Written and interviewed by Hannah Johnstone - Ethical Journalist
Our society is experiencing a consumerist pandemic - fast fashion. Organisations such as Missguided and Pretty Little Thing are at the forefront of this, flogging cheap and poor quality items to consumers concerned only with the next big trend. As a result, an endless cycle of throwing away old garments to accommodate new ones begins.
Statistics show that the average number of times an item is worn before being disposed of has decreased by 36% in the last 15 years.
It is also reported that more than half of fast fashion products are thrown away within under a year. (source: Ellen Macarthur foundation). Statistics such as these have come to light in recent years, inspiring organisations such as the Tiny Flea to recycle their clothes and advocate good quality sustainable fashion.
The Tiny Flea are a group who buy good quality vintage clothing and resell it at an affordable price. They condemn the unfair labour and waste that comes with fast fashion, fighting for a more sustainable fashion industry.
I had the pleasure of talking to Virginia and Laurie of The Tiny Flea, who are tackling fast fashion one flea market at a time. Meeting them, I was immediately blown away by their chic and distinctive outfits - suddenly feeling as though I was in need of a wardrobe update. Since February this year, Virginia and Laurie have been setting up flea markets in which various people can set up stalls selling both vintage and homemade items. They began from their own wardrobes - reselling their clothes and replacing them with vintage pieces. Inspired by a passion for sustainability and fair trade, they wanted to raise awareness of the dangers of fast fashion and provide others with a love of vintage clothing.
Not just concerned with the ethical implications of fast fashion, Virginia and Laurie believe that individuality has been lost through the sheer mass of cheap and readily available trends on the high street. The two highlighted that it is difficult, in this day and age, to walk into a shopping centre and not find two people wearing the same item of clothing. By shopping vintage, you are able to find your own unique pieces and stand out from the crowd.
What Laurie and Virginia particularly love about the work they do is the community spirit surrounding it and the opportunities to meet interesting and like-minded people. A large source of motivation for the Tiny Flea is also the ability to visit new cities and unique venues, their initiative reaching far and wide with events planned for Bournemouth and Brighton. Virginia pointed out how rewarding it is to see an clothing item you’d previously fallen out of love with go to a new home and be loved all over again.
On Sunday 7th April 2019 The Tiny Flea are coming to the Heartbreakers bar in Southampton for their second flea market. There will be stalls for: menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, £1 records, homeware, and perfume. Not only will there be stalls, but also DJs, sunday roasts, and cocktails! The event will run from 11am to 4pm.
The Tiny Flea have a minimalistic approach, aiming to reduce the drama and chaos that comes with high street shopping. Their events, therefore, provide a carefree and refreshing experience. Also in an effort to reduce waste and promote sustainability, they encourage that stall-holders use wooden hangers and provide tote bags for people to put their purchases in.
To find out more, check out their Website and Facebook and Instagram pages. | Tru. 🌱
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