Anyone who is an avid thrifter like myself knows that to find the best pieces, sometimes you have to dig through boxes, visit dusty old homes, and be sure to wash and sanitize everything. Which can all add up to a less than glamorous process.
Recently small businesses have started to bring luxury to thrifting and slow fashion.
Through recycling and repurposing, brands like Second Life Jewels and Clara Jane Vintage have given designer pieces a new life.
One of my personal favorite trends of 2020 were the repurposed Louis Vuitton locks turned into chunky gold chain necklaces.
But these vintage jewelry shops have blown me away with new and creative ways to recycle designer pieces.
Clara Jane Vintage owner, Eugina von Olnhausen, said she always wondered what people did with pre-loved designer items, and now she can tell you first hand, as a successful business owner.
“What happens if it doesn’t sell on eBay? Does it go to donation? And these questions began my journey of repurposing pre-loved designer items into jewelry. It doesn’t matter if it’s a purse, a pair of shoes or even a jacket. There are pieces on the item YOU CAN make into jewelry,” said Eugina von Olnhausen.
One of my favorite pieces from Clara Jane Vintage is this chunky repurposed Chanel necklace. It’s classy, its glamorous, and best of all it's sustainable. Check it out on her Instagram @clarajanevintage .
Eugina offers so many luxury items on her shop including Louis Vuitton hair clips, and Christian Dior rings.
She said that the negative effects of fast fashion have impacted her, and that she would much rather wear something that lasts.
Eugina herself thrifts all of the pieces she uses in her business from second hand avenues. And it's important to her to see her visions come to life in new ways, using vintage materials.
You can view some of Olnhausen’s pieces on the Clara Jane Vintage Instagram here.
According to Forbes Magazine, the fashion industry generates 4% of the world's waste each year, 92 million tons, which is more than toxic e-waste.
In my personal opinion, it is more ethical and more fashionable to shop small businesses that repurpose designer pieces, because you are lowering your waste footprint, and buying a unique piece that almost no one else has.
To me, one of the biggest appeals of luxury brands is that they’re exclusive. Their prices are exclusive, their patterns, pendants, and styles are all exclusive, and if you have a good eye, you can spot when pieces are not authentic.
But when shopping repurposed pieces, you can still have that aspect of exclusivity with authentic pieces but without the price tag and guilt of shopping wastefully.
Another repurposed designer brand that I love is Second Life Jewels. These designers said they started their brand because they wanted a way to make luxury affordable and sustainable.
“Fast fashion definitely influenced our brand, we hate what it's doing to our planet. Reusing and repurposing are such great ways to help our planet! You don’t have to always buy cheap trends and then throw them into landfills, instead stick to pieces that you’ll keep in your closet for years,” said Second Life Jewels.
From Chanel gold necklaces to Dior coin necklaces Second Life Jewels has beautiful reproved vintage jewelry.
Second Life Jewels sources their pieces from a variety of luxury sites and luxury thrift boutiques. The brand says they're always hunting down amazing pieces.
Check out one of my personal favorites from their brand here. Or browse all of their products @secondlifejewels on Instagram.
“Repurposing is important because it helps us recreate instead of inevitably ending up in a landfill. It’s a great solution for unworn or damaged pieces that you no longer want,” said SLJ.
When it comes to fashion, Gen Z are constantly shopping new trends at low prices, and moving on to the next trend at a three to four week life cycle. Let’s all try to be more environmentally conscious by shopping brands that sell repurposed, sustainably sourced pieces.
My mother always told me growing up when we went on our shopping trips that if I couldn’t see myself wearing it for years, then don’t buy it. Ladies and gentlemen I am now passing my mothers wisdom onto you for something to think about the next time you go to swipe that credit card.
Disclaimer: This article and Mud Magazine are not sponsored by the brands mentioned.