I've been a collector of vintage textiles, furniture, clothes and home décor pieces for a good while now.
Clearly I'm not alone. According to Statista, the global value of the secondhand apparel market is over 211 billion Australian dollars, and it's expected to rise to over 325 billion Australian dollars by 2026. That's good news!
Why do I love all things vintage? There are so many reasons....but here are five of them for starters.
1. I like unique pieces
A furniture package deal or an on-trend, fast-fashion jacket just don't do it for me. I like to fill my home and my wardrobe with unique, eclectic pieces that somehow all work together. Fun, fabulous pieces that can make a statement and encourage curiosity.
Our family home in Bowral, NSW.
2. The thrill of the chase
Hunting and gathering pieces is pure joy for me. When you enter a vintage shop like Dirty Janes Bowral, Lunatiques in Sydney or my local Salvation Army you just never know what you will find. Fun! Buying from auctions, including Vickers and Hoad or Black Sheep Auctions also provides a regular hunting and gathering fix for me. Travel domestically and globally always involves foraging at local flea markets and vintage shops. Oh the treasure you find!
A fabulous Murano pendant light spotted at Mittagong Antique Centre.
3. Vintage is often better quality (and more affordable)
You can buy a mass-produced chair or you can buy a charming second-life chair, often for the same price or cheaper for the vintage option. The same goes for clothes. I have been lucky to purchase some incredible vintage clothing that's impeccably made, for the same price as a new fast-fashion clothing item that was likely made in an offshore sweatshop. Just look at the workmanship in this vintage Ralex of Sydney raincoat that I found recently in a vintage clothing store. I adore it.
4. I like to shop small or support charities too
Often vintage shops are owned and run by small business owners or collectors. Buying vintage is a way I can 'shop small' or support charities that do a lot of good in our local communities. The feel-good factor can't be disregarded in my purchase decisions. Guilt-free shopping!
Vintage finds at a recent Black Sheep Auction that's run by a family-owned business.
5. It's more sustainable
The Guardian recently reported that there are 1.42bn pieces of clothing – amounting to 373,000 tonnes of fabric – arriving in Australia each year. The report by the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) also revealed the volume of clothing imports dwarfs local production, which sits at 38 million units of clothing a year – or 3% of the import market.
Buying vintage clothing, even occasionally, instead of making a fast-fashion purchase, can be a simple way to reduce landfill. I like to mix and match old with new. So I might wear a pair of new jeans with a vintage shirt or jacket.
A rack of vintage goodness in the Piece By Piece Home studio with a special artwork by Del Gosper overlooking it.
So there you have it! Vintage does, much more often than not, win my heart. Enjoy your own hunting and gathering and vintage finds.