A Brixton vintage outlet is playing its part in reducing the waste represented by the estimated 253 million pieces of unwanted clothing that went into landfills in Britain this spring as people cleared out their wardrobes.
Sarah Bennett, founder of Make Do and Mend in Pop Brixton, says recycling vintage clothes is “a much more sustainable and ethical way of shopping, as well as being aesthetically unique”.
Pop Brixton is also home to the Brixton Kilo Sale, an event run by Sarah and Leeds-based vintage company, Blue Rinse for over a year, which allows customers to embark on an affordable shopping spree at just £15 per kilo.
The monthly Kilo Sale is becoming a firm with crowds of young, retro-loving consumers flocking to Brixton.
With other vintage boutiques like Leftovers and Hunky Dory in Brixton Village upholding their second-hand status, the demand for vintage shopping continues to rise.
With more customers interested in vintage clothing, outlets are introducing reworked ranges to try to reduce waste, giving clothes a “new and improved” purpose.
It’s giving them another lease of life, Sarah (right) explains. “We’ve got our own reworked label MDAM because you might have things that look great but are just too big, or they’re slightly damaged or stained”. Through reworking, t-shirts can become crop tops or dresses two-pieces.
Make Do and Mend also offer an in-store alteration service to reinforce its message that people can re-use what they’ve already got – rips and holes can be fixed.
With its Christmas jumper decorating workshops proving a hit last year and more evening sewing classes on the cards, Make Do and Mend is building a platform that promotes a more ethical and personal shopping experience.
It’s not about what looks are “in season” anymore – it’s about learning how to make clothes last longer and not giving into the temptations of fast fashion stores.
The alteration service goes hand in hand with the shop to put the emphasis mending rather than spending.
“There’s always been a vintage presence here,” says Sarah, “and this will continue to grow as long as we let the “clothes do the talking” about the positive impact they have on the environment.
Bag yourself a vintage bargain (or three) in the next Brixton Vintage Kilo Sale in Pop Brixton on Saturday 15 July and Sunday 16 July. Open 10am to 5pm.