world of Vintage and Retro clothing is a booming one. Yasmine Naylor
founded Trashy Flowers who are now leaders in the field. Here,
Trashy Flowers' Vintage specialist Antony Antoniou explains
how he got into the Vintage fashion business, why Vintage clothing
is so popular and why it pays, environmentally and fashionably as
well as financially, to shop Vintage.
As a start, we have been in the vintage/recycled clothing business
for 5 years. We actually started by buying a few items to sell on
ebay and gradually built up stock because I got carried away buying.
Vintage clothing is fantastic value, as you are often buying
garments of incredible quality, that may have only been worn once,
or not at all. It can often be an unfair comparison to take a
similar looking product available on the high street, as most of
those are made to a price in the far East.
The other major benefit is that with many items, there is only one
available for sale, unless we happen to get a selection of ‘Dead
Stock’. This means that vintage is no longer the reserve of
artistic students and independent dressers, it is now a fashion
statement. It is also very popular with people who can & do buy
frequently in the high street and who have decided that they do not
want to look the same as everybody else.
We also attract buyers with a conscience in large numbers, whether
they want to participate from an environmental aspect, as we have
saved hundreds of tonnes from landfill, or maybe they do not want to
participate in funding the chain stores' continued exploitation of
cheap labour. The case is clear, vintage is both environmentally
friendly, it is moral and fantastic value. There is also the
excitement factor. When people visit Trashy Flowers, they never know
what will be on our rails. In fact, even for us working with tonnes
& tonnes of clothing in large bails/containers, we never know
what we will pull out next. It could be a quirky dress, a loud
jump-suit or an outrageous pair of leather shorts!
Although we are based in Northampton, the web has enabled us to
generate exposure worldwide. We supply customers in Iceland, Sweden,
Mainland Europe, USA, Japan and Australia. There are weeks where
exports do in fact exceed domestic sales.
The best sellers can vary with the seasons, for example, dresses
slow down quite a lot in winter as they are overtaken by knitwear
and coats, especially this year, but by the end of next month, I
expect the demand for dresses to go through the roof.
I see the company growing over the next few years, either by
expansion or evolution. We are hoping to introduce our own label
which will be to brand our own re-worked or in-house designed
Retro-wear. We have working relationships with several local fashion
designers, who we are keen to promote. We will also use the massive
exposure and traffic that our website generates to publicise some of
the creative people that we are in contact with.
We recently expanded our warehouse premises to a total of
10,000Sq.ft where we now encompass several satellite industries,
from a creative sewing group, to independent designers creating
their own labels. It has been a privilege to participate in and
inspiring so many creative people. It could be said that our
expansion thus far has not been restricted to sales and products,
but it has expanded to people, ideas and inspiration.
This has also created a situation where our recycling ethos is
benefiting local people as we have a great deal of surplus clothing
that we endeavour to put to good use. Some we donate to charity,
some we sell for re-working and some we can give to those who are
learning about fabrics and sewing.
Retro is most definitely here to stay, there may be some adjustment
in expectations over the next year or so as the impact of our
‘Fair price policy’ may oblige retailers with unrealistic
expectations to examine their prices. As we are becoming more
popular, we have an increasing number of retail customers travelling
further and further afield to shop with us.
Most modern clothing is at the very least inspired by previous
designs and many items are nothing more than modified older designs,
with a modern label. The modern buyer is much more savvy than in the
past and with the recent economic crisis, an increasing number of
people question the amount they spend on clothing and more
importantly, the ecological and moral aspects surrounding their
All things considered, all the little retailers up and down the
country, struggling to search for those perfect pieces for their
shop have all added up to create an industry of the future, that is
winning favour with more and more people by the day.
Tuesday 10.30 - 18.30
Wednesday 10.30 - 18.30
Thursday 10.30 - 18.30
Friday 10.30 - 18.30
Saturday10.30 - 18.30
Sunday 12.00 - 16.00
Located on Abington Square in Northampton, our new retail outlet is
a spacious and accessible 'world of Vintage'
wonderful selection of unique clothing and accessories, available to
lovers of Vintage & Retro, at prices that won't break the bank.