Second-hand clothes: they are economical, they are sustainable, they are cool – and we like them. With the fashion industry ranked among the top polluters worldwide, here come second-hand shops, rehoming clothes and saving textile waste from landfill while minimising our carbon footprint!
Maybe you dash through North Laine trying to ignore the call of the clothes rails, or you’ve spent yet another year’s salary on materials (but have no regrets). Or perhaps you just love a retro look. Whatever, join us for a rundown of B-town’s vintage gems.
Probably the biggest retro store in town, this beloved warehouse brightens up the corner of Gloucester Road, providing a huge range of iconic vintage pieces including original 90s sportswear, pattern shirts and dungarees that aren’t to be missed. With both men and women’s wear available, finding that perfect one-off piece has never been easier. If you’re going for a head-to-toe vintage or shiny look, this is the treasure trove of quality second-hand goodies you should be heading to. This “vintage clothing heaven for the sartorially obsessed” is packed with over 10,000 unique hand-picked items. It also hosts events such as Great Escape sessions and wicked Halloween get-togethers.
Inside the popular Snooper’s Paradise emporium (itself awash with antiques, bric-a-brac and retro curios), lies Snooper’s Attic, an independent vintage boutique featuring about twenty makers, collectors and collaborators. Be it the perfect scarf, an old-fashioned dress or handcrafted jewellery, the shop’s selection of unique buys won’t let you down. Browse through a wide range of second-hand collections, take a selfie wearing a pair of those iconic 50s sunglasses and make the most of their photo booth on your way out. What a glamorous way to spend a Sunday morning, eh?
Starring Lee denim jeans and stylish accessorises, this vintage gem offers a plentiful supply of bargains for every occasion, with a dash of classic film chic. With rack upon rack of carefully curated pieces to feast your eyes (and legs?) on, Independent Rag takes you back to the heyday of shiny belts, hippie wide-leg pants and floral shirts. Suffice to say, it’s a go-to for a certain kind of cool. A true paradise of all things vintage, with generous discounts reaching 50% when the sun’s out. Not one to miss!
Despite its name Dirty Harry sells clean, natty clothes and festival accessories – snazzy bum bags, bandanas and belts. And it has been waylaying passers-by on Sydney Street for years. Whether you’re after a pair of All Stars or Levis, or maybe a maxi dress, this place has got it all. Spread over three floors, Dirty Harry can turn your shopping stroll into an immersive experience from another era. Do pop in on a weekday, if you can, to optimise your chances of finding that needle in the haystack without too much distraction!
To Be Worn Again
With two shops nestled in the heart of the town, To Be Worn Again have their goodies proudly hanging off the outdoor rails, making them hard to ignore. This place is the ideal stop-off for the vintage bargain of your dreams, with garments, footwear and accessories spanning the decades from the 40s onwards. Get your hands on Hawaiian three-quarter length trousers, 70s swimwear and striped skirts. Don’t forget to look out for their kilo sales held in their Worthing warehouse… Need we say more?
Flock is small, but boy has it got bang! Specialising in vintage bohemian offerings and handmade items, this shop is also located on Sydney Street and won’t fail to provide you, your partner, and that friend from London, with something special. From glittery bum bags to handcrafted pieces and retro watches, Flock supports a variety of talented local makers, featuring their intricate designs and unique creations made from reclaimed materials. Check out their blog for gift ideas and fancy festival outfits that smash it, and go follow them on social media for updates on their regular sale events and student discounts.
Not the social type? Fear not – you could check out the shops online. Who knows, you might be just a click away from finding the fashion era you truly belong in. Next time your inner materialistic self awakens, remember to go against fast fashion; remember to go vintage.
Words and photos by Maria Andreou