When it comes to vintage, it's not always about the thrill of the chase. Sure, we all covet original pieces — silk scarves, tea dresses, and distressed leathers, I doth not protest! — but scavenging through the musty bins of Toronto's Kensington Market can be a nose-pinching experience. That's where Soop Soop comes in. Canada's latest online clothing store, launched with the mission to inject some much needed TLC into unwanted threads and make the shopping experience a little bit easier.
Christina Pretti, founder of the new boutique, talked to me about why she felt Canada was in need of some thrift store loving. Irritated with the current "throw away culture," Pretti believes there is a "tonne of great previously owned clothing out there."
She realizes "a lot of people want vintage and previously owned clothing, but perhaps they don't know where to find it or how to style it, and they sure as hell don't have time or the desire to figure it all out. That's where we'd like to come in. We would love to be a go-to for people who love the find more than they love the hunt. No sifting through bins, no hour-long thrifting marathons, just the end goal — that perfect previously loved treasure, all washed up and steamed, wrapped in a neat little package, and delivered to their doorstep. We'd really love to just inject some ease into the whole process for those who, unlike us, don't live for digging elbows deep in piles of musty old clothes."
"If it can be tweaked and turned in to something 'new' that someone wants again, then that's amazing as far as we're concerned. We try to do our best to understand what trends are around the corner and what people want in 'new clothes,' so that we can provide similar items for our customers. The fact that we can do that while avoiding the environmental impact of producing such items brand new is icing on the cake."
Her zeal for fashion is evident and Pretti loves working with unique, vintage items. She recalls times when people have asked her where she got that amazing jacket, shirt, scarf, and upon replying that it's second hand, suddenly people turn their noses up.
But one fashionista's trash is another's treasure, as Pretti explains a time when she uncovered an enviable hobo bag:
"About 4 years ago, just as fringe was beginning to creep back on the scene, I was in a thrift store and from back behind all the plastic mall kiosk handbags (no wonder people tossed them) and duffel bags given away at company picnics, I could see a little bit of what would be one of my favourite vintage finds ever peaking through. It was a beautiful tan suede hobo bag with 12" fringe swaying from end to end. Mint condition. I've actually never had so many compliments on anything in my life. And the best part was that, while other stores were rushing to create their own 'new' version, I had an amazing, one-of-a-kind original. I've retired it for now, but I'll keep it forever — perhaps until fringe makes another comeback down the line. Come to think of it, it might have even been that bag that started it all for me!"