Discovering Personality and Sustainability: A Guide to Thrifting and Garment Care

Discovering Personality and Sustainability: A Guide to Thrifting and Garment Care


Get ready to unlock the secrets of the world of thrift shopping, as well as the hidden gems and timeless treasures to vitalize your wardrobe

In recent years, shopping for thrift or vintage garments experienced a significant surge in popularity, particularly among the youth in 2023. This trend reflects a collective desire to adopt a sustainable approach to fashion while discovering distinctive pieces that reflect personal style. Curated vintage shops have become treasure hubs for fashion enthusiasts, housing a plethora of one-of-a-kind pieces with captivating histories.

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thrift shopping

To guide you in navigating and maximizing the potential of finding the perfect piece that you want, we’ve sought the help of Jerome Diga, who owns @ancienMNL, a curated vintage tee store based in Manila, who shared invaluable tips and insights.

Building a unique wardrobe

“Always start with your essential pieces, where first, a good rotation of t-shirts is key with a good mix of black, white, and colored tees that would go well with the majority of your wardrobe. Along this would be a good rotation of pants where, personally, my picks are a few different washes of vintage Levi’s jeans where you can start exploring the different cuts they have to offer, a few pairs of slacks, a few pairs of Dickies or Carhartt work pants. Building your wardrobe allows you to discover what works and what doesn’t based on your personal tastes. You can experiment with different colors, cuts, and styles as you branch out from your core rotation. Building a unique wardrobe is truly a journey of trial and error.”
Ensuring the longevity of vintage garments, Jerome recommends handwashing and hang drying as the best method, especially for delicate fabrics.

thrift shopping

“For stain removal, I would only personally recommend light cleaning agents such as OxyClean and LA’s Totally Awesome, which, unlike bleach, usually aren’t able to disintegrate your fabrics with its intended use. I had a couple of bad experiences with bleach creating holes in some of my tees.”

For storing your tees, Jerome recommends folding your clothing instead of hanging them as it minimizes the risk of stretching the collar area. “Keeping it folded usually is the safer bet. Other than that, don’t be afraid to wear your pieces—things usually get better with wear.”

Identifying valuable pieces and hidden gems

Identifying thrift vintage pieces can be accomplished by examining tags and conducting online research to validate authenticity. Recognizing valuable pieces requires market knowledge gained through browsing different online social media and selling platforms.

thrift shopping

“Personally, my take on what defines a hidden gem is a piece that perfectly fits you while giving you that breath of nostalgia that resonates with you, whether it be a vintage t-shirt of your favorite band or movie, or an iconic piece from your favorite designer. That’s what makes the journey of exploring vintage beautiful—you don’t know what you’ll find and there will be an endless supply of hidden gems meant for you.”

Thrifting made easy

Acknowledging that thrift store visits can be a hit-or-miss, Jerome suggests alternative approaches for those who struggle to find good pieces. They recommend exploring curated vintage clothing events organized by local sellers, offering a more refined selection.

thrift shopping

“I recommend Instagram pages of local sellers, Facebook groups dedicated to thrifted or vintage pieces, and Carousell locally. If you want a wider network to explore, Grailed, Depop, and eBay all carry items from sellers all around the world where you can dig at the comfort of your own home with your own personal device. Finding that one piece that you’ll fall in love with is truly a magical experience that is hard to replicate elsewhere. The journey you take will eventually be rewarded when you arrive at your destination.”

Encouraging sustainable fashion choices

We’ve seen the rise of fast fashion brands dominating the fashion space, and to encourage newcomers to embrace thrifted and vintage pieces, Jerome highlights the impact of creating new garments has on the environment. “There are enough clothes to dress the entire population 10 times over, so there honestly is no need to produce more.”

thrift shopping

Note that vintage clothing pieces can often be found at similar or even lower price points compared to fast fashion brands while offering superior quality and more personality. Engaging with vintage fashion is an opportunity to discover, explore, and experiment with unique styles while contributing to a greater cause.

Featured Image: UNSPLASH (via Instagram)
Photos: JEROME DIGA and ANCIENMNL (via Instagram)

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