“We started to scale things back unanimously with our neighbours Twenty Fifty-Two and Transition Records in late March – before things really shut down, but we were suffering on this end of town in terms of foot traffic,” Emily Sheahan says of her Young Street fashion exchange and retail space The Commons.
“We decided to just go solely online, and we had a great response – the community really rallied around us, and so did international sales which was kind of nice.”
With a curated selection of second-hand items and an emphasis on conversations about sustainability in fashion, Sheahan was pleasantly surprised by the online uptick even amidst wider economic upheaval. It’s something the Slow Fashion Festival co-founder thinks reflects how some consumers have been using lockdown as an opportunity to invest more time and thought into what they purchase.
“It’s tricky because I deal specifically in second hand, but I noticed a rise,” she says. “I think it definitely had a big impact; there are some people where financially it was a bit hard, but with the stimulus I think people have been choosing to make more conscious decisions about what they buy.
“People are looking for alternatives; with social distancing they weren’t just walking into Target and getting something for 20 bucks. Given that extra time they might have had behind the computer to look something up, chances are they’ve gone to the ‘About’ page, and learned more about the product.”