At a crossroads between Integrity and Convenience…
When some asks why buy something used when I can buy something new, I find there are three approaches to answer this question.
2. Environment and Ethics: It’s better for the environment as it promotes reusing, the clothing avoids the landfill and if a piece clothing was made under sweat like labour factors than it should be worn until it can be worn no more. By buying something second-hand you are giving a garment a prolonged usage and are not contributing directly to poor labour standards.
3. Creativity: When you wrap yourself in a vintage sweater or try on a pair of second-hand boots, you are literally putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes. It’s easy to imaging the business jacket you purchase in a second-hand store in Kensington Market could have been a gift from mother to daughter on her first important interview.
The gorgeous pair of vintage cowboy style brown boots may have been worn out on crazy nights where the young woman decided she was meant travel the world and thus experience new cultures that would forever change her life.
It is inspiring to imagine where the clothes have been, and where they can go with you in them. To create your own history within the history of someone else.
This is how I engage in my quest to grow an ‘ethical’ business wardrobe. Looking through my drawers and shelves I came to the stark realization that I have very little in the way to wear to business meetings or professional settings. I do not want to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe from H&M, which would be a cheap way to fulfill my clothing wants. However, I cannot afford to buy a brand new business wardrobe from independent, local designers as it is way out of my budget range right now. So, this leaves me with second-hand/vintage shopping and scouring for deals among Toronto’s designers.
One such place to find deals is at the Independent Designer’s Outlet (it’s the Winner’s of local designers). Here you will find in season clothing from local designers at a discounted price. It is kind of like the Winner’s of Toronto’s designers. The store is located on Dundas 1418 Dundas West, is staffed by very friendly individuals hosting an array of stylish, local designs at discounted prices.
The clothing is beautiful, constantly changing and you can rest assured it is made under ethical standards and often carries lines from Toronto’s most eco-friendly designers such as Snoflake, Revolve, Lux & Luster to name just a few.
If you are looking for a vintage suit jacket I definitely encourage you to visit Ego in Kensington Market. The store hosts a wide variety of clothing from leather dresses (we all have a secret desire to own one despite its lack of practicality) to boots, jackets, and pretty much anything in between. The prices are so reasonable, and there is constant flow of *new* vintage clothing to scour. I found two lovely jackets while browsing, and would have purchased more, had my inner conscience not convinced me that even though they are second-hand over consumption still remains to be over consumption regardless.
Toronto is host to many many vintage stores all throughout the city. A few of our favourites are:
Black Market: 319 Queen West; 69 Vintage: 1100 Queen West; 69 House of Vintage: 1239 Queen West; Vintage Depot: 1269 Bloor West; Badlands Vintage: 104 Ossington Ave; Penny Arcade Vintage: 1177 Dundas West; Vintage Collective: 1205 Bloor West; Exile: 22 Kensington Ave; Courage My Love: 14 Kensington Ave; Sole Survivor: 16 Kensington Ave; Bungalow West: 273 Augusta Ave