Hi vintage lover*,
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said this when someone complimented what you were wearing, or walked into your living room and pointed out one of your treasures.
It’s always a little breathless, poured out in a stream just like that.
Thanksitsvintage. Or maybe, thanksitsthrifted.
Nobody asked whether or not it was secondhand, but you feel such a sense of pride that you tell them anyway.
Why do we do this?
Well, these finds seem a little like sleight of hand. Something magical that you need to reveal. See it, believe it.
When it’s vintage — someone carefully selected that item for their shop. And then you carefully selected it out of all their beautiful bits and bobs.
When it’s thrifted — well, out of all the thrift stores in all the world, that item walked into yours.
Items once ordinary, made extraordinary by happenstance.
We could all use a little of that magic right now.
There is a lot going on in the world — among them devastating climate events, wars, crazy-high grocery prices and, in many urban areas, an unmanageable cost of living.
So it’s understandable that the secondhand retail sector has seen some challenges this year. You may have even seen some of your local resellers posting about it on social media.
We’re in more than the usual summer slump — here in Canada, retail sales (a barometer of consumer sentiment) underperformed in May 2023 and will likely hold steady when June numbers roll in.
That means people aren't spending as much as they usually do. And that’s okay (this is what economies do!). Eventually, things will even out again.
So what can you do to support the sector in the meantime?
Chances are you’re getting this email because you already have an interest in vintage and you don’t need me to tell you to shop secondhand when you have the means to.
But there are lots of ways to support your favourite vintage and pre-loved shops without making a purchase.
Write a testimonial for them. Engage with them or share on social media. Visit them at a local event or market (see what’s on using our events calendar, highlights below). Message them to ask how they are doing.
Buying local, supporting small business and shopping secondhand first are a way of life, but still a relatively niche one. Resale, rental and repair account for $73 billion of the global retail market — that's only 3.5 per cent, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
So another way to support your favourite shops?
Refer them to a friend. Think of someone you know who doesn't shop secondhand and spend an afternoon strolling a vintage market or a curated vintage boutique with them.
If they’re more into the idea of the hunt, take them thrifting.
Or even forward them this newsletter!
P.S. It’s been a while since The Shopper Scoop landed in inboxes — I was busy relaunching our website (more on that below) — and I’m happy to be back. Drop me a note!
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