism.

Comments or concerns can be sent to the NFP editorial department, care of the managing editor.

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