AN INDEPENDENT vintage boutique has seen its popularity grow as the demand for sustainable fashion continues to grow.
As other retailers struggle to close or move online, one store in Bournemouth remains relevant by offering individual and sustainable fashion solutions.
Vintage Clobber in Christchurch Road, Pokesdown has seen a surge in demand as shoppers seek high quality eco-friendly clothing.
“It’s something you keep for years, not just the season”
Owner of Clobber for 25 years, Richard Mason said: “I think a lot of people are moving away from fast fashion and what we offer is slow fashion.
“With vintage, it’s something you’re going to keep in your wardrobe for years, not just during the season.
“In that regard, with global warming and everyone moving away from disposable fashion, people tend to go back to vintage.
“I think vintage ticks all the boxes for sustainability and recycling, you really can’t be more eco-friendly than second-hand clothing.”
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Pokesdown’s main street treasure has regular customers from London who come just to visit the store as well as celebrity customers such as Fountains DC, Wolf Alice and Noddy Holder.
Richard said: “If I had to guess what customers were thinking, they are looking for something different and individual and they are also looking for quality.
“I think sometimes the high street lets people down on construction, quality and fabrics these days.”
Another key appeal of vintage shopping, Richard explained, is the resale value of items – customers can buy an item from Clobber and “when they get bored they can bring it and I’ll buy it back from them and resell it” .
“My main issue with this business is finding stock, I can only sell what I find. I don’t mind paying any price if people bring in items,” Richard said.
With an array of independent traders and new stores opening in Pokesdown, the high street is becoming a vibrant place for shoppers looking for something different from the high street shopping areas of Bournemouth and Poole.
Richard said: “Our business has always been strong, I took over the shop over 25 years ago and we have grown and grown since then.
“The popularity of this street, it is a great road and there are very good companies that have been here for a long time.
“Rents and rates are cheap, so it’s good for start-ups and sole traders.”
‘I’m not going anywhere’
Looking ahead, Richard believes demand for the vintage will only continue to grow. He said: “I’m not going anywhere, I own the shop and I’m hopeful for the future.
“I think the market will only get stronger as people look for higher quality items and durable, eco-friendly items.”