Sarah came to Green Heart Collective as Digital Marketer at the end of June 2021. Since then, she's transformed our Depop range and Instagram, and established our Vinted collection. Sarah brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and curiosity around preloved and vintage fashion and it was great to find out more about her passion for preloved clothes in this interview.
When did you develop a passion for clothes?
I always loved dressing up and experimenting with clothes but I think my passion began to develop along with my music taste when I started secondary school. Fashion and music go hand in hand and my style was heavily influenced by the music I listened to and the scene in London at the time in the mid 2000s. It was fun, colourful and creative and I loved everything about it.
Can you describe what you love about clothes?
I think they’re a great way to be creative and express yourself and they can be a form of escapism in hard times. Fashion can be considered superficial but clothes can tell stories, communicate important messages and drive social change and innovation.
What’s the first preloved/vintage item you ever bought?
I can’t remember the very first item I bought, but one of the first was a black and gold vintage jacket from a small vintage shop in Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street, in London. I would have been 14 or 15 and it felt very special. I still have it now although it’s been a few years since I’ve worn it!
What shops did you enjoy shopping in as a teenager? And what about now?
As well as shops like Topshop, Urban Outfitters and American Apparel, I loved shopping in vintage shops in different parts of London such as Camden and Shoreditch. Two of my favourites then were Beyond Retro and Rokit and I still visit them when I’m in London. Now I buy most of my clothes secondhand and love rummaging through the rails of my local charity shops!
How did your love of clothes influence your education and employment choices?
Fashion and clothes were such a huge part of my life as a teenager that when it came to choosing what to study at university, I couldn’t imagine doing much else. I nearly went down a more traditionally academic path but I am so glad I went with my gut and studied Fashion Communication. Since graduating, I have continued to gravitate towards creative roles which involve working with clothes in some capacity.
Before coming to Green Heart Collective, what experience did you have of selling preloved/vintage clothing?
I had been selling my own clothes on eBay for around 10 years and had started buying preloved and vintage clothing to resell online while I was studying for my MA in Photography. At the same time, I worked for a vintage clothing concession at Topshop. Both these experiences encouraged me to learn more about vintage fashion and brands and I have developed a real passion for it as a result.
What attracted you to Green Heart Collective?
I was drawn to Green Heart Collective’s mission to reduce waste to landfill and encourage people to buy preloved rather than new, particularly when it comes to clothing. Having seen first hand from working in retail how much new clothing is produced and how much of this ends up going in the bin, I knew very quickly that it was something I wanted to be involved with!
What is your role at Green Heart Collective and what are your favourite parts of your job?
My role mainly involves photographing all clothing for our website and other selling platforms and curating our Depop and Vinted shops. My favourite part of my job is selecting, photographing and researching unique retro and vintage pieces to sell on Depop and watching our shop grow.
What has been your favourite item of clothing that you have photographed since starting this job?
Some of my favourite items to photograph have been pieces for our Depop shop because they’re usually very colourful and unique. One of these was a sparkly vintage blouse which I wish I had bought for myself before it sold!
How do you feel about fast fashion and what would you say to encourage people to buy preloved?
I understand the appeal of fast fashion in terms of affordability and how it enables people to experiment with trends and different styles but it’s not sustainable and encourages excessive consumerism. Buying preloved is an exciting way to shop because you never know what you’re going to find, you’re more likely to find better quality clothing at affordable prices and you can find pieces you really love that are less likely to go out of style so quickly.
We hope that you share Sarah's passion for preloved and vintage clothing. Do pop in to our store in Gateshead or check us out online to browse our curated collections. If you are unsure of how to find the right preloved clothes for you, do get in touch and we'd love to answer your questions and help you.