Sustainability is the topic of the moment. The fast-fashion fad has passed as most of the cheap, mass-produced items it spawns seem outdated within months. Online shopping is done in secret, eyes averted in embarrassment as returns are handed in at the post office counter. Now, the popular trend among the fashion and sustainability conscious is vintage fashion. No new clothes have to be produced and old items remain in circulation, gain in value and allow more and more people to participate in the extended value chain.

Nowadays, a vintage shirt with a Nirvana, Wu-Tang Clan or 2Pac print on it can easily set you back more than 1,000 francs, despite originally having cost little more than 30. This is even the case if the item is faded – after all, features like that just serve to make it more authentic.

The sky’s the limit – sales of vintage fashion are on the rise

According to experts, sales of vintage clothing will double in the coming years and are set to actually overtake those of fast fashion 10 years from now. It therefore comes as no surprise that the fashion platform Lyst has reported an amazing 42% increase in searches for vintage items.

Big business with resells

Whether it’s a designer bag, a fancy accessory or an old band t-shirt, smart people recognized the profit opportunities in this business at an early stage and made a fortune from resales of rare items.

Demand determines the price

The example of a Nirvana t-shirt from the 1990s demonstrates how vintage items can grow in value according to the theory of supply and demand. After the death of cult singer Kurt Cobain, unauthorized memorial shirts were two a penny on every street corner. In the ensuing period, Cobain became not just an icon of pop culture but practically synonymous with the 1990s revival. As a result, demand for the once ubiquitous t-shirts grew gradually over the course of 20 years while the supply slowly shrank.

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