What's wrong with vintage?
I recently went to Lou Lou's Vintage Fair in Bristol with clothes, jewellery, memorabilia and furniture - all inspired by the 1950/60's! It was in the Passenger Shed by Temple Meads and if you are into anything vintage from that era I would highly recommend it (I came to the realisation that I'm more of a 70/80's chick when it comes to vintage clothing - something about the flares and crop tops speaks to me...)
I was walking around absentmindedly sifting through bargain bins and trays of gold jewellery, when I came across a range of watches - mostly with leather straps. They looked so beautiful but I knew I wouldn't want to buy any of them because of the dead animal skin wrapped around the straps. The lady who owned that particular stall saw me admiring a Rotary watch and told me I could try it on if I wanted, I didn't want to get into much of a conversation so I just said I was browsing. She asked me again if I she could help me with my search so I told her I was vegan so wouldn't be able to buy any of them unfortunately. She then said something that's stuck with me since then; "vintage leather is different though, as there's no demand for it".
I think what she was saying is that because vintage items like watches are one-of-a-kind and no one is making them anymore (obviously people are making leather watches but not these same ones) that there wasn't a demand for them and therefore buying one wouldn't contribute towards new leather watches being made. It's a tough one because really it's a two sided coin, on the one hand I don't particularly want dead animal skin on me or anywhere near me but on the other hand it's about not supporting the leather industry.
I guess you could think, if I don't buy this watch someone else will, or if no one buys it they will just get thrown away and that's wasteful and that buying it is another form of recycling. But you may feel that wearing a leather-strapped watch is promoting the use of leather today, and that's clearly what we want to avoid. Basically, after all this time I still haven't made up my mind how I feel about vintage pieces like that watch, and maybe I won't ever come to a conclusion.
The point of this rambling story is that it's never just black and white, some decisions are harder than others and sometimes you may feel conflicted. Making conscious decisions when buying clothes is never a bad thing however, and the more we can have a conversation about these topics, the more we can learn what is right for us as individuals. If you have any thoughts on this I'd love to hear from you, feel free to drop me a message via my contact page :)
PS: they had vegan cake at this event too - you're tempted now aren't ya!!
For more information about the vintage fair and any upcoming events, check out their website www.thevintagefair.com