We all heard the term pivot a lot shortly after March 2020. Every industry scrambling to evolve in a short period of time. Laying off most of their employees. The fashion industry was not spared from the evolution. Some might argue it was good for the industry to take a break and reconsider what people really need and want.
Young millennials with a passion for fashion were left with no choice but to pivot themselves when they were laid off from their jobs. Some turned lemons into lemon aid. Like Kez from Papa Love Vintage (@papalovevintage). A cute fashionista with a love for all things vintage and an advocate for sustainability. Though not in the same respect as what we have grown accustomed to. Kez turned a very part-time vintage clothing business into a full time gig, eventually leaving her server role at a popular restaurant and exchanging that lifestyle for fun live markets, online sales, and running a studio space that doubles as brick and mortar retail and a place to store her finds. She also uses it to host bi-weekly art shows!
The Toronto fashion industry will change because of people like Kez and her peers, like Jill. A 20 something fashionista from Guelph. Jill was a buyer for a 2nd hand store before she lost her job due to Covid. She quickly realized she wanted to turn her life passion buying and selling vintage into a business. So now she takes advantage of all the markets and studio events. She has taken her business to Instagram (@sadbutradvintage) selling unique pieces on the social platform.
If you are wondering if vintage fashion is sustainable, the answer is yes. Much like Guru uses up-cycled saris and reinvents the textiles, these vintage lovers re-invent previously loved clothes by styling them and showcasing them for todays market. It's an excellent alternative to landfill and one we are delighted to see peaking in trend driven by aftermath of Covid and rolling lockdowns.
Toronto, Ontario, and Canada need to be leaders in the world of fashion. Designing, creating and re-creating. Something we don't talk enough about. Supporting local Toronto events like The Hippie Market that cater to vintage fashion and new school flea markets like Leslieville Flea that have an abundance of vintage pushers who have very similar stories to the ladies above is a small contribution you can make when you purchase vintage. We would like the vintage (2nd hand clothes) movement to grow in popularity both locally and Internationally. These new entrepreneurs are taking a small piece of the pie away from freshly produced fashion created by big brands, just like Guru is doing.
Next time you are considering a haul at h&m, consider a vintage haul instead.