Hey! My name is Dominic, I’m 21 years old and am currently studying at Strathclyde and work part-time in retail. This means, like a lot of people my age, money doesn’t spend a lot of time in my bank account. Whether its rent, travel or groceries - young adults are always having to budget and save money where it’s possible, and in my case I tend to save money on clothing. Up until recently, I was on the lookout for fashion sales in high-street stores or online retail platforms, however my foreign study semester in 2017 changed this mind-set; I found myself studying in a university in Malta, a country with limited retail options and expensive delivery charges. I decided to try vintage stores and charity shops to save money, and fell in love with the idea. Not only did I find clothes at a fair price, but the style and culture behind the recycled fashion experience allowed me to better express myself in an environment that was new to me. It was an activity that encouraged me to explore different areas of the country in an exciting hunt for outfits unique to me, all the while saving money and meeting new people doing the same thing. In a world where sustainability and reusing is more important than ever, it helped me feel like I was doing my part in reducing my carbon footprint as well as giving time and money to those who require it most, rather than multi-million companies where all you are to them is an order number.
I kept this mind-set when I came back home at the end of 2017, and made my resolution for the New Year to only buy clothes that have been used and loved before. Luckily for me, there is no better place to do this than in Glasgow! I have a love for retro looks, so I found myself at vintage kilo fairs more than I’m willing to admit. It is never a dull place to be and some of the clothes that I found were one of a kind. From jackets to footwear, there is something for everyone when you look hard enough. I always go and check out a charity shop whenever I walk by one, and Glasgow have so many to offer. The West End and City Centre provide a great variety to choose from, with a Bernardos in Merchant City being my favourite. The Glasgow outskirts are always fun to travel to as well, such as local charities in Giffnock and Inverclyde. You would be surprised how often new items come in to charity shops, and that’s what entices me the most. I manage to find a new outfit once a week usually, and never spend more than £15 in total. There are always big-brand items as well (some I’ve found include Ralph Lauren and AllSaints, as well as retail brands like River Island and Zara) which are always in pristine condition, with designs that make others turn heads. Some other items you find in charity shops would surprise you; things like bags I use for university, kilts and formal attire, sportswear and retro football shirts are just a few which might catch your eye.
And that’s what I would say to anyone that might be sceptical about shopping in charity or vintage shops; what is the worst that can happen? I have loved every second of my resolution and plan to continue it in to 2019. I even plan to learn some sewing skills, to help with mending and upcycling items I find to make them even more unique! It excites me to know that you won’t bump into anyone who shares the same clothes as you do, and you ultimately get to wear the unique clothes that define you at a fraction of the cost you might think, all whilst contributing to inspiring and meaningful causes. When someone asks me where I got something that I’m wearing, I take pride in telling them, “Vintage Shop, mate”.