TWO women have launched a business aiming to help people look their best while protecting the planet.

Secret Vintage – which is based upstairs at Market Arcade in Newport – is a vintage clothes shop which will have an official launch event on Saturday, June 18.

The shop is co-owned by Sara Crerar and Varri Watson whose initials helped inspire the name; Secret for Sara and Vintage for Varri.

South Wales Argus:

Ms Crerar is no stranger to the vintage industry; she’s spent 25 years selling vintage clothes online, in shops, and at markets.

“Clothes will last if they’re properly made and good quality,” said Ms Crerar.

“When you think about the impact of fast fashion it’s quite scary – so much goes into the landfill, including the plastic packaging clothes come in.”

Although she doesn't object to buying "decent quality" clothes she argues that if everyone bought at least a tenth of their wardrobe second hand it would make a "huge difference" adding:

“With the current economical environment people don’t want to pay a fortune for clothes.”

This focus on sustainability is embedded into the shop's ethos, with the unit itself featuring:

  • Restored old floorboards;
  • Repurposed shelves;
  • Previously used clothes rails;
  • Reused hangers for garments.

South Wales Argus:

“We’re really passionate about sustainability and hope what we’re doing grows,” said Ms Watson.

“We’ve had a huge interest, even before properly opening. It’s sparked people to donate and maybe buy clothes while there.”

Along with helping reduce the impact of fashion on the planet, the venture is about helping people express their own individuality.

“People want to look good and have their own identity,” she said.

“It’s nice that people can have a specific look; it’s nice to make people happy while doing our bit.

“Buying vintage is self-rewarding and benefits everyone, breathing new life into clothes in a new way.”

Although the shop is already open – on Saturdays or by appointment – to reduce energy consumption an official launch event is planned from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on June 18.

Rails of clothes will be brought downstairs to the rennovated arcade, people will be able to take a look upstairs, and local people will showcase clothes in a fashion show.

Kriminal Records will provide music, with a local photographer and an Urban Circle videographer helping capture the event.

“We’re not trying to be glitz and glam, we just want to support each other and have a nice night,” said Ms Watson.

“People can walk across the balconies and meet people with similar interests in a safe environment,” added Ms Crerar.