Repurposed+ – changing attitudes towards second hand clothes in suburbs of Kalmar
Second-hand clothes might be great for the environment and beautiful to some, but does all people feel positivity about it?
For most of my life, second-hand clothing hasn’t been the most popular option to go for or seen as something positive around me and my friends I grew up with. I grew up in the suburban area called Norrliden in Kalmar. It’s important for the people in the suburbs to wear these modern style and trendy fashion clothes are to escape the reality of being a middle/low class living in the suburbs. By wearing these clothes creates and illusion for other people to believe that they are rich and wealthy and an upper class. Wearing secondhand clothes usually won’t work here since secondhand is used, usually worn out and old which means it’s probably a design or style that isn’t popular or wanted.
Many people in the suburbs that I interviewed were interested in high brands and style which are very hard to find in a secondhand store since most people wouldn’t throw away such clothes and that led me to study the works of different fashion designers within these companies that the people of the suburban areas of Kalmar are interested in so I could eventually learn and create something similar from my own closet and also create a branding of my own in hopes to share my message on acceptance of secondhand clothes around the world.
I didn’t only want to create some garments out of my old clothes to impress the suburban people in hopes for acceptance, I also want to gather a group of suburban people in Kalmar to have a deeper discussion about the topic together and also give them the opportunity to repurpose a piece of cloth themselves. And that is why I created the workshop “Repurposed+”.
My sister gave me a very interesting insight since she has worked on a clothing store herself. she said that many maybe would prefer clothes from a typical clothing store such as H&M instead from a secondhand store but many don’t know that the clothes in the store technically are secondhand themselves. She meant that people come in and try out those clothes all the time and also returns some of the clothes they have bought. I never thought of that myself before and I thought it was a great point. Secondhand stores also have cultural clothes which normal stores doesn’t have and also has new things that isn’t worn by someone else. They all believe that if the right people (influencers for example) promote sustainable clothing and repurposed fashion, it can turn the whole views around of the people in the suburbs of Kalmar because when you are young, you look up to influencers and not many promoted it when we were kids but some have started to do it which is nice and has influenced some of the female attendants of the workshop.
Maybe I didn’t convince them all but this is not the end. I want to expand my project further in the future onto other suburbs across Sweden and the world and hopefully we can do something against the negative norms and stereotypes and people of the suburbs of Kalmar can go around with secondhand clothes without feeling bad about it.