Given the fashion industry’s new focus on sustainability, it is no surprise that attention has been turned to vintage clothing. The method of purchasing preloved, quality clothing and giving it a new lease of life is one of the most sustainable means to enjoy fashion. And so, this once-small niche of a market has made its way into the spotlight. Pre Owned luxury is the way to go. However, nothing lasts forever – clothing deteriorates. As such, the practice of upcycling has gained steady attention. Upcycling is an artform which breathes new life into the old. It has found favor among consumers around the world, including Korea, where demand for designer items has always been big.
The craftspeople that deal with upcycling vintage designer items typically save buttons or embellishments from old designer clothing. Then, transform them into accessories such as necklaces, bracelets or even brooches. The price is generally cheaper than what a typical smith would ask for.
Here are some of the upcycling firms that I patronize for classic logo necklaces and beautifully redone jewelry pieces. All of which come at an affordable price that will leave anyone coming back again and again. Let’s take a look at some of the best upcycling artisans in Korea.
Upcycling Chic: Black Label Vintage
Black Label’s unique identity lies in edgier statement pieces. Where others might set a Chanel logo button into a delicate chain to be worn as a simple necklace, you can count on Black Label to take it one step further. They often off-set the original elegance by placing classic pieces against heavy, bold chain-link necklaces. Or create eye catching asymmetrical pieces.
All of Black Label’s charms and embellishments are sourced from authentic branded vintage clothing. Much of their material comes from brand name classic labels such as Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton. Most of their pieces go at a range between 70,000won to 150,000won – a real steal if you ask me.
Upcycling Elegant: Plus 33 Marche
Arguably one of the stores with the largest catalog available for purchase is Plus 33 Marche. It has a reputation as one of the most famous and well-sought-after upcycled designer accessory stores in Korea.
Featuring brands like Hermes and Celine, which aren’t as common among the other stores, it’s no wonder that they have a large and loyal fanbase of repeat purchasers. Unlike Black Label, their style is more simple and classic. Designs feature lots of dainty chains and gold-toned hardware. Painstakingly created, their prices run slightly above average – but the satisfaction their products provide is all worth the money.
Besides jewelry, Plus 33 Marche also carries genuine vintage pieces, ranging from small leather goods to shoes.
In Conclusion, matter where you decide to buy your upcycled luxury from, you can know that you are doing your part for the planet. Fashion can be fun and creative, but let’s try to make it more sustainable.
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