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“Recycle Vintage Store”: Prague’s Warrior vs. Fast Fashion

by Aliaksei Bundur, on Jun 4, 2019 11:14:34 AM

I had an opportunity to meet and talk with an extremely kind and talented person, — Martina, the creator and owner of the “Recycle Vintage Store”, located in Prague. The interview itself appeared to be very personal and this is what set the mood for the whole project.

Alex shop1"I have never ever had any idea of a store like this...”

 “Recycling is very important for me, I love to wear everything that is second hand and also trying to make it look trendy, fashionable and comfy. Some people are thinking some way, but then you go to the shopping malls and you see the people, they are like crazy: they don’t know what they are going to buy, but they just want something as it makes them happy. This is sad, it’s a crisis and.. sick”, - Martina.““I have never ever had any idea of a store like this..” - Martina

Before we jump into the video itself, let’s discuss how important is to recycle clothes and what is going on with this “hot” topic nowadays. Because of the current environmental awareness, people are becoming more interested in changing the way they treat clothes. Basically, clothes recycling is the process of “recovering” old pieces of wardrobe to make them wearable (and sometimes even more fashionable) again.


Alex shop“Recycle Vintage Store”  entrance

“I think we don’t have to push ourselves to be 100% perfect in everything. I wish that we can recycle, reuse and stop produce in every topic of our life, but it’s not that easy, as we were born in this kind of society. We can start doing better, just try the best you can, but don’t push yourself to wake up at be in the stress that you can not buy something”, - Martina.

Interior of the “Recycle Vintage Store”

Look in your closet, I bet you will find at least one or two pieces of clothes that you have not worn in years and they are just taking up some space. You might think that you are going to use them one day, but usually iit is not happening.  Because of the current environmental awareness, people are becoming more interested in changing the way they treat clothes.

Alex4Boxes with clothes under one of the Prague bridges

Some scary clothing facts:

  1. The average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste;
  2. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is approximately 3 years, while nearly 100 percent of textiles and clothing are recyclable;
  3. If the average life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce their carbon and water footprints, as well as waste generation, by five to 10 percent;
  4. Every year, 12 million tons of clothing ends up in landfills where they take up a massive amount of very expensive space;
  5. Recycling 100 million pounds of clothes has an effect on the environment equivalent to removing 26,000-35,000 cars from the road.

Not convinced yet? Well, if the environmental problems are not bothering you at all, than how about donating your old clothes and shoes to charity, instead of just sending them to the landfill? They are not infinite and one day there would be no space for that. Also, by selling unwanted pieced of clothes for cheap to others you could help someone who is having problems with money. Even when the piece of your clothes is critically damaged or too old to wear it in any way possible, you can repurpose it. Make a paper towel out of a ripped shirt or trashy pants and you would save extra money and help the planet at the same time.

Alex5Lights at the store

“What I recognise now these days, it’s better not to follow and to look at the things that are happening now, because you can only follow the trends [that way]. It’s better to go different way and look at different things;  I want to do different stuff”, - Martina.

As for Martina’s way of recycling, she is not only making old clothes wearable again, but also adding to them firm touch and style. Most of “Recycle Vintage Store” pieces has a logo that gives their customers a feeling of buying from a brand: it’s like you are still shopping at the fancy clothing store, but this time you know that it is for a good cause.

“Vintage stuff recently became really popular and all those brands (Zara, Mango, etc.) started to make a copy of it. You might think it’s a vintage, but no, - it’s from Zara. They copy the style because they know it’s fashionable and going to earn money from it. Second hands are always good, even if you are going to buy a simple basic t-shirt”, - Martina.

Design of the store, their website and clothes all could be described as something punk, but at the same time in the harmony with nature. Neon green logo with a graffiti type font together with a few small plants around the “Recycle Vintage Store” are making up a great duet, demonstrating how everything is connected.

Alex6Plants and accessories at the store

“I am a mother, I have a child, I hope I am still young and I want to live in this world. I want to be happy, to feel good. There is a lot of negativity, a lot of bad things already happening. Which way I am going to go? Of course, there is this recycling and I am happy that I can do some job that is good for us, for the planet. I am not going to step back, I am going to help. We should enjoy this life here, doesn’t matter if It’s going to be long or short. But at the same time, try not to destroy it: the planet, the person next to us, everything.”

Topics:Living FuturesGlobal Engagement