Recycled Fashion

Posted on: 15/12/2009

by Alice Tofts

Is it just me or does everyone around college look like they are wearing their grandmother’s wardrobe? I bet if you walked down Eastbourne High Street, which is bustling with retired people, you could easily mistake it for the scene of students walking to lessons at Symonds.

Is it the neutral coloured cardies, the oversized wooly jumpers, the silk scarves, cameo jewelry, pearl accessories or the floral blouses which recreate the elderly look?

My mum has just celebrated her birthday and received a card with “the only good thing about getting older is no one wants to borrow your clothes!” well for this season anyway, this is certainly not true.

The term I use to describe this trend is ‘recycled fashion’ as many of the styles that were around 40 years ago have made another breakthrough into high street fashion and it certainly comes with its advantages. With the ever-increasing strain on our allowances or bank balances caused by the recession, the hand-me-downs and presence of fashionable “granny” clothes in charity shops are greatly received by fashion conscious students. This autumn I have bought hardly any new clothes thanks to my mum’s old knits and her huge selection of silk scarves and after a trip round several charity shops my winter wardrobe had been suitably revamped with belts and cardigans, thereby saving me a mass fortune.

Many a time I have been charity shopping and felt a huge sense of glee when I come across an item which looks almost identical to something in Topshop, Zara or H&M and it gives me such smug satisfaction when I get compliments on an outfit that I know cost me only £15.

The proof of this recycled fashion was shown by one of my teachers who was wearing a dress she had owned for over 10 years but which is almost identical to one I had seen in Topshop this season, not only showing trends have gone back into fashion but teenagers are dressing more and more like the older generations but still looking cool.

Five or so years ago, admitting that your jumper used to be your mum’s would have been humiliating and uncool but now; everyone is proud to have inherited such individual, vintage clothing.

So raid your parents or even your grandparents’ wardrobes and root out those stylish vintage clothes. Give them a good airing to remove that famous moth ball smell and flaunt your relations’ clothing because recycled fashion is as good as new.  

Do you agree with Alice? Add your comments below.


4 Responses to "Recycled Fashion"

The message here seems to be “follow what everyone else is doing” which I don’t agree with, a lot of people dont seem able to think for themselves. Obviously buying clothes from charity shops is a good thing but you shouldn’t feel obliged to do these things just because everyone else has started doing it. I’m not saying purposely don’t wear what everyone else wears because that is no better; you should just do/wear what you want. Maybe then it’s a coincidence that everyone seems to think the same thing looks good? I think not.


i love you but you are sometimes part of this little granny scene as well!

but you always look awesome. 🙂


“Teenagers are dressing more and more like the older generations but still looking cool.” – I rather disagree, i see people wearing long, overtly flowered dress and think “jeez, whats up with you?” quite frankly i find them painful to look at, and they feel even worse.

not to say im condemming all older generation fashions, you do get decent clothes because the same could be said about some modern fashions; mostly vulgar but you do get a few good ones

Alice Tofts, another amazing article. In rebuttal to “Chuck Norris'” idea that you were suggesting we should “follow what everyone else it doing”- I think the idea of vintage clothing, inheriting clothes and thrifting is the entire opposite to following the crowd- how many people will have the same jumper your grandma found in a charity shop 50 years ago?

This ‘charity shop’ trend is the lesser of two evils when it comes to ‘doing what everyone else is doing’. How many people do you see in the same, generic, short black elastic mini-skirts around college? (found in HIGH STREET stores anywhere in the UK)

You claim everybody should be wearing what we want. I think you will find by the fact that we are paying pennies for our clothes that this has gone some way to being achieved.

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