If you’ve found yourself asking for a refund on 2020, you’re not alone. This year has served up enough crazy to last a decade. And while things are going to stay weird for a while, I feel like the collective breath we’ve all been holding might be starting its slow exhale.
Just remember, folks. The world you want after this is all over is the world you’re supporting now. Order everything from Amazon and that’s what will take over. Support your local businesses and help be part of The After.Frances Bula (@fabulavancouver)
I reposted the above quote a while ago as we entered this strange new world. It was meant as a little reminder that we always have a choice – even in times of uncertainty – around how we spend our money and our time.
The world you want after this is all over is the world you’re supporting now
For lots of people, me included, this attitude has taken on a whole new significance during the current crisis as we see businesses hustle and adapt and do whatever they can to keep the doors open on their dream and livelihoods.
It’s motivated me to be even more mindful when I shop and make simple conscious shopping choices when I buy anything – from food to vintage fashion. (And let’s face it, I always want to do that!). It’s pretty simple when you break it down.
Of course, not everyone is in a position to buy clothes right now, but if you’re looking for a fashion fix the best way to be intentional about your choices and support sustainable fashion is to buy vintage or second hand. While op shopping, markets and garage sales may be off the agenda for the moment (although some op shops in Australia have reopened very recently), you can still go treasure hunting online!
Lots of vintage clothing shops (and op shops too!) are small online businesses that survive and thrive thanks to social media. Supporting small online retailers is a great way to find “your people” and once you get to know them, you’ll see many are a one person show (that’s me!). What’s amazing about this is that when you shop small, you’re literally helping that person, not a big company with lots of overheads.
After these last few weeks, you might be working out what from your normal routine you have been missing and what you haven’t missed?! All this time has allowed us time to reflect right? One thing I really missed was spending time in my space in Brunswick Heads, NSW at Clem’s Cargo where I have my bricks and mortar vintage shop space, along with lots of other traders (think: the preloved place of your dreams – clothing, furniture and everything in between!). While the space was closed for a few weeks we are now open again a few days each week – yay! Each week I head there to restock, drink coffee and meet lots of lovely faces – mostly I work from home so being there is my happy place where I get to hang out and have a laugh in a very community minded retail space.
I encourage you to support local where you can by checking out when your favourite stores are open or by supporting them online if they have not yet been able to open in a physical space. If you can’t support financially right now – just pop in and say hi…a smile costs nothing! 😁
I’ve seen so many amazing local businesses use this time to adapt and shake things up. It has been truly inspiring to see everyone doing their best to make it work. A few of my favourite locals are @tworoadsvintage, @jude.store.byron @thekeybasics and of course all the crew at Clem’s!
Thank you to everyone who has continued to buy from small businesses like mine. I can assure you, it really does make a difference. You are not only supporting an entrepreneur’s dream, making it possible for small business owners to continue to run the businesses they love, you’re helping your local community and economy.
If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us (besides how to wash our hands properly 😜) is that we need to cherish people, simplify how we live and use what already exists in the world.
Australians throw away 6,000 kilograms of fashion and textile waste every 10 minutes (source: ABC News). Op-shops here in Australia had not been accepting donations for several weeks…although that’s slowly changing. Imagine the treasures! But even before the pandemic period, Australian charities were spending $13 million per year to send 60,000 tonnes of unusable donations to landfill. Um, that’s not ok.
The sustainable fashion movement continues to show the world how it’s possible to love clothes and fashion and make conscious decisions around the entire lifecycle of our clothes. Buying second hand and vintage is the perfect way to support small sustainable business and show your love for the environment by not adding to fashion waste.
Shop your wardrobe
While you have been spending more time at home, you can still have fun with your clothes and get a fashion fix by re-discovering your wardrobe. Embrace a different look by mixing up your usual choices, dig out those pieces you hardly ever wear or show off that top you’ve been saving for something special on your next video call or real live coffee date! And if you just want to have a clear out, make sure you donate your preloved clothes to an op shop supporting a cause you believe in.
Remember, clothes need to be in good condition to be donated. If you have clothes that have passed their use by date (don’t we all or is that just me?!), then check out this blog for how to recycle worn clothes properly. And if you have vintage pieces that you no longer want – don’t be afraid to contact your favourite vintage seller (hi!) and see if they might want to buy. It all goes around and around!
Don’t shop at all
This might sound controversial in a post about supporting and shopping small, but even if you can’t support any small businesses financially right now, you can still like our posts, share, comment and encourage us online. Or in your local shops just call in and say hi…the power of a smile is huge during these times right?! Every little bit helps and is so appreciated. Together we can make this time more positive and help our favourite small and local businesses get through this.
And when things settle down, let’s make a collective decision not continue to support fast fashion. Get out there to your local vintage and second-hand stores (we need you!) and of course op shops and make conscious shopping your first choice for fashion.
So tell me, what have you been doing to support small business through these difficult times?
What are you most looking forward to doing as restrictions ease?
What vintage treasures would you most like to discover?
Let’s make the world the place we want it to be! Andreax
A life-long obsession with vintage means there’s still plenty of stunning one-off vintage clothing pieces ready to find their new home online at www.greendoorhq.com.
Visit our online store to view the latest vintage, accessories and more.