With a tirade of documentaries and articles opening our eyes to the impact of fast fashion on the environment, it’s time to pull out our wallets/purses/piggybanks and start shopping smarter. In fact: “If everyone bought one used item this year instead of new, it could save nearly 6 pounds of CO2 emissions [amazingly] that’s equivalent to removing half a million cars off the road for a year.” – and with this in mind, there’s no time like the present to get down and go green!
One easy way to do this is by going vintage. Not only is vintage more sustainable you’ll (most likely) be supporting independent retailers which is double points on the self-righteous scale!
Gone are the days where wearing vintage clothes meant fishing out grandad’s musty old cardigan, in the last ten years there has been a boom in vintage shops with carefully curated stock, from quality denim to quirky and colourful shirts you can now be environmentally conscious AND fashion conscious.
Shoreditch and the surrounding areas are notorious for their abundance of vintage stores, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best. From budget friendly to budget not so friendly this list will cover a range of places so if you’re not sure where to start or looking for a new haunt, look no further we’ve got you covered!
A long-time pioneer of the vintage market, Beyond Retro opened its first store in 2002 and has since expanded into five locations across the UK. In London there are three stores; Brick Lane, Dalston and Soho. With its Dalston branch being one of the largest vintage shops in the world! Across all of their sites Beyond Retro offer a huge range of vintage items covering eras from the 50s to the late 90s, all items are organised by type and arranged by colour so navigating the stock is easy. Their pricing is fair but for the bargain hunters among us, they often host garage sales where all items are priced between £1-£15.
Beyond Retro place sustainability at the front and centre of everything they do, with great emphasis on upcycling and recycling clothes, to see exactly how they do this check out their website for a detailed run-down of their commitments.
Set in an old factory, Atika (formerly known as Blitz), is not just a vintage shop, it’s a vintage department store. Set over five rooms and covering two floors this shop is vast but easily navigable and has a number of concessions with items such as records, books and even skincare (as well as a huge collection of clothes). With Atika however, quantity does not mean a compromise in quality, their collections are painstakingly curated with substance and style in mind. This meticulous approach to vintage retailing has gained Atika notoriety among stylists and the store has even been known to attract celebrities hunting for that ever elusive perfect pair of jeans – or maybe even an Oscar worthy ball gown?
Check out their website to stay up-to date with their openings hours and to get the latest on future events.
Wrangle Tip: When faced with a huge amount of stock it can be quite overwhelming, so keep an eye out for prints and fabric textures in order to focus your search.
East End Thrift Store
Described by Vogue (probably Anna Wintour herself tbh) as a ‘legendary cult vintage store’, this place is notorious for being budget friendly. Situated in a warehouse just off Mile End Road, this thrift store has an expansive collection of vintage clothing covering eras from 1970-1990. With prices starting from £5 you’re sure to find a bargain, but if that’s not enough, they often run events such as fill a bag for £10 and have huge sales where literally everything is £1. And if that still doesn’t get your bargain hunting juices flowing they also often give away freebies! Make sure to keep an eye on their Instagram to stay up to date on their latest events and sales.
Currently East End Thrift Store is running as an outdoor market stall in their car-park so if you’re thinking of paying them a visit, remember to check the weather first!
House of Vintage
Started in Toronto in 2003 and opening in London in 2010, House of Vintage prides itself on its high quality and meticulously curated items. While erring on the pricier side (with T-shirts starting from £25), the resultant stock is in impeccable condition. The store is curated minimally, but expect items from 1920s to the 1970s and it’s the perfect place to pick up a floaty 70s dress, or a beautifully embroidered bomber jacket. Rumour has it that stylists working on BBC’s Normal People sourced items for Marianne’s wardrobe from House of Vintage.
Brick Lane Market
On Brick Lane and down some (very) Instagramable pink steps is the Uk’s largest collection of vintage stalls. At the Brick Lane Market, over 10,000 items can be found all conveniently under one roof, from sunglasses, jewellery to clothes and books – if you want it they’ve probably got it. With pieces spanning decades from the 1920s to some Paris Hilton worthy Y2K gems, this place is a vintage lover’s dream.
Tip: Vintage sizes run much smaller than contemporary sizes, so don’t be afraid to size up!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list, be sure to download the app as you never know what you can Wrangle!