We love supporting, and spending in, the independent shops of Bristol, and one thing this city is renowned for is its vintage shopping!
As the awareness of the damaging environmental impacts of fast fashion is growing, the vintage and recycled clothing market is becoming increasingly popular. Fast fashion has come under fire in the past few years. Reasons for this include the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills, the greenhouse gas emissions it churns out, the rainforest destruction, the toxic chemicals in production, the water usage and the plastic fibres that are released into our waters.
There is a growing consumer desire for sustainability, and we are more aware than ever about the negative impacts of the fast fashion industry. Being an environmentally conscious shopper is made easy in Bristol with the countless second-hand shops all around the city.
We have picked out our top three favourite vintage shops:
Spread over two floors, RePsycho is one of the longest-established vintage shops in Bristol. The first floor is packed full of handpicked, vintage clothing and items, whilst upstairs is focussed on homeware. In the basement space you can also find Prime Cuts, a record shop brimming with over 60,000 vinyl records. It really is a vintage-enthusiasts dream.
Rag Trade is a women’s designer vintage shop that can be found on Cotham Hill. They offer a unique service where they will sell your items for you and give you 50% of the profits, utilising a ‘network of sisters’ to bring high end designer clothing to the high street at lower prices, and facilitating the recycling process. This service is perfect if you want to avoid dealing with online selling and the tedious postage and packaging process, plus there’s plenty of good quality, pre-loved items to peruse in store. Anything that isn’t sold and not picked up again by the customer is donated to charity, so nothing goes to waste.
Based just off the Bearpit, this shop specialises in one-off vintage sports/streetwear. They have an in-house team that re-works the pieces to get them to a re-saleable and up-to-date condition, which means even those items which may not make it onto shelves and hangers elsewhere still get another chance at a new life. The stock is sourced from across the world, from NYC to LA, and Berlin to Paris, and with over 6,000 items online there’s bound to be something you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
For the avid vintage wearer, you can also find various vintage markets dotted around the city. At the kilo sale event at Paintworks, you can find sustainable vintage, retro and branded fashion at wholesale prices. Here you can have a rummage through rails and piles of vintage clothing and take them home for just £15 per kilo, the next event is on Saturday 5th September 2021!
If you’re on a stricter budget, you’re bound to find some hidden gems in the abundance of charity shops Bristol has to offer. Gloucester Road is a great place to start, in just a short stroll from top to bottom you will encounter multiple charity shops where you’re guaranteed to pick up a bargain.