Materials – Vintage

As mentioned before that colours that surrounded the world at this time were a result of the materials, these components of society at the time though are another important part of the real vintage look. Cotton, leather and wood more sparingly metal were what you made almost everything out of here. With wood being one of the most versatile here this would be the element that furniture and accessories were created out of and where all those natural carvings were created. It makes sense that the very literal body of a tree would become the base for so much in this preindustrial world and obviously continued to be a go to well afterwards.

These very close to earth pieces help make vintage items have that extra feel of both ‘a simpler time’ and ‘the good old days’ as the parts of the world were less complicated and closer to the surroundings of our ancestors. Along with being natural and versatile many of these building blocks of the vintage age were also intensely durable which is why so many artefacts remain today. Design was functional too, sturdy wooden furnishings, hardy leather upholstery made with a long life span in mind.

Materials – Retro

This was the age of new materials and with it came one of the most abundant and troublesome of them all – plastic. The word retro alone almost immedietly makes you think of the thick white plastic which became omnipresent during the 1970s. From the many consumable items like household cleaners to food that came in their own packaging to permanent household items like egg chairs and coffee tables, plastic was unstoppable and unfortunately still seems that way today.

Retro 2

On top of this metalwork had come a long way too, which meant more elaborate designs for cars, bikes and more. What happened here though was that often metal didn’t fit the look of the new dawn of bright plastics and was therefore coated in the stuff anyway. Synthetic materials also worked their way into clothing here which can be seen in the stretchy and of course shockingly coloured leggings and outerwear that quickly became adopted by the youth. Contrary to the solid natural parts of vintage items the new materials used here were often meant to be disposed of and replaced as consumerism demanded you keep up with the joneses, however as we know far too well today this was far from a great idea.

Nature or Nurture

It seems that the less colour dense world of the vintage era was both more humanistic and more long term. Its clear that the throwaway concept of plastics has harmed us long term despite its attempt at brightening up our lives a little. Now that we do have modern technology at our disposal moving back to more natural consumer items is slowly happening meanwhile adding the vibrancy of the retro era can still happen. What’s clear though is that by sticking with vintage styles, clothes and tangible items you are putting yourself in a better proximity to nature and simultaneously helping the environment too.