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  • ARTE.M Association

Vintage Quest: Exploring Krakow's Hidden Treasures and Meeting a Sustainable Stylist

Hooray! Our team has just returned from a work trip to Poland to the beautiful city of Krakow.

And as always, we went on a hunt through vintage shops, and there are quite a few of them in this city. What we liked is that each shop has its own profile, its own content, and its own zest.

Something that makes you unique. In Krakow, we were captivated by the KEX Vintage Store, with its assortment of vintage items and accessories, atmosphere, interior, and smiling shop assistante.

Let's face it, not always busy shop assistants have the opportunity to communicate. Their main task is to help customers, of which there were enough in this shop.

But Natalka Topczak was incredibly charming, and she turned out to be a fashion stylist herself.

And we, as usual asked some questions to the seller, but already but as a colleague.

What drew your attention to vintage clothes design, and how does this connect to your sustainability dedication?

I’ve been interested in fashion for many years and I’ve always paid attention to how I dress. Sometimes I tried to sew something myself. I’m currently a stylist, so I don’t design clothes myself, but I create outfits. Clothes that I need e.g. for photo shoots I usually get from second hand or vintage shop where I work. I care not to waste clothes for a one-time photo shoot, so sometimes I use them again, give them to a model or dress them up for my everyday outfits.

 Could you summarize your method of designing vintage-inspired clothes with an eye on sustainability?

I see a lot of vintage-inspired clothes lately, but unfortunately most often on websites like e.g. shein.

As is well known, clothes are produced there in an unethical way and have nothing to do with sustainable development

Creating vintage-inspired clothing is only okay if it is produced according to the standards of sustainability and a passion for vintage fashion, rather than the desire to make a quick profit by endangering people’s lives and polluting the environment.

Has it been difficult for the fashion sector—especially with regard to vintage clothes—to embrace sustainability?

These days we have an increasing popularity of buying second hand things and an awareness of how the materials for making clothes are made, as well as the poor conditions under which clothes are made. a lot of people still prefer to go to a shopping mall than visit a vintage shop and buy something that is unique, made of good material and sourced secondhand.

What guidance would you provide aspiring designers wishing to produce sustainable vintage fashion?

Create a smaller collection of clothes, but pay attention to the quality of the materials and the sustainable way of their production.

ttention to the quality of the materials and the sustainable way of their production.



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