With more consumers turning to vintage and pre-loved clothing compared to fast fashion, upselling clothes is becoming a more common way to make a living. (Image source: Elle Ds Photography)
By Ashleigh Buck | @ashkbuck
Ellie Maiorana, a student at the University of South Australia, is an entrepreneur of slow fashion. After moving away from home to study, she soon found a hobby that sparked her interest. She discussed her love for vintage and the inspirations behind beginning her own line.
“I started reselling April 2020, so exactly a year ago,” she said.
“I was inspired through my want to do more for the environment.”
Her line, ‘No Scrubs’ is an all-inclusive online vintage store. Ellie started by merely thrifting more frequently to avoid purchasing fast fashion items.
As a result of her interest and the more reselling and vintage pages she viewed online, she soon decided to take the plunge, giving it a go herself.
“I like to think I have created a safe space for all to be creative and confident with their style,” she said.
“I try my best to ensure I am providing a range of sizes to cater as I noticed this was somewhat lacking in the vintage community regarding everyday-wear items.
“At the same time, [I] want to encourage individuals to be a part of the slow fashion movement; something I have become very passionate about.”
Each item that is re-sold contains a story, some emblem of a past life that contributes to Ellie’s passion.
“I love the nostalgia it holds. These pieces are literally moments in history, oozing with culture, and they deserve to be re-loved as opposed to rotting in land fill.
“For example, a Women’s Liberation graphic t-shirt worn at a rally from the 1970’s or a 1991 Nirvana Nevermind tee purchased firsthand by a fan at the live concert…the fact these pieces can be within our possession is so captivating.”
So, how does one determine if something is vintage? The period is roughly 20 years or more but as Ellie described, each item is individual in its details and possesses its own character.
“Items between 50s–80s or earlier are regarded as true vintage,” she said.
“90s is your pinnacle era where you will see a majority of vintage pieces come from, there was a massive cultural boom during this time.”
“Then you will see more of your early 2000’s pieces…further from this, how clothing was made; where and what material was used, can help identify what era an item of clothing may come from.
“Look out for single stitched sleeves and bottoms, 50/50 polyester-cotton blends are 70s/80s. Made in the USA/Australia are 60s–mid 90s and 100% cotton is 90s. You will find most of this information on the tags,” she said.
As slow fashion begins to grow, there is a lingering thought as to whether this trend will become an element of future sustainability.
We know the impacts that fast fashion and mass production have on our environment, and simple tasks such as re-homing old items instead of buying new could prevent further destruction.
“I think a lot more people are catching on, particularly within younger generations; environmental consciousness is a huge element of growing up now,” Ellie said.
“Regular occurring climate change rallies and online activism all help encourage ecofriendly behaviour such as re-using and re-purposing items of clothing.
“While buying second-hand is only a small proportion of what needs to be done, it is a step in the right direction and an easy and fun way for people to be more sustainable.
“I think that people are becoming a lot more aware of the ramifications of the fast fashion industry; environmentally and socially. Thrifted fashion enables individuals to freely express themselves without being restricted to what is on trend in major fast fashion outlets.”
Second-hand stores, or ‘op shops’ as most know them by, are scattered throughout Adelaide. Some are small and inconspicuously hidden, and others are bigger and more frequented by consumers.
“A great gateway into thrifting would be to visit one of the three Savers stores; they are huge and have just about everything,” Ellie said.
Pop-up markets are another great place to find a wide range of pieces. Many small businesses and entrepreneurs come together and create a community.
An example is an event held last Saturday, the ‘Tee Flea’ Vintage T-shirt Market. Ellie had the opportunity to set up her own line ‘No Scrubs’ at this quaint market and expressed her love for these local events.
“This will be my second in-person market and I am very excited. I did a Styled Market a month ago and that was so much fun. It was so wonderful meeting other local resellers and customers.
“I think the interactions you have are my favourite thing about markets; physically having people pick out your curated items and being so excited about them is so wholesome to me.
“Connecting with like-minded people who love fashion, sustainability, and culture is awesome. There is always something to talk about and I have met some of the most wonderful people through vintage,” Ellie said.
Slow fashion opens the doors to a whole new perspective, giving meaning to clothes and allowing the stories from the past to breathe a new life. If you have the chance, check out small businesses like Ellie’s or a local op-shop near you and dapple in the culture and stories these items possess.