It’s partly a green decision, with reused objects having a substantially lower carbon footprint, as well as the uniqueness of the objects themselves and the desire to create a distinctive and personal style. And then there’s the affordability.
The trend is picking up in Europe. “The pendulum is swinging upwards once more for antique and vintage furniture thanks to a growing fashion for sustainability in home decoration,” said Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of the search engine Barnebys, which monitors 2000 auction houses.
“Millennials are driving this new interest. They want unique, personal and quality items that last over time. It is not sustainable for our world to continue to consume as we now do.”
The Independent on Saturday spoke to prominent vintage traders in Durban on the trend.
“I think we’re at the start of a strong movement here,” said Gabriella Peppas, who has recently established the Durban Vintage Market. “There are so many interesting people buying vintage, and young people are investing in their homes with better made objects that have longevity and are affordable. And it’s more interesting with the vinyl scene coming back.
“The vintage community is an engaging, passionate and eclectic one that crosses race and gender.”
For Helen Clementz, who runs the Windermere Antique Fair (The #WAF), on this morning at Windermere Centre, it’s a case of wanting to be bold and leave the heard. “Vintage items are unique, and are so much more reasonable than those bought new from fashion and homeware stores,” she said.
For Nicola Oosthuizen from Eclectic in Haden Road on the Berea, the trend is ’80s, especially American College “letter” jackets for men.
“Today there’s no set style. You’ll see something on a YouTube video and one person catches on, and suddenly it’s like wildfire. Look at the rappers, with their own style and the big rings and big jackets. I see the demand straight away,” she said.
“You can be trendy without being a big spender. I get a kick out of when these youngsters come in and get so excited when they walk out in a completely different outfit.”
Millennials can see the potential to recycle vintage items.
“While the women are more likely to use an item as is or change the hemline and accessorise it, the men have their tailors,” said Oosthuizen.
“You’ll get this guy buying a frumpy grandad pair of trousers that are size 42, and I look at him and he’s a size 30, and the next time I see them they’re three-quarter length and fitting perfectly.”
For Lauren Berry, who runs her business from the facebook page wtf (What They Found), the focus is on reuse and recycle.
Her personal style is very much mid-century Scandinavian modern with its clean lines and striking looks, a style which is highly sought after.
“More young people are going vintage because it’s affordable and the quality is superior to so much of what is available now,” she said.
“Plus people love the hunt, and finding that unique item that pulls a whole outfit together.”Independent On Saturday