GRAPHIC DESIGN Zoe Statiris
Vintage shopping has been on the rise, and 2020 certainly accelerated its growth! In 2018, ThreadUp projected that the total secondhand apparel market would reach $51 billion in 2023. It is now expected to hit $64 billion in 2024, mainly thanks to a significant jump in the resale sector. Great news for secondhand fashion! However, the pandemic has come with lows for the industry as well.
I asked some Toronto vintage store owners about the impacts of COVID-19. Their responses reflected that the past year was one of change, in which no one knew exactly how to proceed. Courage My Love closed its Kensington Market storefront in March 2020 and opened an online store, selling vintage pieces directly through Instagram and Etsy. Retro Heads similarly pivoted to focus entirely on selling through online platforms. Vintage stores have also adapted their offerings as the secondhand market has grown, expanding into new customer segments as younger generations demand responsible business models. Courage My Love saw these demographic changes; when their storefront reopened in the spring of 2020, it appeared their customers were from completely different customer segments than before the pandemic, namely teenagers. They adapted their offerings, becoming self-described “crop-top central.”
Because of lockdowns, most local vintage stores have moved online; here are eight go-to Toronto vintage stores!
96 TEARS VINTAGE (1267 Bloor St W)
Currently they’re selling through their Instagram Stories, and recently posted a teaser for their new online store, coming soon! For now, take outfit inspiration from the tremendously fun styling of the shoots on their social media feed, like this print mixing dream.
RETRO HEADS (143 Augusta Ave)
Started by twins Troy and Theo, who have always drawn to ‘80s and ‘90s fashion. Their store sells mostly vintage streetwear, with a large selection of t-shirts and windbreakers. They’re currently selling their pieces online, and have pickup options! My wishlist starts with this “fume pas la moquette” t-shirt.