A vintage boutique in East Belfast that proves that second-hand fashion can be both trendy and sustainable.
As people continue to become more environmentally conscious and the vintage clothing scene across Northern Ireland grows, American Madness on Lena Street has kept Belfast stylish in second-hand clothing for over. 40 years old.
Jon-Joe Rogers knows a thing or two about the fashion cycles and vintage trends growing up in his father’s original American Madness store.
Speaking to Belfast Live, he said: “American Madness was founded in 1981 in Belfast by my father.
“The original iteration of AM closed in 1999, but after studying in America I decided to relaunch the business when I returned to Belfast – I grew up in the original American Madness and vintage clothing. have always been something my family has been involved in.
“It was a natural progression for me to enter the industry and I understood that the retail business had changed dramatically since my dad had the store and that’s why I decided to focus on the website, but it has always been a dream to reopen an American Madness store in Belfast, which we did two years ago.
Jon-Joe’s knowledge of the industry and handpicked items and his understanding of the impact of second-hand shopping has allowed American Madness to reignite the success it has enjoyed.
“For a new generation of shoppers, sustainability is key and vintage shopping is the most sustainable way to buy clothes.
“The style of vintage clothing is also extremely important to recent popularity.”
Discussing the environmental impact of choosing to go for pre-loved items over fast fashion clothing, he explained that while it can be hard not to be impressed with the low cost of large retailers in online, vintage stores and charity stores can also offer great deals. if you look around you.
He said: “In terms of sustainability there is no comparison, there has been so much that has been revealed in recent years about the damage that fast fashion does not only to the environment but also to the environment. at the enormous social and human cost.
“It can be very difficult to get away from fast fashion because the prices are so low and that makes it such an attractive product to consumers.”
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“At American Madness, we try to sell a mix of different aesthetics, but at the heart is high quality vintage clothing,” Jon-Joe continued.
“Our stock ranges from 1940’s hunting jackets to 1990’s 2Pac t-shirts. I want to offer my customers an alternative to traditional retailers with something available for everyone.
Her advice to anyone trying to be more sustainable in fashion and looking to take the first step in reducing their consumption of fast fashion is to “start small.”
“Changing your shopping habits can be difficult, it certainly takes time – check out some vintage stores or ethical small businesses, there are so many ethical alternatives out there these days.
“There’s a good chance you’ll find clothes you love that are better for the planet and that will outlast the fast fashion. “