Sheffield vintage shops see ‘overwhelming’ response in first week back open

Written by Sophie Henderson

Vintage shops in Sheffield have seen an “overwhelming” response from the city’s thrifters after they reopened their doors a week ago.

Coronavirus restrictions meant the stores have been temporarily closed throughout lockdown and were yet to open in 2021, but as of last Monday (12 April) customers can now shop for pre-loved clothes again.

Louisa, owner of Freshmans Vintage, said: “If you could bottle [the feeling], it’d be like Carlsberg. It’s been a perfect restart.

“From start to finish, I’ve felt like every day was a Saturday. It’s been quite difficult this last lockdown, so it’s nice to be back and see everybody in store.

Freshmans, based on Carver Street, has been an established source of vintage clothes for people in Sheffield and this year will be celebrating it’s 26th year in business.

“It’s a bit more than just a vintage shop”, said Louisa. “We’ve got a nice community of people coming into store and I probably see them about 2 or 3 times a week. I know all their names and I know their family.”

She added: “We’re a bit of an institution, lots of people know us. To keep a business going through a lockdown has been pretty tough going because I didn’t want to be on the other side of it and not reopen.”

“I think what people have realised during this pandemic is what’s important, who they value and where they want to shop. I’ve seen quite a lot of new business come through throughout the pandemic with people trying sustainable fashion for the first time or vintage items and getting the whole ethos behind it.”

Freshmans Vintage, Carver St. Credit: Sophie Henderson

Round the corner on Division Street, Preloved Kilo also welcomed a “surge of customers”, both regular and new, back into store last week.

Shop assistant Charlie Allen said: “This week has been so busy, we’ve had an overwhelming response from Sheffield which has been amazing.”

“It’s felt really happy after such a hard time. There’s a lot of hope.”

Based on the day-long event where people can buy a kilogram of clothes for £15 at venues across the UK, the Sheffield pop-up shop is the first of its kind.

“Our main mission is about sustainability and tackling fast fashion”, Charlie said. “People don’t have to spend £15 they can spend as much or as little as they want.

“It’s really great to weigh it because I think it stops the class division, anybody can be able to afford our clothes. It doesn’t matter what their background is there’s always something in here.”


Written by Sophie Henderson

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