“Long live the old”: why vintage fashion is the new trend in Sheffield

Clothes shopping as we once knew it is going out of fashion, and not just due to the rise of online buying.

Second hand and vintage shops are popping up all over Sheffield, with the vibrant student-centric ethos of the city being central to the reason for the rise.

Vintage clothing tends to be cheaper than current products and recycling prevents clothes going to landfill, making it better for the environment.

Jojo Elgarice, owner of Jojo’s General Store on Ecclesall Road, thinks the reason for the change in fashion trends for young people in particular is mainly due to fashion trends.

He said: “Long live the old. People love turning back the clock and buying old stuff.

“The sustainability is better, the product is better.”

Interview with Jojo Elgarice, owner of Jojo’s General Store, a popular vintage clothes shop in the quirky Ecclesall Road area of Sheffield

Ella Hodson, who works at Cow on West Street, said that environmental issues are the main reason for the rise, although she agrees that fashion trends and prices are also a big reason.

She said: “It is more fashionable and it prevents stuff from going to landfill.

“People are more aware of their carbon footprint. A lot of students especially want to look good and they know they can get the style they want from a vintage shop.

“It’s become so popular because people care about the environment.”

Ella Hodson, shop-worker at Cow, the biggest vintage store in Sheffield

Most of the shop owners travel around the country to source their stock, as well as import it from places such as America and Japan.

The market isn’t just one-way though, and Jojo’s General Store ship many items abroad.

Jojo Elgarice said: “Rather than buying wholesale, we hand pick all our pieces.”

“We have a lot of customers from Japan, that trade to re-sell over there for crazy money. That’s where the biggest market is for collectable vintage, Tokyo especially.”

There is no way to measure the market size of vintage stores in Sheffield and across the UK, as there is no single definition of ‘vintage’, but the amount of shops opening is certainly on the rise, with many of the Sheffield stores opening in the last 10 years.

Ella Hodson of Cow thinks the number of vintage stores will keep increasing.

She said: “I think the trend will continue to rise as people are aware of their carbon footprint but vintage may no longer be defined as vintage.”

She added: “Buy second hand. It’s better for the environment and better for fashion!”

However you define vintage, and whether it is different from second-hand or not, these stores are thriving in Sheffield, with many people looking fashionable and reducing their carbon footprint at the same time.