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Welcome to my blog! I'm Kathryn and I blog about Retro & Vintage Fashion, Style and Upcycling

Dead Peoples Clothes..........!

Dead Peoples Clothes..........!

One of the biggest insults I had ever been given was a certain someone who once said.............God..............You wear Dead People's Clothes.............!!!!!!!!!!!!    I was taken  aback at the time and quite cross about my passion for Vintage being described so......However , in retrospect I now realise it was possibly the best compliment I have ever been given........

Consider the times that we live in today .  A time of fast action , fast fiction , fast fixes , fast passions  and an even faster appetite for fast fashion. I'm feeling quite content to be associated with a niche type of interest in Upcycling and Foraging and acquiring the remnants of "Dead Peoples" discarded memories and "Stuff". People who have passed through this life and have had their lives and memories dissected and distributed among the vintage and charity shops of Ireland and indeed the rest of the world. 

This look completely thrifted from a charity Shop!

This look completely thrifted from a charity Shop!

I guess one part of me finds the whole business of life and death and rebirth rather frightening and overwhelming but life is a circular journey when it comes to the life cycle.....We are born ......we live our lives.......we grow older.......we pass on........and so it goes on........There is nothing scary at all about it .....its inevitable......its life.  However, what does scare me is the amount of "Stuff" that we acquire on our life journey's,  and what we acquire and most importantly how we acquire it and why we are stuffing out planet to the gills with heaps of unwanted ...dare I say it again...........STUFF........!!!!

Dead Peoples Delph!............. Thrifted Vintage 1950's mix and match china.

Dead Peoples Delph!............. Thrifted Vintage 1950's mix and match china.

So lets consider this "Stuff" for a minute  and let me explain in more detail what I mean. I'm referring to the frequency and method of our consumer passions. What interests us and attracts us to the purchase of an item which will eventually find its way into a thrift or vintage shop..................Or Worse!!!!!!!!!                                                                                                                                                 We live in a society where most shoppers thrive on a Fast fashion Diet........We need a fix and we need it quick.......We wear this purchase once , maybe twice , possibly three times .  As it was a cheap purchase to begin with its discarded and a "New" fast fashion fix is bought to replace it......this too lives for  a very short stint and again discarded in favour of the following weeks FFF and so it goes on and on...............................                                                                                                            Whats left is a forlorn pile of badly made clothes thrown in the corner of a bedroom. This pile becomes higher and denser until finally it finds its way into a black bin bag and is carted off to the nearest Oxfam etc.......  Now , this is one of the happier conclusions to an addiction brought about by the mogul heavy weights that own the high street and only care about profit....                 Consider another alternative to this scenario.........that same pile of clothes in the corner of the same bedroom in the same terrace (probably in a town near you) is eventually tossed into said bin bag and thrown into...........yes you've guessed it..........The Bin!!!!!!!!!                    Now this is a much sadder and damaging scenario to the first one........this pile of clothing gets taken away in a dumpster and is mangled and tossed about with the rotten fruit and smelly fish bones and other organic matter that ends up in our land fills..........however this clothing doesn't belong there its recyclable .  Regardless of its condition ......even in its unwearable state , its of use and can be made into other useful commodities..........

Skirt bought in Oxfam and Jacket in St Vincents Charity shop in Dublin. These two cost me less than 12 euro and are "one off" pieces as the jacket is a good quality brand from the 90's.

Skirt bought in Oxfam and Jacket in St Vincents Charity shop in Dublin. These two cost me less than 12 euro and are "one off" pieces as the jacket is a good quality brand from the 90's.

There is hope however , and lots of communities in different countries across the globe are using their initiative and setting the standards in obtaining a Sustainable Fashion standard . Not least is Berlin , Germany's capital where the campaign for Sustainable Fashion is growing from strength to strength. There are concept stores and innovative designers aplenty that are offering alternatives to an environmentally and socially unsustainable fashion Industry. 

Reducing the demand for cheap clothing is no easy task. Fast Fashion is big business and its appeal is understandable because of its so called "Value" for money.  I have been caught in this trap and am just as guilty as anyone for buying several items of clothing without fail each month.......The reasons I did this....... Well at the time I convinced myself that I was "saving" money as similar items were so much more expensive in more upmarket shops and in fairness sometimes I was . However ,  generally I was just mindlessly buying stuff that I thought would make me happier....and it did .....For maybe a couple of hours.........Sometimes the purchases didn't even make it out of the bag , sometimes they didn't make it out of the washing machine (LOL) ............ and overall there was just too many tops, dresses etc worn maybe two or three times and then discarded......

The bag a re-worked vintage piece from the fifties and the shoes ..........yes ..........a cheap purchase from Primark reduced to 7 euro....... (Its permissible as long as we keep a reign on our purchases)

The bag a re-worked vintage piece from the fifties and the shoes ..........yes ..........a cheap purchase from Primark reduced to 7 euro....... (Its permissible as long as we keep a reign on our purchases)

I stopped this Fast  Fashion Addiction a few years back and I can honestly say I don't even miss it. I shop differently now.... and yes I do still purchase the odd item in some well known cheap high street stores but I've realised that I don't need five tops in different colours just because they're €3 each!!!!!!  I shop in charity/thrift stores and have picked up some amazing and unique items in them. I also frequent Car Boot sales and flea markets and have picked up great pieces of furniture  and changed them to suit my tastes. These have proved well made and "One Off" pieces of furniture in my home , bought for a pittance and saved from the landfill.

Here are a few facts about the Fast Fashion Highway.............. More than 80 Billion items of clothing are bought per year and most of these clothing purchases are seen as disposable!!!!!!    The fashion industry is considered one of the most polluting industries in the world especially with regard to the processing of Synthetic Fabrics. Did you know that Polyester (which is present in 60% of todays clothing) emits 3 times more carbon dioxide in its life cycle than cotton and can take decades to degrade..........!

The "Marilyn Monroe top bought in a charity shop 

The "Marilyn Monroe top bought in a charity shop 

The scale of waste in the Fast Fashion Sector of the retail business is phenomenal .This comes as no surprise as the moguls focus on price rather than quality to lure us in. This means for us that most garments will only survive a couple of washes thus giving us a non-guilty excuse to discard it and re-purchase again. Then there's the constantly changing styles to consider . These change so quickly that retailers get rid of old stock (In some case's less than a fortnight after they have hit the fashion floor!!) at even lower reduced prices. These make way for the next batch of the latest styles/trends/colours which in turn will only survive on the floor for another week or so until they too are further reduced and bought by our good selves and so the cycle goes on and on and on.......................

On a positive note , new technologies can now transform old clothing into new garments in a similar way to paper recycling. There are  also new developments to produce less toxic chemicals and dyes. Greenpeace is campaigning for the apparel industry to eradicate toxic chemicals and there is also increasing pressure for garment workers in third world countries to be given a decent wage to support them and their families. 

The Biker Jacket purchased in Oxfam (it cost only 5 euro as the zip was broken (which I had fixed) and was brand new!!!!

The Biker Jacket purchased in Oxfam (it cost only 5 euro as the zip was broken (which I had fixed) and was brand new!!!!

So , there are a lot of positives in helping to slow down the saturation of clothing from the Fast Fashion Industry. There is a definite movement out there and it will grow even quicker with the help of you and I. This doesn't mean we have to stop buying affordable fashion and having fun with it. It does mean however that we need to find an alternative to buying new clothes so often. Consider buying in charity/thrift stores . You may be pleasantly surprised what you may find there and chances are no one else is likely to have a similar piece.  Start swapping clothing with friends. Maybe even think of renting an outfit for a special occasion that you may only wear a few times at best.

Invest your hard earned cash on a few good quality key pieces that you won't need to discard any time soon. It will pay off financially in the long run. Black trousers , good jeans , a trench/classic coat , white shirt etc . These capsule pieces will make a great foundation in any wardrobe and will lessen the need to buy cheaper alternatives on a more regular basis.

Overall an entire outfit bought in a charity/thrift store. This look won't date so quickly either ...

Overall an entire outfit bought in a charity/thrift store. This look won't date so quickly either ...

Regarding  my favourite type of fashion finds....... that is..........VINTAGE..........well....... if you are lucky enough to come upon a little gem from a different era and a different life then lucky you. You will have found most likely a very unique piece with an interesting history from a life already lived. If you find yourself hesitating........please don't ....remember that RIP only applies to that past generation  who sported said pieces and enjoyed the experiences..... Don't let those cherished items which have survived decades and would have wonderful stories to tell (if only they could) also RIP..........Buy it........Wear it......... give it LIFE again.......... and let the ghosts of yesteryear smile down on you from above.....................

Hope you have enjoyed Violinkit's thoughts on Sustainable Fashion . Let me know your thoughts in the comments.                                                                                                                                                            Lots of love VIOLINKIT  XXX 

Gangs Of New Frocks!

Gangs Of New Frocks!

Solitary Confinement!

Solitary Confinement!

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