The 5 Best Vintage Shops in Africa for Second-Hand September Inspiration
What has been your experience with 2020’s Slow Fashion Season so far? What have you learned throughout this exciting and, oft-times, challenging initiative? For most first-timers, rolling with the slow fashion waves will have been a learning curve, one that, through all its possible frustrations, has inspired creativity and a new mentality towards achieving what has formerly seemed impossible: avoiding buying into the fast fashion industry. One learns how to be thrifty, acquire new skills and find sustainable brands and sources that are all fighting for the same cause, which is to put the health of our planet first.
It’s understandable why so many of us opt for t-shirts and underwear from big franchises such as Primark and H&M, and these decisions aren’t always born from wanting to follow the latest trends. A lot of the times they are born from necessity. Not all of us have the means to afford a fair-trade, organic cotton shirt that will set us back anywhere between $20 and $50 – as much as a student climate-activist or a eco-conscious single mother of two may want to support sustainable brands and products, it is just not feasible for many. Hence, the $5 to $10 t-shirt at H&M wins once again. Fortunately, there is an inbetweener option, one that is economical and, at the same time, promotes one of the main principles of the Slow Fashion philosophy: to reuse and recycle second-hand – or vintage, if you want to get fancy about it – clothes, rather than letting them get thrown out on the next landfill.
“Throwaway fashion is putting increasing pressure on our planet and its people – it’s unsustainable. Every week 13 million items of clothing ends up in UK landfills. And did you know it would take 13 years for one person to drink the water needed to make one cotton t-shirt and a pair of jeans? Choosing to shop second hand can help,” the Oxfam’s homepage currently reads. The Slow Fashion Season initiative may be coming to an end on September 21st, but why not add on to the challenge by pledging to buy only second-hand for 30 days or more? Give clothes a longer life, stop them from ending up on the landfill, and crown yourself queen of thriftiness and vintage style once you get the hang of finding all the right sources.
Not sure where to start your quest for stylish and unique second-hand clothes? Fashionomics Africa has your back! Here are the 5 best vintage shops in Africa for #secondhandseptember inspiration!
Serinda Fashions, Nairobi
When in doubt, look to your favourite fashion bloggers for styling, lifestyle and, of course, shopping tips. Vonetta Orinda’s blog is a source of great inspiration to anyone looking for the ins and outs of the Kenyan fashion world. In her post, How and Where to Thrift Shop in Nairobi, she talks her readers through all her favourite stops for second-hand shopping missions, and this is where she pointed us towards Serinda Fashions – and we’re in love! At Serinda Fashions you’ll find all your favourite brands, ranging from River Island and Miss Selfridge, to New Look, Atmosphere and Top Shop. You’ll even find unique, hand-tailored items here so be sure to check in regularly and never miss out on an excellent buy! The best part? Serinda Fashions offers free delivery within the CBD district.
Yaba Thrift Shop, Lagos
Have you got a special event coming up, business, leisure or otherwise? Looking for that eye-catching dress that will demand all the right attention? No need to splash out on something new when you can pick up an elegant dress at the Yaba Thrift Shop in Lagos – either in person or online. Want to make sure you look shapely and smooth in a skin-tight number, or have just the right amount of cleavage peaking out from under your dress of choice? Then you’ve come to the right place, because Yaba Thrift Shop offers a variety of spanx shapewear and bralettes to complement your outfit.
Button Up Thrift Shop, Tema
With still a few months to go through the rainy season, you can never have enough cute tops, tunics and t-shirts to combine with your denims and create a stylish look. If you’re looking to refill your wardrobe with new combo options of this kind, be sure to visit the Button Up Thrift Shop – Ghana’s favourite online second-hand store. Here you’ll find an assortment of fun slogan t-shirts, patterned tops for fun and flirty nights out, and casual chic button tops for the (home) office and day-trips to the city in all different colours and sizes, both long-sleeved and short-sleeved. You’ll also find jeans, shorts and funky tote bags on offer at great prices.
The Space, Cairo
For a fully rounded second-hand shopping experience that goes beyond clothes and into the realms of vintage household items and “Elegant Junk” such as serviette sets, address books and doll’s dresses, visit The Space – a lovely little shop in the Degla, Maadi area of Cairo with its own online shop too. The Space promotes a “wise way to shop” for all types of accessories, clothes and trinkets. What we love most about it, however, is that it also promotes local artisans and NGOs by selling their natural beauty products, hand-painted cards, furniture and other handmade pieces. In other words, at this shop, you’re doing more than just tending to yourself, but are supporting important social organisations and local artists as well.
BangBang Vintage Market, Cape Town
Best known for carrying the beloved New Rock and Dr. Martens brands, the BangBang Vintage Market has its own shop located in Cape Town, and hosts popular pop-up markets all over town whenever the mood strikes. Whether you’re always happy to go back to the nineties with your fashion choices or like channelling the eighties hip-hop style with colourful windbreakers and trackies, BangBang’s instore and market products will make your vintage heart beat stronger. For style inspiration just check out their Instagram page full of fantastic ideas and fashionably atmospheric photos.