Style With Substance

The Rise Of Thrifting With Emma Slade Edmondson

Episode Summary

Thanks to Gen Z, thrifting is enjoying an exciting resurgence. It also poses an exciting and accessible solution to the problem of fashion fashion. Emma Slade Edmondson joins us for this weeks chat where we discuss COVID-19, privilege and why charity shopping has become cool.

Episode Notes

Welcome back to episode five as we continue to discuss the myths and greenwashing that surround Sustainable Fashion. This week we discuss the rise of thrifting and how Gen Z are flying the flag for second hand fashion. Strategic Creative Director and lovely thrifting pro Emma Slade Edmondson joins us to talk about thrifting, COVID-19 and how privilege informs sustainable fashion. Her modern approach to retail, sustainability and initiatives focused on social change is well known.  If you've popped into Cancer Research UK's Marylebone branch and been totally balled over by how slick and un-charity shop-ish it looks, that was Emma. We'll be chatting about the resurgence of thrifting and how Gen Z have jumped on it as a money making enterprise. We also tap Emma for her tips for making the most out of charity shopping.

Thrifting Makes Sustainable Fashion Accessible

Time and again, we hear people put off by the expense of buying from sustainable and ethical fashion brands. And yes, if you were buying a beautifully made alpaca jumper from Gabriela Hearst then you can expect to pay upwards of £1000. However, a more exciting place to start would be by buying second hand, or preloved. Kate Moss made vintage cool in the early noughties but until very recently charity shopping was not. I remember as a kid enjoying weekends spent in charity shops and at car boots sales finding bargains. Friends would love the items I found but when I told them they were second hand, they were very put off. Now however, having sharp elbows and talent for spotting vintage Laura Ashley is a boast. Instagram influencers often describe themselves in their bios as 'Thrifters'. They tag their items with the charity shops they found their gems in, and boast of the money saved and the inspiration they find through not shopping the high street.

Is Thrifting the antidote to overproduction in Fashion?

According to Hubbub, one in six young people say that they don’t feel they can wear an outfit again once it’s been seen on social media. This feeling has fuelled Youtube Hauls  of popular cheap, fast fashion brands like Boohoo, H&M, Primark and Misguided. Last year, Love Not Landfill hosted a pop up in London inviting major charity shops to collaborate with Instagram influencers. Barnardos collaborated with Emma Breschi and Oxfam worked  with Elizabeth Whibly to mention a few. Each curated collections of their favourite second hand finds, offering them for sale at the pop up. #LoveNotLandfill’s last pop up made £23,000 for the charities involved and had 4500 visitors. 

The role of privilege in fashion

Emma has some interesting insights on the way in which thrifting and second hand shopping is viewed according to privilege. However she believes that through the work that she is doing with charity shops and with her initiative 'Charity Fashion Live', people's perceptions of buying preloved clothes are changing. She is only too happy to see a rise in popularity but hopes that post lock down, we continue to love thrifting and avoid the high street where we can.

With thanks to our fabulous guest Emma Slade Edmondson, Strategic Creative Director and founder of ESE Consulting.

Mentioned within the podcast

Quarantine Quilt 

Cancer Research UK

Charity Fashion Live 

ESE Consulting 

Love Not Landfill  


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