By Ewelina Lepionko
Many people hear about vintage clothes and either says wow that’s beautiful or just cringe at the thought of it.
Today, as general awareness for sustainability grows, a change in consumer attitudes towards wearing and utilizing secondhand goods is notably impacting the fashion industry as a whole.
Vintage clothing is a generic term for garments originating from a previous era.
Today vintage dressing encompasses choosing accessories, mixing vintage garments with new, as well as creating an ensemble of various styles and periods. Vintage clothes typically sell at low prices.
“In the Arab world, second hand (shopping) is not a very established culture,” said Sally Khadra, Second Base’s brand manager.
Originally founded in Lebanon in 2017, FabricAid opened its first shop in Amman. They sell cleaned, ironed, and high-quality second-hand clothes at “micro-prices.”
There are sparkly sequined skirts, silky patterned scarves, and an assortment of dresses, all hanging beneath a fluorescent pink sign reading “Love again.”
The brand-new shop has a big secret: every item is second-hand, many of them scoured from donation bins in Beirut. 100% of revenues will be directed to the sustainability of FabricAid a non-profit social enterprise.
The aim of FabricAID is to establish a socially and environmentally conscious value chain for the apparel industry. They strive to impact a larger number of people and tackle fashion pollution on a bigger scale.
FabricAID was created when co-founder Omar Itani accidentally discovered that the clothing his family had been donating to their apartment building’s concierge was, in fact, going to waste because it didn’t fit his family’s needs. As he looked for answers, he realized that there was no proper system for collecting and redistributing used clothes in Lebanon, so in December 2016 he started a social media experiment, collecting clothes from friends, sorting through them, and giving disadvantaged families exactly the items they needed and chose.
The popularity of vintage has come through education, and it’s a response to fast fashion.
These shops feature unique, colorful, and vintage styles and more revealing items which might not sell at Souk Al-Khlanj. They also sell for slightly higher prices — the average item at Second Base in Weibdeh runs between 12 and JD15 — which helps fund FabricAid’s operations.
Why should we choose to wear vintage clothing?
Vintage clothing is often of higher quality with better tailoring and attention to detail. The fabrics are mostly natural such as cotton, silk, linen, or wool, and are more comfortable to wear. Corners were rarely cut when creating vintage pieces.
Fashion is going back to its roots, to the vintage market stalls where true aficionados have been ruggedly plying their trade through the vicissitudes of fashion.
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