With much fast-fashion not lasting more than twelve months in people's wardrobes, we pick our top sites for getting your retro fix online.

In the UK, clothing has the fourth largest environmental impact after housing, transport and food, with more than half of fast-fashion items destined to be thrown away in less than twelve months, according to McKinsey’s State of Fashion report last year. However, at the same time Google noticed a positive trend; a 250% increase in ‘vintage fashion’ searches in the 2017/2018 period. While reducing what we consume – in all areas – is the ultimate goal to lessening our environmental impact, shopping vintage could be the next best thing. By investing in second-hand we are not contributing to ‘creating more’ and we are invariably supporting an independent business, too – a double-win. Here are some of our favourite sites to get your retro fix online…

The Stellar Boutique


As credentials go, The Stellar Boutique’s are pretty well, stellar. Boutique owner, Stella worked at Levi’s, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and owned a vintage stall on Portobello Market (Kate Moss and Stella McCartney were regulars) before opening her online store. Great for a cool, London take on vintage with a splash of rock and roll and a good measure of boho. Really well priced and a range of fashion, jewellery and accessories from across the decades.

Lovely’s Vintage


8 years’ strong, Bristol-based Lovely’s Vintage is run by fashion editor and stylist, Lynnette Hecker – dressing everyone from Nicki Minaj to Holly Willoughby – she handpicks all her pieces with an incredible eye for designs that feel modern and wearable today. Her stylist skills come into play with constantly updated edits to shop – from festival fashion to tips on how to get the original versions of the latest high-street trend.

Beyond Retro


Beyond Retro is one of London’s most well-known (and loved) vintage boutiques, flying the flag for sustainable fashion in the capital since 2002. Not only do they sell a carefully curated edit of on-trend vintage women’s and menswear, they have their own ‘reworked’ label of upcycled pieces too. Reimagining and reusing textiles and creating brand-new designs from their ethical factory in India; saving 60 Olympic swimming pools worth of fabric each year from landfill.

Rokit


Dubbed the ‘ASOS of Vintage’ Rokit is certainly a juggernaut of online fashion – with a vast inventory spanning the 1920s, right through to the 1990s. There’s sections for men, women and childrenswear, as well as a military section, festival edit and the covetable ‘Rokit Gold’ – a dedicated category for their rarest vintage finds. Expect designer bags and shoes, vintage leather and denim – for avid retro fans. The site has an editorial feel to it, with beautiful street photography and an inspiring blog – a great destination for vintage lovers.

Brag Vintage


Brag Vintage is a great site for those who still hanker after a ‘fast’ fashion fix, with daily stock drops and same-day dispatch before 1pm. Started by two brothers at a Nottingham car boot sale, it has grown into a 2500sqft warehouse space. Specialising in vintage denim and offering an extensive stock of 80's and 90's sportswear, knitwear, t-shirts and casual clothing including brands such as Adidas, Nike, Champion, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.

True Vintage


True Vintage have developed an app to streamline their vintage shopping experience online. With 5000 products to browse and buy, filters make it super slick to navigate and find what you’re searching for, with a wish-list function to bookmark your favourite finds. If you’re in need of inspiration, the ‘our picks’ section is a great place to browse the team’s favourite pieces – an eclectic mix of retro Hawaiian shirts and high-end French and Italian fashion house finds.

Willow Hilson


Arriving on Willow Hilson’s vintage online atelier is like stepping back in time to a chic Parisian boutique – curating the very finest examples of high fashion from the 1920s through to the early 1960s, some pieces are pure works of art. Willow has an immaculate eye for choosing pieces that feel timeless; exquisite tailoring, beautiful prints and fabrics and a range of bags, accessories and jewellery to complete the look. The blog is a great read if you’re interested in the ‘behind the scenes’ of European sourcing trips where Willow uncovers her gems – and make sure you follow her on Instagram for beautiful colour edits of her latest finds. Tip: She’s also married to vintage interiors dealer, Otto’s Antiques – if you’re looking for the same immaculate taste for your home.

Oxfam Vintage


Oxfam has cherrypicked the best of their vintage donations from across their UK charity shops and curated it online in their very own vintage store. There’s everything from designer handbags to retro two pieces. They have a great homeware section, too. There’s a handy ‘shop by decade’ filter, if you know the era you’re after, or browse the fashion team’s pick of week edit.

ASOS Marketplace


As one of fast fashion’s biggest culprits, ASOS is doing its bit to bring vintage to the next generation via a platform they already know and trust. Making vintage feel cool and relevant to Generation Y, they’re a marketplace for independent boutiques and labels – using ‘real people’ for all their modelling, dubbing the site – ‘the people’s runway’.

Farfetch


It doesn’t get much more ‘premium vintage’ than Farfetch – think Hermes Kelly bags in the 5-figure sums, listed alongside fashion from the big fashion houses of Chanel, YSL, Gucci and Dior. Shop by designer and you can browse through their archives at the click of a button – from 1980s power suits to 1990s minimalism. If you’re looking to invest in vintage that will hold its price and provide a snapshot of fashion history, look no further.

July 2019

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