The rise of vintage fashion, manifested through the medium of charity shops, vintage sales and the like has slowly but steadily taken over mainstream fashion, combating problematic fast fashion brands such as Shein.

With apps such as Vinted or Depop, finding more sustainable fashion options has never been easier.

Typically, one would explore the haunts of London or Bournemouth for vintage pieces, but nestled in the unlikely borough of Boscombe, Dorset is Pokesdown – more specifically – Christchurch Road.

In just one, half-mile stretch of street is not one, not two, but eight vintage or charity shops nestled between obscure businesses such as The Crooked Book, a coffee shop/vintage clothing/antique/old book hybrid shop which is both unusual and charming or The Dark Side of the Mirror, a shop dedicated to the needs of witches and wizards, complete with realistic skulls and spell books.

Just a few feet from Pokesdown train station is the impressive Clobber Vintage Fashion shop, filled to the brim with unique vintage pieces, crowding its two floors with all the patterns and colours one could imagine.

With special sections dedicated to shoes, jewellery and menswear from presumably the 1940s, Clobber Vintage Fashion has anything any aspiring fashionista could desire.

An interview with the shop’s owner – Richard Mason provided some insights into the rise of vintage fashion and his own experience with it.

When asked what made him want to go into vintage fashion he said: "The opportunity just fell on my doorstep.”

It was merely “a business opportunity” for him and a successful one at that.

Steering the conversation to the topic of fast fashion, when asked his opinion on the subject, he said: “It's disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.”

This is not a controversial opinion whatsoever and surrounded by loved, used and yet beautiful vintage pieces – it was easy to resonate with his strong opinions.

He then stated that the cause for all the vintage and charity shops on the street was merely, “supply and demand” which suggests that the toxic culture of fast fashion may be soon met with a more sustainable opponent.

Essentially, there are plenty worse ways to spend an afternoon than by wondering the severely underrated streets of Pokesdown, picking up a buttery croissant from M’s Bakery or fantastically cheap used books from The Crooked Book before checking out the wide range of charming, unique and environmentally friendly vintage clothing options hidden behind the hustle and bustle of
Boscombe. Certainly a wholesome antidote to the typical high street experience.

  • This article was written by Maisie Hollowbread, from Peter Symonds College, as part of Newsquest's Young Reporter scheme.