By Jonathan Browne
Vintage clothing is a very popular scene across Europe at the moment, as the nostalgia for 90s style clothing is thriving amongst millennials. Cities like Berlin and Amsterdam are an epicentre for vintage shops, where great finds are commonplace. It’s also very popular here in Ireland, with shops in Dublin like Tola Vintage thriving and even have celebrities like Ariana Grande wanting to go to them. A good thing that Tola do for students is the ‘kilo sale’, where you can 1 kilogram of clothes for just €20, which is easily a few nice tracksuits tops or t-shirts, very good value. The sale is coming to Galway on the 24th November in the Galmont hotel near the train station.
That said, Galway has some shops of its own to brag about, like Public Romance on Abbeygate Street, where there is a plethora of great branded tracksuits and denim jackets, from Adidas to Calvin Klein and there’s student-friendly staff. I, myself, actually got a nice white Adidas tracksuit top for a good price a couple of weeks back and would very much recommend this spot. There’s a myriad of charity shops dotted around town, giving students opportunities for great steals like the Levi’s denim jacket my friend bought for €5 a couple months ago. One such place is the Irish Cancer Society charity shop, which occasionally has good vintage clothes. Another popular vintage spot is Planet Retro on Merchant’s Road, where the knowledgeable staff are very helpful and there’s plenty of potential for steals in there.
I would encourage students to go to vintage shops because brands that would regularly retail sweatshirts at around €80-100 can often be found for less than €50. I have found a few steals in my time, like a grey Napapijri sweatshirt for €30 and a silver New York Yankees bomber jacket for €35, both of which I believe would’ve retailed for well over €90, so it’s well worth giving vintage stores a try. Shopping in vintage stores also helps the local economy, as mainstream clothes stores are depriving these local-owned businesses of customers, because they can sell poorer quality clothes for a cheap price.
Shopping vintage is also very sustainable, as the fashion industry is a major contributor to global warming, with their workshops continuously pumping out the same clothes using the same fossil fuels to power their machines and unsustainable materials to make the clothes. These workshops are also a major violation of human rights laws, as the working conditions are appalling, with staff made to work like slaves. If we buy less and less of these workshop’s clothes, they’ll use less fuels and won’t be working their staff as hard, so buying vintage could really help the environment and society at large.
I also always enjoyed the potential of having something unique, a one of a kind item that everyone wants but can’t have. Nowadays, everyone is wearing the same looking clothes from the same shops like Topman, Bershka and Zara, and if we still act like that, we might as well be wearing a uniform, because we’ll all look the same.