Brands such as Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo have managed to build their businesses to astronomical heights using the “fast-fashion” model but have caused irreversible damage to the environment in the process.
Consumers are quickly becoming aware of the effects that these brands are having on the environment and have turned to vintage fashion to help the environment.
Brands such as Shop Kilo, a West Yorkshire-based vintage fashion retailer, are, as a result, are competing with these harmful fast fashion brands by offering an ethical shopping experience with a unique selling point – selling second-hand garments on a ‘price per KG’ model.
Customers can buy vintage pieces online for £20 per kilo. The brand also hosts Live Kilo events across 45 cities in the UK, where shoppers can buy garments for £15 per KG. The Birmingham Live Kilo Event took place 1 May, at Secret Space in Digbeth.
Shop Kilo’s main values are centred around sustainability and affordability. Sarah Fyffe, a Marketing Assistant at Shop Kilo says: “we don’t compromise on working conditions, ethical standards or the environment in order to maintain our prices.”
“The Kilo has always been about keeping sustainable fashion accessible and affordable (even before sustainability came to the forefront of fashion)”.
According to Lyst’s Year in Fashion report for 2020: “In September, “vintage fashion” generated an average of more than 35k monthly searches , while online fashion searches for second-hand-related keywords increased 104%”.
With vintage clothing becoming more popular, the demand also increases, as do prices. Despite this, The Kilo still aims to keep their prices as low as possible. “Of course where there’s demand, there’s money to be made and that’s understandable, but the ‘gentrification’ of vintage and second hand fashion is completely at odds with what Shop Kilo has always stood for”.
There is still an existing stigma surrounding previously owned and worn garments that stops some from buying them.
30-year-old Rutendo Zulu, an avid vintage shopper doesn’t understand the stigma against vintage clothing. “Clothes are meant to be reworn hundreds of times, and a lot of the time, they are still in great condition so I don’t see the problem”
She added: “Look at how many styles and trends that were popular 20 or 30 years ago are being worn now. So what’s the point in buying them for double the price just because its new? That doesn’t help the environment at all”.
Shop Kilo, and other similar markets such as ASOS Marketplace, are helping contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious shopping experience, and proving that clothes can go on to have a second, third and fourth life.