Fashions of yesteryear re-emerge after quakes

FRANCESCA LEE
Last updated 05:00 26/01/2013
Christine Wilkinson, of The Vintage Cupboard in Mairehau
SOMEONE's TREASURES: Christine Wilkinson, of The Vintage Cupboard in Mairehau, spends hours every day browsing for items for her shop.

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In Christchurch, one person's unwanted goods may be someone else's treasure.

The city's vintage-fashion sellers have found it easier to source their treasures as the earthquakes have prompted residents to clean out their wardrobes and houses.

"It's easier [to find new stock] because people are going through their things post-earthquake," said Christine Wilkinson, the owner of The Vintage Cupboard.

The store opened in Mairehau six months ago. Before that, she had sold vintage items online.

"People are packing up homes and moving to get homes fixed. There are a lot of old things that have been found that have belonged to mothers and grandmothers," Wilkinson said.

Many of the vintage shops in High St were destroyed in the quakes. Some retailers have moved away, but others have emerged in the suburbs, with business thriving.

"A lot of people held a bit of stigma about second-hand clothing stores," said Second Heaven owner Rebecca Clark, who took over the Bryndwr shop this year.

"That's changing a wee bit now. Maybe celebrities are changing it. There are a few that wear vintage clothing."

She said struggling Cantabrians wanted "new" clothing for less money, with everyone from teenagers to women in their 90s splashing out.

Wilkinson sees a similarly wide range of customers, with students and grandmothers wanting vintage items.

"Women in the 30-plus group want clothing and nice tailored pieces, and the older population love the music. They just have an experience and they are quite nostalgic," she said.

Vintage hunter Kim Thomas said it was easier to find high-quality clothing from op shops after the quakes. "People might think, ‘Do I really need to take this to my new home?' There seems to be a lot more better-quality clothing."

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- The Press

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