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Why Shop Vintage? The Rise of Mainstream Vintage

Why Shop Vintage? The Rise of Mainstream Vintage

By Paige Kowal, Fordham '21
Check out Kyle Cavan's Vintage College Collection! 

The first vintage piece I ever purchased was during a trip to Europe in highschool. Instead of purchasing souvenir t-shirts or magnets, I found myself drawn to pieces that I would get a lot of use out of, that would still carry memories of my trip. I was in Scotland, and found myself in a store with upcycled pieces. After digging through the racks I came across a cropped grey button down, one that I purchased, and still own today. This has since become a tradition for me when I travel, to gain an item of clothing with emotional significance, while also maintaining a sense of sustainability.

But sustainability isn't just a trend, and recently, major attention has been drawn its need within the fashion industry. 

Sustainability is described as “the avoidance of depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance”.  I was first introduced to the world of sustainable vintage fashion through Youtube videos; people like Kailee Mckenzie and Macy Eleni really showed me that searching for clothes can be fun, and environmentally friendly. Through these videos I became equated with the importance of shopping second-hand, as well as the beauty of bringing new life to preloved pieces. Ever since my first introduction, my style has evolved, allowing vintage pieces to be the statement. But sustainability isn't just a trend, and recently, major attention has been drawn its need within the fashion industry. 

The release of the 2015 documentary ‘The True Cost’, shined a bright light on the negativities within the world of fast fashion by showing how the decrease in the cost of an item causes an increase in environmental (and humanitarian) costs. The feeling of ‘instant gratification’ spearheads the increased consumption of products. In many cases fast fashion pieces are created with cheap and low quality materials purposely to lower the cost.

This does not pose a lot of threat to the company because the pieces are often trendy and will not be worn for more than a season. But it does result in a large amount of products being bought and ultimately disposed of quickly. Millions of clothing pieces are thrown away into landfills each year, causing detrimental environmental effects. Not to mention, that to produce these retail items at a fast rate and minimal cost, companies overlook the human rights of their workers. In many cases, companies have their product manufactured outside of the United States in order to allow extremely low wages and dangerous working conditions. Like the many environmental issues, the exploitation of these workers by fast fashion retailers is often overlooked by consumers. With an unlimited supply of already made retail items, it becomes clear that the most sustainable form of fashion is vintage and second-hand fashion, as it would reduce this endless cycle of manufacturing and consumption. 

Our sustainability strategy is focused on helping the company minimize its footprint throughout the value chain—from design to manufacturing through disposal of products and waste.

At Kyle Cavan, we are aware of the negative impact of the fashion industry, and we strive to limit both the environmental and humanitarian costs within our company. This is why we have partnered with the Fair Trade Labor Association in order to have complete access to the labor and rights practices that goes into each of our products. Our sustainability strategy is focused on helping the company minimize its footprint throughout the value chain—from design to manufacturing through disposal of products and waste. We believe that having a sustainable shop illustrates the importance of personal commitment in business and everyday practices.

With an unlimited supply of already made retail items, it becomes clear that the most sustainable form of fashion is vintage and second-hand fashion. Luckily, many of the current trends originate from vintage styles which can easily be found in your local thrift store and vintage shop! Kyle Cavan has seen the growth of interest in vintage styles and has responded by creating our College Vault Collection! For this collection, we have gained access to a group of vintage college logos and have created pieces that show off your timeless school pride! I am so excited to work the pieces into my evolving vintage style for years to come. 

Shop Kyle Cavan's Vintage College Collection! 

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