One thing the pandemic has made abundantly clear is that the supply chain is fickle. Shipping delays and soaring production costs have led to vintage goods experiencing a major comeback. Vintage is appealing to consumers not just because it’s reliable (you don’t have exorbitant wait times for a product that’s already made and ready to ship within the U.S.), but also because vintage is good for the planet.
In 2018, in the U.S., we discarded 12.1 million tons of furniture and furnishings. That doesn’t even include rugs and carpets, which was an additional 3.4 million tons that same year. These numbers are uncanny, and yet they are continuing to rise. It’s no wonder, then, that our eco-conscious Gen Z and Millennials in particular (but consumers in general -- according to Forbes, the U.S. secondhand market will reach about $82 billion annually by 2026) are opting for vintage.
Keeping up with the times, Zara, a notoriously large fast-fashion empire, is moving toward resale with its recent release of Zara Pre-Owned in the U.K.
Another piece consumers appreciate about vintage is the stories the pieces tell. Fashion icon and vintage expert Cameron Silver says it best: “Looking at a beautiful vintage garment can provide a visual explanation of what was happening in society, politics and the arts since the way we express ourselves in fashion tells us a lot about who we are and where we have been.”
That’s what we appreciate so much about vintage: it reflects a specific time and place. For us, of course, that representation is found in our rugs. We source primarily from Turkey and Pakistan, and the rugs are frequently named after the city or region in which they were made, so you can really get a sense of what the weaver’s world looked like when they crafted their rug.
An example is this 60-year-old Turkish Oushak above. We know it was made some time in the 1960s in the Western Turkish town of Oushak. With a little research, we can learn the story of what the atmosphere was when the weaver created this. And the story itself is a piece of art, and much more meaningful than, say, purchasing a ready-made piece from a big manufacturer. While that may be a little more affordable on the outset, it doesn’t come with the story or the sustainability of a used rug – and that’s what consumers are flocking to. (Also, machine-made rugs are harder to wash and they don’t stand up to time like handmade vintage rugs do.)
Since pre-owned goods are making such a comeback, we thought we’d share some of our favorite local-to-us vintage and resale shops:
Furniture and home goods:
And of course, you can look to us for handmade vintage rugs!