Here’s a common secret: sometimes to pull a heavy fashion statement you don’t even need to be friends with a local designer, you don’t need a Jet score card or an Edgars account. You don’t even need a fat pocket hey. All you need are a good pair of eyes and a few dollars. Now where can you get good clothes that can turn heads for so little? Welcome to thrifting! If you’re a fashion lover then you already know what this is but for the sake of those still falling in love with fashion, here is my best definition:
Thrifting refers to the act or exercise of shopping at a flea market, garage sale, or a shop of a charitable organization, usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a cheap price. Ring a bell right? Yeah in Zim we usually refer to the act or place as mabhero in Shona or ekhothama in isiNdebele. There has been an increase in the number of both thrift shop owners and those buying the clothes over the years for a number of reasons. Most people who thrift do it because they can’t actually afford buying clothes in shops & super markets whilst a significant other are fashionistas trying out new fashion trends and bringing back the old skool vibe.
Most of the clothes you find at a thrift shop are either second hand clothes or rejects from big shops which are then recycled in a totally different environment. What makes it fascinating is the idea of being part of another culture through fashion. Few years back rumours (well from my whatsapp forwarded messages anyway) circulated that the government wanted to shut down thrifting due to the then increasing Ebola virus. I remember a few friends being actually worried since Edgars wasn’t really a favourable substitute but thank God it didn’t get there. 2017 promises to be a massive year in terms of fashion trends and I anticipate reliving of retro from the streets to the runway.
Two young creatives in Zim took the thrifting exercise a notch higher after glamouring the whole idea, leaving people with questions on which thrift shops they use. Chiedza Mahere and Zash Chinhara Co founded the Vintage Hippo initiative which brings some of the coolest vintage wear you can find a lil closer to you than usual.
Vintage hippo finds you a once off piece that probably won’t be found again, meaning you will probably be the only person owning that one piece in your community. Obviously you know that we all want that one piece that makes us all unique when we’re wearing it and that’s partly one of the reasons I also love thrifting. So anyway Zash and I sat down and he came up with the cool name and from there we started attending some markets so we could bring people some goods at a good price and now we’ve a little online store on Instagram that I post on at least we weekly basis just to show people what we have in store.
You can check out their upcoming & exciting online store on their instagram page @VintageHippoZim and also check on the blog www.diaryofsmurfdinkie.