THE MAGIC OF PRE-LOVED
Retail as we know it, has evolved over the last few years, as the awareness of the shopper for the ethical dilemma associated with the fashion industry has become paramount to the buying experience. In a far less wordy explanation: Fashion now has a conscience.
Don’t get me wrong- I know this isn’t a new thing, vintage and pre-loved offerings have been available for as long as the fashion industry dates back, but recently, maybe influenced by a combination of celebrity endorsement, The David Attenborough effect and designers themselves joining the pro-sustainability band wagon, pre-loved has become not only a consistent and readily available choice, but is also considered a trendy way of life.
But why does it feel so good to shop this way? Well for me there’s a few things about the pre-loved initiative that add to the magic, and many of the customers I assist share the same view. First, obviously, is the saving we make when we buy second hand. We have pieces in store, Annette Gortz Coats, Rundholz Boots to name a couple, that originally retail at hundreds. In our pre-loved store, you can snap these up for a fraction, benefitting from somebody else’s original outlay. So from a spend perspective, we’re already winning. This means between more considered purchases from our full price spends, we feel guilt-free when we top up with a cheeky pre-loved bargain.
Secondly, there’s the ‘one off’ element with the pre-loved store. Pieces arrive randomly, and are one of a kind, as are usually pieces from previous seasons that we can’t get hold of anymore, so they feel extremely special, like gifts. Often we miss key pieces from a collection, because they sell out so fast, or at full price we just can’t justify it, so if those pieces come into pre-loved, it feels ‘meant to be’ and we can finally stop dreaming about ‘that coat’ or ‘those shoes’ as they sit proudly in our wardrobe. The fact we waited that little bit longer only adding to the joy we experience when we finally can call it ours!
And finally, maybe most importantly, is the added pleasure that comes with knowing you’ve put life back into something that was going to waste. Especially if that something is so beautiful you can’t bear the thought of it being held prisoner in a wardrobe of someone who was once an old friend to it, but has now cast it out of favour. What tragedy! We will give it a new home, where it will be worn, and revered and then passed on again, when the cycle repeats. That is of course the benefit of high-end pre-loved, it lasts the test of time, as the quality withstands multiple occasions and owners.
The sustainable revolution comes from a concern for where our clothes came from, whether they were sourced ethically and responsibly and who made them and at what cost. The ‘I made your clothes’ campaign was an initiative set up to invite brands and retailers to show people their supply chain and their story, with a goal of transforming the industry by demonstrating transparency. At Arabella, our labels got involved, Tissa Fontenada and Elemente Clemente leading a fine example. Buying pre-loved, regardless of whether the piece started its life with this in mind, by re-using or recycling, we are saving it being added to the waste concern, and championing a more resourceful ideal.
THE ARABELLA PRELOVED
Grown from small seed to MASSIVE project, our PRE-LOVED offering has become an integral part of what we do here. Clients bring in pieces that for whatever reason, they want to re-home, and when they sell, they gain credit to spend on a new piece, keeping the cyclic theme going. The transaction ends with two very happy parties (three if you include the joy we take from helping assist with the whole process!)
If you haven’t had chance to come and see us personally, you would be overwhelmed by the scale of our pre-loved store, which is bursting with rails full of Rundholz, Annette Gortz, OSKA and Crea Concept, as well as one-off pieces which include directional designer pieces by Vivienne Westwood, Max Mara and More. Clients send their pieces to us from all over the world, which makes our offerings even more unique and exclusive, not to mention super eclectic so there really is something for everyone! Think of it as the Aladdin’s cave of pre-loved, curated from lovers of interesting pieces, for lovers of interesting pieces, with quality and sustainability at its heart.
If you can plan a trip to come and see us, if all of the above has got you in the mood for a serious old fashioned rummage, then try and time it with our next event, where, as well as the usual Arabella deliciousness, we will be hosting our friend and fellow girl gang member Finola, from NAÏVE, who specialises in Vintage Pre-loved and couture handbags and jewellery. We cannot wait for this collaboration! Think vintage CHANEL earrings with our Alembika Patchwork Kimono Coat- I’m going to be IN MY ELEMENT!
A PRE-LOVED VLOG
We wanted to celebrate our current pre-loved picks, by showing them off with the current season favourites. Grab yourself a steaming cuppa’ and sit back and relax. Then we invite you to view the ARABELLA PRE-LOVED.
Keep up with the latest PRE-LOVED news, on our BRAND NEW dedicated pages: