Meet VP: A little bit of Rita...
Who Are You?
I’m a 24yo yo-pro with a serious love for all things vintage. My day job is in the digital world - I worked in fashion retail for about 4 years, which definitely played into me discovering the wonderful world of vintage and second hand clothing.
I’m a chronic creative in my spare time, which means I hold a “master of none” title with several crafts and hobbies. I get really involved in one project (hi, the baby blanket I started making 18 months ago for a baby who is now one) and then I spy something new and I’m hooked on that instead. Pun not intended re: my crochet hobby but it is definitely appreciated. I just discovered digital art so heyyyy new hobby!
I’ve always liked thrifting. I don’t think any jackets I’ve bought myself have been new - leather and wool are so expensive new, and the construction usually isn’t as good as small production ‘80s items anyway. I also really love the idea of finding something unique and no one else having that exact item (yes, I’m that person).
I started thrifting in earnest because I was slowly getting more and more uncomfortable with my consumer habits - buying something and then not wearing it, or having to replace it in a short time because it didn’t last well. New fashion just doesn’t have good construction quality. In NZ in particular I think we leaned into fast fashion so heavily from the ‘90s onwards, and you can really tell when you’re op-shopping or thrifting. You can find some amazing ‘80s stuff that’s made from beautiful fabric (silks, heavy denim, linen) in near perfect condition, but you can’t really find anything as good after that because the quality isn’t there. That's where you have to really search for it.
I’ve been consciously buying either sustainable or second hand clothing for about a year now. Since second hand is much cheaper, I’d say about 90% of what I wear now falls into that bracket.
Any Tips For Newbies?
Buying second hand isn’t as scary as it seems. I think people have this idea that it’s really hard to find something, and they just want to go out and strike gold every time… but I don’t think you’d strike gold every time even if you were buying new.
Sometimes a shop has what you want and sometimes it doesn’t (kind of like the 50/50 chance of the McDonald’s frozen Coke machine working). Just take a deep breath and come back another day - you’ll find things you love, I promise! And if you’re stuck for inspiration, I do know a certain small business who can hook you up…