The vintage shopping phenomenon

vintage stores in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco

As the pressure to reverse the damage caused on Earth intensifies, humans search for more solutions.

I've been taking a longer-than-intended-to break from writing these past couple of months, hoping to enjoy the first signs of summer. In California, the state has declared that masks are now optional for those who are vaccinated in the outdoors, and in many stores.

Because of this, I've notice a great change in society as a whole, how people have finally relaxed after a year of tension especially in public. Everywhere I go I feel like the population has doubled, with increasing traffic, crowds, and coffee shop lines.

But the rapid rate that we are now recovering from the pandemic reminds me of just how fast another change could occur. I had not thought of this for months even a year maybe, when a thought suddenly occurred.

We only have 8 years until the damage caused on Earth is irreversible.

As humans, I notice we tend to rely on other humans "somewhere out there" to cure problems that we do not fully understand the urgency of. Although the term "irreversible" in this case literally means the downfall of our planet, I notice even while talking to family and friends, we are quick to trust that someone has a solution.


The slightest effort can make a difference. To participate in slowing the damage on our Earth can be done with the slightest change in your daily life habits.

Walking through a crowded street in San Francisco, I notice an increasing amount of brands advertising their sustainability with large signs plastered on their windows, or even in small fonts on each clothing tag. But the green recycle sign on the thick paper tags are not what catches my eye really. Under all of the positive advertisement, a ridiculously long set of numbers is printed in bold black letters, daring the shoppers to challenge it.

I think to myself: "Does saving the planet have to cost us this much money?".

Of course not!!

Many younger parts of our society today have found an amazing solution: vintage shopping. Although the second hand clothing may not have originally been made sustainably, second hand shopping supports slow fashion work against the mass production of fast fashion clothing.

The fashion industry is now responsible for nearly 5 percent of global emissions, which means shopping for ethically made fashion is now essential in saving the planet.

The main reasons for this include: over 60 percent of fabric fibers being synthetics acquired from fossil fuels which are unable to decay ... and the costly 20,000 liters of water to make a pair of jeans and a tea shirt.

Shopping cool vintage clothing used to be something exclusive to urban cities and younger people; but now more than ever, it has transformed into something accessible for a diverse audience, from any age and financial budget. While some platforms carry the typical discounted second hand clothing one would find in a thrift store, others have taken to creating a boutique style vintage store, with up-cycled clothing, made to look new. There are even websites that exclusively sell luxury second hand fashion.

With vintage shopping becoming more accessible on a global scale, I assume it will become an easy solution for many to feel they are doing a part in helping to slow the damage caused on our home.

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