You Got Your Style from Your Grandma
Your vintage treasures, and elderly are one in the same.
Picture this. You walk away from your favorite vintage store having just purchased the perfect 60s style dress. It becomes one of your favorite go to peices for any occasion. You love it and show it off to anyone you can think of. It is one of your prized possessions. This forty plus year old wool crepe dress means the world to you. You handle it with care, as it is no spring chicken. You wonder what stories and experiences this aged dress holds. What tales could it tell?
Unfortunately, your vintage dress cannot speak to answer any of these questions. However, there are people who can.
The elderly generation have lived through experiences similar to those harrowing the generations today. We all know the phrase, “those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it.” As a society, we ignore the past, therefore, we are repeating it, and the older generations have the answers, wisdom, and lessons we need to improve as a culture. However, is anyone asking them?
According to an article by Express.co.uk, written by Ester Rantzen, entitled, We Should Cherish Our Elders, Not Hide Them states, “We treat old people in this country far worse than lepers. They are despised and ignored. Growing older is treated like a disability, a creeping illness we dare not admit or give way to. But of course, it’s nothing of the kind. It’s a welcome, enriching process – people mature, with age like fine wine.” Senior housing facilities and nursing homes are filled with forgotten and ignored elderly loved ones. These people are viewed as inconveniences to the younger generations because many of their physical capabilities have become drastically limited.
Such hypocrisy is held by those who cherish vintage items, but do not cherish those who helped create them. Vintage clothing and the older generation are one in the same and should be treated as such. Just as we repeat history, we repeat fashion trends. High waisted jeans and cropped sweaters were all the rage in the 70s and 80s. Those styles have come back at full force in the 2010s up to the present. Teens fashion sense is matching up with their own parents when they were their age due to the ever-increasing vintage shopping craze.
According to an article from The Chic Selection, written by BOB, entitled The Ten Commandments of Wearing Vintage, “Keep your vintage clothing and accessories in mint condition by caring for them properly. Vintage dresses, for example, may have ornate decoration and embellishments such as beading, sequins, and embroidery that require special handling and cleaning. Vintage clothing is often made of delicate fabrics such as silk, satin, or lace. Wear these pieces with care and wash them with even more care.” This quote came from the fifth commandment in the article, Honor Your Vintage Clothing. To expand on this topic and specify it more so, you should honor your vintage clothing just like you should honor the elderly.
Secondhand shopping became all the craze back in the early 2000s. It is predicted to eradicate fast fashion all together in the coming years. Sustainability and the fight to lesson waste and our carbon footprint is growing and emerging into some social groups that wouldn’t otherwise dedicate their energy toward a more sustainable habit, such as vintage shopping. Teens and young adults swarmed to vintage shops to find cute, unique and oneof-a-kind items that could help them more accurately express themselves during those pivotal teen years.
There is a lot we should think about when considering vintage items. Fast fashion makes shopping for clothes more cost efficient for the average buyer, but it comes at a cost to the environment. The fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity's carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world's water supply while also polluting the oceans with microplastics. The term “fast fashion” was coined in the early 1990s when the company Zara opened in New York and was praised in a New York Times article for its speedy production model. In that article, the term “fast fashion” was utilized and ultimately evolved into what it means today.
Vintage clothing is the antithesis to fast fashion being that the fast fashion model has only been present as of the last 30 years or so. None of your vintage items have participated in this highly polluted industrialized clothing production model. By purchasing second hand, you are helping create a zero-waste cycle. By purchasing clothes from your grandma’s decade, you are helping the environment.
There should not be any distinct differences between the way we treat the elderly and the way we treat our prized vintage possessions, yet so many of the older generation are pushed to the side while we admire and cherish their items and things. While the pieces are cool, the stories and experiences of the older generation are just as enticing. So, strap on that pair of aged black boots, faded high wasted jeans, and that distressed T-Shirt and march right on over to your grandparents’ house to show them how much you care for them. Dress them up. Ask them questions, about life and lessons learned. Listen to their stories. Cherish them and their experiences just as you cherish your vintage items. Remember, they are one in the same. To be honored and cherished.
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