The process of secondhand clothing: how do these great pieces come into our shop?
You're sick and tired of that old pair of trousers. You've had them forever and it is time to get rid of them.
You donate these to charity by, for example, throwing them into a special container on the street. The contents of this container are then weighed and bought by a sorting company. This sorting company pays the charity per kilogram. So in this case, charity doesn't use the clothes themselves but receives money for it!
Let's follow that pair of trousers:
The bag with clothes falls on the first sorting table where those trousers are put in a big bin that contains only trousers.
On the second table the trousers are being sorted by material, quality and model. The models wanted for vintage-wholesale are only 1% of everything that is collected. The other 99 % is sold to 'ordinary' second-hand shops all over the world, and is recycled as cleaning cloths, filling-materials, insulation, upholstery filling, etc.
In the vintage wholesale company a new selection takes place on again material, quality and model.
In the end those trousers are sold to retail buyers like us, who again judge them on shop-dignity. They are cleaned and prepared for the shops.
After all that sorting and quality checks they finally hang in our shop, waiting for its new owner.
People often think that the clothes in our shops got there by coincidence. The truth is that we go through a great deal of effort to offer what the customers ask for. Of course we cannot cater to every demand - vintage is and remains a scarce item (meaning you cannot make more of it). Take John Travolta's white suit in Saturday Night Fever as an example. Everybody thinks it was a common thing to wear in the 70's, but in truth there were barely any to find.