Thursday, November 10, 2016

Good things: Rug Lane Vintage and Secondhand Clothing Markets

I think it's time to focus on something good this week.

Coming up this weekend is something brand new for Hong Kong. When I found out about the Rug Lane Vintage and Secondhand Clothing Markets, I was giddy with excitement.  I knew I had to reach out and learn more about who was bringing us this idea.  Thank you to Billie-Grace, the founder of Rug Lane, for sharing your responses.

What is Rug Lane? Tell us a little about yourself.
Rug Lane is a concept destination. Just like laneways are popularly used to house coffee shops, clothing stores, music venues and bars, Rug Lane is a place to go to get your fix of music, fashion and lifestyle. We aim to provide our readers with new music, interesting articles on lifestyle and fashion and discussions on what it’s like living in a home away from home.

The idea started when moving overseas and I realised that it’s hard to stay connected to things you love in a new city when you are unfamiliar with where to find those things. I no longer listened to the radio to get my fix of new music, I couldn’t pop down to the local farmers markets to sponsor different local clothing designers and I couldn’t find a goddamn coffee under $50hkd! I wanted somewhere for people to go to check out new music because they are too busy to search themselves, read stories about those funny moments when you move to a new city and learn from inspiring people - so I created a platform to share that.

Rug Lane isn’t just an online destination though. We don’t have a fixed address which gives us the freedom to pop up wherever we like globally. We apply that laneway concept and put on intimate events in spaces encompassing the things we love - whether that be a gig, a vintage clothing market, an art event or just a really good party.

What are your thoughts about the vintage scene in Hong Kong?

I’ve always loved vintage and secondhand shopping and every time I travel I try and find the local op-shop and vintage stores. As a Gweilo coming to Hong Kong though it's quite hard to find a lot of stuff in the beginning. Finding the local stationary shop is just as hard as finding a vintage shop. Thing’s aren’t on the ground level because rental space is at a premium so you really have to go searching for it. The consignment-esk stores are around but they are mainly selling last year's Michael Kors bag rather than a vintage Chanel or an old pair of Levis. I have found some shops but mainly through social media more than wandering the street. I think there is still a long way to go for Hong Kong to ever have a vintage and secondhand clothing culture like they do in the UK, Europe or America but at Rug Lane, we are hoping to start getting people more familiar with the idea of selling old clothes and swapping vintage pieces.

What is your vision for Rug Lane Vintage and Secondhand Market -- will this become a regular event?
The idea behind the vintage and secondhand markets pop up started in Australia when myself and a bunch of friends were trying to sell some of our clothes before moving overseas. They were all going to London and I was coming to Hong Kong and we had way too much stuff to fit in our 30kg luggage limits so we decided to run a couple of events to sell some of our beloved clothes. It's hard to part with piece you love but moving overseas is actually a really cleansing experience because you realise what in your life you can and can't live without and there were so many clothes we all realised we just didn't need but were too nice to throw away.

I really believe in second hand clothing and the concepts of rewear, reuse and recycled. Hong Kong is a metropolis of waste and certainly not the most resourceful city. It’s over-consuming and plastic driven! We also live in teeny tiny apartments where our wardrobes or clothing racks are not built for 100’s and 1000’s of clothes. People cannot physically hold onto so much stuff and throwing them away just means they add to the already full landfills so we wanted to provide a space for people to be able to pass on pieces they don’t wear anymore or pieces they bought and never took the tags off rather than throwing away. We are also providing a service to the sellers to donate any clothes they don’t sell by the end of the day and don’t want to take home to a charity who will come and collect the old clothes. This way we know they go somewhere with a good cause rather than the landfills.

We definitely plan on running more of these events in line with the seasons as we think that’s a good time when people are swapping their wardrobes over, to have a good cleansing of old clothes and sell at the event. It also works for the buyers in need of some new season pieces to come pick up some unique secondhand pieces rather than heading to a big chain and buying the “dress of the season” that every second person is wearing around. Anyone can buy or sell, we just have limited spaces for sellers due to space restrictions but hoping to expand to larger venues over time depending on how they go.  

What can we expect to see at the market on the day?
On November 12 there will be around 20 sellers at Ethos Gallery selling everything from women’s clothing, shoes and accessories to men's and children's wear. We even have a local designer who makes jewellery out of old recycled leather. The event will run from 1:30-6:30 on a Saturday afternoon, so an easy time for people to come down, shop, have a drink, stay for a chat and chill out. We are trying to be as resourceful as we can and not providing plastic shopping bags to customers so bring along your own reusable bag on the day. All details are on our website and the Facebook event page

Local brand The Mauve Hour will be selling as well!

Location: Ethos Gallery, 97 Hill Road Sai Wan (closest exit A1 HKU Station)
Time: 1:30 to 6:30 pm
Tickets: $35 early bird/$50 at the door (includes a free beer)

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