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Sustainable Local Fashion in Basel

Photo courtesy of and with permission from Ditte

I had the privilege of speaking with Ditte from @the_vintage_galore_collective about her journey through the world of fashion, which ultimately led her to her current business. As part of our series entitled, “Sparking Human Potential for the Environment,” I wanted to reach out to individuals working hard to change broken and antiquated models of doing things, especially when it comes to the clothing industry. Plus, I believe we should be shining a light on those individuals striving to work toward a brighter future and a kinder tomorrow.

Ditte was at one point a self-proclaimed shopper. Trying to “find herself” as many do through fashion, she fell into a cycle of buying “cheap” clothing often. Searching for a sense of satisfaction by purchasing the latest trends and styles, she was always striving to look her absolute best. For a very short time, fashion provided her with that opportunity. Her desire to dress in the latest trends ultimately led to over consumption with the realization that she was falling prey to fast fashion’s marketing ploys.

Photo courtesy of and with permission from Ditte

One day, she finally “had enough” and changed her ways. By understanding that the clothing industry was not sustainable for the planet or its people, she turned to vintage and secondhand clothing. What she discovered left her with powerful and lasting realizations.

The first being that clothes from the past were built to last and were made with genuine care and craftsmanship. With quality and skill placed into making these clothes, it is a wonder why anyone would shop in massive retail stores, where clothes are produced as quickly as humanly possible. The clothes that can be found in secondhand stores are unique and one of a kind, offering the consumer the ability to purchase items that are rare. By purchasing used clothing, one can create a sense of style that doesn’t exist on the “high street.”

Secondly, she realized that secondhand and vintage clothing can lend itself to a modern, "fresh look" by breathing new life into clothes that have moved from one closet to another. Ditte certainly has an eye for selecting pieces that are timeless and beautiful. She spends a great deal of energy searching through secondhand stores to find pieces that are worthy of finding a new home. With that, she gently and lovingly mends and cleans her finds. By taking the time to properly care for and repair our clothes, she believes we learn to appreciate all that goes into creating these pieces of art. Ditte is convinced that by learning to care for and repair our own clothes, we can empower ourselves to get out of the cycle of the use and discard mentality that has penetrated our culture. Clothes should not be viewed as discardable, but rather treated with respect and reverence.

Photo courtesy of and with permission from Ditte

As Ditte continues to run her Instagram account and move clothing out of secondhand stores and into the homes of deserving and appreciative buyers, she hopes to create awareness surrounding the negative implications fast fashion has on humanity and the environment. It is also her goal to open an online store in the near future, which she hopes will diminish any stigma that surrounds wearing secondhand clothing. She would ultimately like what she perceives to be an “underground” community to rise and become mainstream. Whether that be through clothing swaps, secondhand purchases or simply talking more about the pressing issues that face the environment.

Photo courtesy of and with permission from Ditte

It was a genuine pleasure speaking to Ditte last week. Ditte, is not only passionate about her current business model, but also educated on the industry. She wants to empower consumers to see secondhand clothing in a new light and encourage individuals to care for their clothes, which ultimately keeps our goods in circulation longer.

My interview with Ditte took place on Friday, May 13, 2022

To visit Ditte’s Instagram site, please visit: @the_vintage_galore_collective/


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