Vintage Fashion Expert Eva Dayton of Consignment Brooklyn
Vintage Fashion Expert Eva Dayton of Consignment Brooklyn Courtesy of Consignment Brooklyn

Happy Earth Day. To honor this moment—and our planet— vintage lover and owner of Consignment Brooklyn Eva Dayton shares her top tips on how to shop the best vintage treasures, create killer designer looks for less, and why recycling and upcycling fashion has never been so chic, affordable and sustainable.

"As a kid, I was always into "thrifting" and today it's become a luxury. I am on a modern mission to end wasteful purchases. Why buy "new" when you can find something incredible in a secondhand shop for less. When you buy vintage you are can also show off your personal style as it's unlikely anyone else has this one off treasure", says Dayton.

To inspire you to embrace vintage and be more mindful of your fashion choices, first a few (rather scary) facts:

Why Planet Fashion is a Threat to our Planet

  • Fashion is one of the biggest climate offenders.
  • On average we only wear around 20-30% of our wardrobes.
  • 85% of what we buy ends up in landfills, in the US alone we throw away 81.5 lbs of clothes every year, an estimated 11.3 million tons of textile waste.
  • If we carry on as we are by 2050 fashion will account for a quarter of the world's global emissions according to a book by Vogue Australia's first sustainability editor Clare Press.
  • An influential voice on sustainable fashion Press' book "Wear Next: Fashioning The Future" is a must-read.
Wear Next: Fashioning the Future by Clare Press
Wear Next: Fashioning the Future by Clare Press Courtesy of Clare Press/Thames & Hudson

Vintage Expert Eva Dayton Shares Her Top Pics

Shopping Secondhand and Vintage is an Affordable Luxury

"In addition to vintage pieces at my Consignment Brooklyn store, we also have many items that are "New with Tags". So you can buy current season pieces in vintage and consignment stores for a lot less when they are still selling at full price in other stores. It's a no-brainer. At a good vintage store, you can also be sure that everything is in tip-top shape—all of our stock is immaculately cleaned and crisp before it goes onto our floor".

It Pays to Do Your Homework Before A Sustainable Style Mission

"Look up vintage, luxe secondhand, and preloved on IG to research some finds before heading out. There are many spots to hit in NYC alone. Remember, there is only one of everything in the secondhand market so I always tell our clients "If you love it, get it" because it could be gone in the next hour or two. One of my most fave vintage finds was a white leather Gianni Versace jacket that I still love and will never sell. It's so cool and no one has it, that's the beauty of vintage."

Secondhand Designer Bags are HOT, HOT, HOT

"You will never go wrong with a secondhand designer bag, the best investment you can make is in bags and fine jewelry. At Consignment Brooklyn we are also still riding the "Quite Luxury" wave, so other great vintage items to invest in are blazers, button-downs and jeans. We have an entire jean wall that gets a lot of love every day. Print and color are also very popular."

70s-Inspired Fashion Always Comes Back Around

"The 70s has become a classic fashion era and the current Boho trend is proof that the style always returns. I am a true jean girl and also have a denim wall in my own closet. I'm also obsessed with anything Celine and Chloe. love a Black blazer and a leather jacket with jeans, that's my go-to style for any day of the week and always looks classic with a modern twist."

How to Rock Vintage and Current Fashion

"I'm definitely a 50/50 gal when it comes to dressing. I love my vintage pieces and also love my modern-day secondhand finds like jeans, blazers, and shoes. I seem to go for vintage bags and jewelry the most—I have a few cool vintage tops and jackets and the most amazing vintage." Chanel jacket hanging in my closet."

Clean Out Your Closet Regularly and Be Ruthless

"Do it every season and be tough on yourself. Keep what you 100 percent love and adore. If you never wear something but keep thinking you might wear it down the road or next year, it's not happening. Give it away, donate it, or consign it for cash or store credit."

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