RE-WEAR | SOMETHING ELSIE VINTAGE
Here's a re-share of our original blog post by Kate Seymour from Something Elsie, originally posted when we first formed our collaboration last year...
As part of our commitment to supporting the conscious shopper in lessening their impact on the planet, we've teamed up with the brilliant Something Elsie Vintage to offer you the opportunity to invest in some beautiful pre-loved pieces. Here's a little hello from Kate...
Welcome to Something Elsie Vintage. I’m Kate, 34, mother of two gorgeous girls and owner of Something Elsie Vintage.
Something Elsie started off very small, selling my Gran’s old treasures at a market stall that I shared with a friend, and with the little money I made from those items I bought more stock and gradually built things up from there. With perseverance, and many highs and lows and steep learning curves along the way the business has grown more and more each year and developed a fabulous customer following.
In my 20’s I spent some time working as a prop buyer for Film & TV and it was then that I first began developing my treasure hunting skills. I enjoyed nothing better than having a list of obscure items that were needed, with a very limited budget and time frame and having to run around sourcing them in a day. Riffling through skips, blagging freebies and bargain hunting, I was in my element for several years until I suddenly found myself living in London and quite penniless. Forced to get a more regular job I ended up being sucked into a very steady, dependable job in a corporate environment for several years that slowly began to suck the life out of me (albeit it paid the bills), but when I had my first daughter, Elsie, in 2010 I vowed to quit my job and to follow my dreams again. It was then that I decided to start ‘Something Elsie Vintage’.
I grew up in a household where reusing, repurposing and recycling were the norm, where my parents instilled A LOT of eco- friendly ethics in to myself and my sisters. Nothing was ever thrown away before all other possibilities had been exhausted, ‘Waste not, Want not’ being one of their most used sayings! If I’m honest as a child I often found this tedious and sometimes embarrassing but now I couldn’t be more grateful for the example they have set us. Sometimes the most amazing items I have discovered come in looking as though they have had their day, but with a little TLC they are restored to their former beauty and ready to go back out into the world and be re-loved. There are so many amazing items out there, in perfectly fabulous condition, that for whatever reason have been discarded and they just crying out for a new home.
I just love finding beautiful garments, whether they be made from cotton, silk, wool or mohair to sell on and share with my customers. Recently ASOS announced they are no longer stocking any feathers, bones, mohair, cashmere or silk items on their site. Whilst I commend their stance on animal welfare and stand firmly in the belief that any cruel methods of production have to stop, I believe by banning resale of any items that are already in existence doesn’t change anything but just adds to another already huge problem; textile waste.
According to Greenpeace ‘The U.K. dispose of 350,000 tonnes of clothing in landfills every year.’ This is just madness, and this is just in the U.K alone. The estimated average lifetime for a garment of clothing is 2.2years and whilst this is alarming it is not altogether surprising. Clothes break or tear, the elastic goes, things no longer fit as our body shapes change (especially for us mums!) and it is inevitable that we will have to buy replacements. However most of us, myself most definitely included, also just love to shop! We love the feeling of wearing something for the first time, finding something that fits perfectly, reinventing ourselves, whatever the reason, it usually gives us a much needed confidence boost. With this in mind the future can feel very bleak when told we must stop buying, or if we do we must face the guilt of fueling our fast fashion culture and destruction of the environment. This is where the vintage industry, sustainable brands and companies like Give Wear Love come in to give us all some hope.
What’s lovely over the past 6 years of trading at markets, fairs and festivals is I have been able to witness firsthand so many happy dances, twirls and huge smiles when someone finds something they love and look stunning in. And what’s even lovelier is knowing that I’m providing, along with so many other wonderful vintage traders out there, an opportunity to get our retail fix without having to feel too guilty. I am also pleased to report that since the beginning of 2018 (quite possibly as a direct result of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II) I have had a significant increase in very conscious customers who are telling me they are committed to buying plastic free and second hand whenever they can and they are buying not just one token vintage item, but instead slowly transforming their wardrobes to entirely second hand or eco-friendly brands.
It’s reassuring to know that with a few small changes, we can make a big difference.
Hope you enjoy the collection X
Shop Something Elsie Vintage on GIVE WEAR LOVE.