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The social concept: second -hand garment -vintage clothes

September 28, 2020

Syrian citizens are divided regarding their views and attitudes towards the second-hand clothes, some of them consider them old used second -hand garment for poor needy families and others like them and view them as vintage classic garment with famous labels.

In a nice well-decorated second -hand garment store in Damascus, Reem, a 35year-old Damascene woman was walking through the store and looking for new nice vintage garments and shoes.

“ I know most of the second-hand stores in Damascus and I keep visiting them. I like to buy vintage garments, shoes, genuine leather hand bags, sunglasses and others. I heard many critics and negative words from my relatives who consider second hand garments as dirty rags trashy things for poor needy people and simple workers and builders,” Reem said with big smile on her face.

“Yes, there are very old used garment in some shops but I keep arguing with those who criticize me and showing them what I have bought like vintage hand bags, jackets, shoes and garments which are made in Europe with the most famous brands and labels. I can buy Syrian-made garment and shoes but I prefer to buy the European brands.”

Abu Mohammad, a 45-year-old , who runs the second-hand garment store said that there are many rich families who keep visiting his store when he opened , bringing new European bales of second -hand goods.

“I have phone numbers for customers who live in the richest districts of al-Malki and Abu Rumanah. They wait for my phone call to come and buy what they need of vintage clothes. Some customers have good English and they spend a long time in reading the tag of the garment and shoe labels to know the quality, details of fabric and country. Some customers don’t buy Chinese -made goods and only look for European and American brands even if they are made in Vietnam or Bangladesh,” Abu Mohammad said while drinking his coffee.

Ali, a 23 years-old , university student was walking through a second -hand garment and shoe shop and looking for a sport shoes and pajamas.

“ I like the original sport and pajamas of Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Puma. I couldn’t find them in the Damascus malls and stores, so I come from time to another to the second -hand shops to buy them. The new Syrian-made sport pajamas and shoes are more expensive in the malls of Al-Hamra and Al-Salayhia while I pay less money and get vintage European -brands of sport pajamas and shoes from the second-hand shops.”

Some Syrian families strongly reject visiting and buying any piece of garment from a second-hand shop.

Um Kinan, a 45-year-old mother of three daughters and two sons , live in al-Medan district , southern Damascus, said:

“I have two young daughter who are university students. I go to Al-Jiser al-Abyad market to buy new garments, shoes, hand bags, and Hijab (hair cover ). I never ever bought any piece of second-hand garment for my sons and daughters. It is really shameful to buy anything from a second hand shop. I cannot even imagine myself entering into a second -hand shop, it is a shame.”

While in the same second-hand markets in Al-Atfayah and Mezze, there are good vintage second-hand expensive garment shops and simple cheap second-hand garment shops for working- class families where they can find cheaper used garment and shoes. So, people are offered two choices.

Abu Ahmed, a 50-year-old father of three sons was looking for cheap trousers and shirts for his sons in a simple second -hand shop.

“ I cannot buy new Syrian-made garment and shoes because their prices are very high. I prefer to buy them from the second-hand shops with cheaper prices. Most, if not all, working -class and needy families have only this choice to buy used clothes. The new Syrian-made shirt is about 9000 SP while in the second-hand shop it is 3000 SP, so I can buy three used shirts better than buying a new one,” said Abu Ahmed.

The second-hand clothes aren’t limited to the poor nor to the rich families. However, a lot of people are obsessed with international brands, such as Mango, Zara, Guess, Georgio Armani, which cannot be found in Syrian malls. So, they head to the second hand stores hoping to find one piece of these brands.