As a vintage brand, sustainability is at the core of our ethos. We pride ourselves in selling preloved vintage fashion in an effort to re-home the millions of items that otherwise go to landfill every year! Beyond Retro began in 2002 as a single warehouse-turned-retail store in East London. 20 years later -  we have carved a unique identity as the leading vintage retailer across the UK and Sweden and leaders in a circular economy. 

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world. 95% of the clothing we throw away is able to have a second life and so we are on a mission to do just that. If we waste less and recycle more, we can make a lasting impact on the world.

So how do we do it? 

At Beyond Retro - product is sourced 6 months in advance - It all starts with our buying team who keep up to date with fashion runways, global street style, editorials and our customers, to determine what the next fashion trends are and what we can source from yesterday’s closets! 

But where does this come from?!

Well, pre­loved and donated fashion pieces are collected worldwide by charitable and recycling organisations. These organisations keep a portion of these items to sell in their own stores, and the excess is sent to external sorting facilities. Here, these warehouses divide items into categories: clothing with a potential second life, or pieces to be recycled for different uses such as rags, insulation, fibers and more. 

That’s a lot of clothes! What’s next? 

Next, a network of trained treasure hunters scale literal mountains of secondhand clothes to find the vintage diamonds that match our trends. Working in what the industry calls “raghouses” around the world, these “pickers” look at color, size, fit, quality, and label to meet our buyers’ needs and saving it from the shredder or landfill!

From sorting factory to shop floor, the circular economy is alive and well at our stores across the UK and Sweden, with online sales to countries around the world. 

So please keep donating and recycling your clothing to save it from landfill and to close the loop on fashion waste! And remember, you can always bring your vintage items back to us in store as part of our Beyond Retro Exchange programme! This is our way of keeping the circular economy going even longer - learn more about it here. 

April 21, 2022 — Tash Hall