Vintage clothes 'in vogue' with China's youth
Updated 07:30, 28-Mar-2021
By Wang Mengjie

What you wear can say a lot about you. China's younger generations are eager not to be seen in the same outfits as their peers, leading to a revival of vintage clothing.

For many, vintage equates with second-hand, but Xiao Xiao, the manager of a vintage shop, explained that vintage can be classified as a culturally significant item with a history of between 20 to 99 years.

"I can't deny that vintage clothes are second-hand, but not all second-hand stuff is vintage," Xiao told CGTN, adding that real vintage represents value. "It's a classic culture that can be inherited between generations."

But facing a rapid rise in demand, some fake vintage items have appeared on the market,  leading to calls from experts for better management of the industry.

Xiao hopes that both sellers and customers can work together to fix the problem. "We sellers need to introduce real vintage, and buyers need to improve their ability to identify fake items," said the shop manager.

Sustainability behind changing consumer trends

Fueled by changing consumer attitudes to sustainability, experts said China's resale economy, with vintage business involved, is growing rapidly.

According to a report from Shenzhen-based market research company AskCi Consulting, the revenue of China's second-hand market reached 740 billion yuan in 2018 and was estimated to exceed 1,000 billion yuan in 2020.

Apart from vintage clothing, more and more customers are participating in the resale economy with the emergence of an increasing number of apps like Idle Fish or Xianyu, which has become one of the largest online trading platforms for used goods, from household appliances to cosmetics.

For millennial and Gen Z shoppers, collecting vintage pieces bring a new sense of individuality and self-expression.

"I think vintage clothing helps the buyer lead a green lifestyle. It's environmental protection," vintage fan Gao Gao said. For Chen Siyu, another fan of the trend, the emergence of vintage "could help more people learn about and understand the second-hand economy."

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