Vegan Wonder

Unlock the Timeless Allure of Vintage Fashion: A Sustainable and Vegan-Friendly Treasure Trove

If your closet is in need of a serious wardrobe upgrade and you’re looking to make eco-friendly and compassionate choices, consider stepping into the thrilling world of vintage fashion. You’ll be surprised by the gems you’ll uncover – not only in terms of unique styles but also the positive impact on the environment.

What Exactly is Vintage Fashion?

Before we dive into the alluring universe of vintage fashion, let’s clarify some terms:

  • Vintage: Generally refers to clothes that are 20 or more years old. Think of it as a way to wear a piece of history.
  • Retro: Refers to items inspired by trends of the past but are not originally from that era. Retro can also be applied to items that are not 20 years old but still have a vintage feel.
  • Secondhand: Can refer to any used item, including clothes, furniture, and more. It does not necessarily mean the item is vintage or retro.

So, what makes vintage fashion so alluring? It could be the nostalgia we feel when we wear an item that reminds us of our past. It could be the unique story behind each piece. Or it could simply be that vintage clothes are often made of higher quality materials than what we find in stores today.

The Sustainable Advantage of Vintage

One of the biggest reasons to embrace vintage fashion is its sustainability. According to a report by the United Nations, the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. When you buy vintage, you are reducing the demand for newly produced clothes, which in turn reduces the amount of new clothing that needs to be produced.

Shopping vintage also supports local and independent businesses, such as thrift stores and consignment shops, and online markets that specialize in selling pre-owned items.

Vintage Fashion: A Vegan-Friendly Approach

Another great reason to fall in love with vintage fashion? It’s a vegan-friendly approach to building a wardrobe. Many vintage clothes are made from plant-based fabrics like cotton and linen. And while some vintage pieces may be made from animal-derived materials like leather and wool, they are typically not newly produced and therefore do not contribute to the demand for animal suffering.

Instead, vegans can look for vintage items made from sustainable fabrics, like:

  • Cotton made from organic or recycled materials
  • Linen made from flax plants
  • Hemp fabric
  • Silk made from plant-based sources (more on this later)

There are also plenty of vegan vintage accessories to choose from, like:

  • Handbags made from faux leather or plant-based fabrics
  • Shoes made from materials like canvas, rubber, or cork
  • Jewelry made from plastic or plant-based materials like bamboo and jute

By shopping vintage, vegans can embrace a cruelty-free fashion lifestyle while also reducing their carbon footprint.

Iconic Vintage Fashion Eras

Vintage fashion covers a wide range of styles and trends, many of which have become iconic. Here are just a few of the most popular vintage fashion eras:

The Roaring Twenties

The 1920s were all about the flapper look: short bobbed hair, long drop earrings, and dresses that showed off the new “straight cut” figure. This era also introduced us to the little black dress and the cloche hat.

Mid-Century Modern (1940s-1960s)

During the 1940s, women’s fashion was influenced by World War II rationing, leading to a focus on practical styles. The 1950s brought us full skirts, pencil skirts, and capri pants. The 1960s introduced the mini skirt and the shift dress.

The Groovy Seventies

This decade was all about bold patterns and colors. Bell-bottom pants, platform shoes, and tie-dye shirts were all the rage. Feminist activism also played a role in fashion, with women embracing pantsuits and wearing their hair naturally.

Today, we can incorporate these vintage fashion trends into our modern wardrobes by:

  • Mixing them with contemporary pieces
  • Accessorizing with vintage flair

Sourcing and Styling Vintage Fashion

Now that you know all about the allure of vintage fashion, it’s time to start building your collection. Here are some tips for sourcing and styling vintage fashion:

Navigating the Vintage Market

There are a few different ways to find vintage fashion:

  • Thrift stores: These are often run by nonprofits, so your shopping supports a good cause. You never know what hidden gems you’ll find!
  • Consignment shops: These stores sell gently used clothes that have been donated by individuals. They often specialize in higher-end brands and items in good condition.
  • Online vintage marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Poshmark, and ThredUP make it easy to shop for vintage fashion from the comfort of your own home. Just be sure to read the seller’s return policy before making a purchase.

When shopping in person, keep in mind that vintage clothes were made to last and are often different from what you find in stores today. So don’t be afraid to try on different sizes and styles. If you’re not sure what size you were in the past, it can be helpful to bring a measuring tape with you.

Vintage Fashion Styling Tips

The great thing about vintage fashion is that it allows you to accentuate your unique style. Whether you prefer retro prints, timeless classics, or quirky one-of-a-kind pieces, there’s a vintage item out there for you. And because vintage clothing is often made from higher quality materials, it can last for decades with proper care.

One of the best ways to incorporate vintage fashion into your wardrobe is by:

  • Mixing vintage and contemporary pieces
  • Accessorizing with vintage flair

For example, you might wear a vintage dress with modern sneakers or a pair of vintage jeans with a contemporary top. Or you could add vintage jewelry or a vintage handbag to your outfit for a pop of personality.

Another way to make vintage fashion work for you is by:

  • Learning how to size vintage clothing: Many vintage items were made to a different sizing standard than what is used today. So it can be helpful to learn about the sizing of different vintage fashion eras.
  • Being open to alterations: If you find a vintage piece you love but it’s not quite the right size, consider getting it altered. Many tailors and seamstresses specialize in working with vintage clothing.

The Future of Vintage Fashion

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for sustainable fashion. Millennials and Gen Z are leading the charge, with many young people choosing to shop secondhand in order to reduce their carbon footprint and support ethical clothing practices.

As more people turn away from fast fashion and toward more sustainable options, vintage fashion is poised to become a go-to choice for those looking to build a timeless, ethical wardrobe. By embracing the circular economy and the unique stories that come with each vintage item, we can all do our part to make the fashion industry a more sustainable and compassionate place.