Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Scouting the Highstreet: Urban Outfitters

This week I'm starting a little series called Scouting the Highstreet, which will crop up every now and again on the blog. This basically involves me and my magnifying glass going out to explore the Highstreet to try and find fairtrade, sustainable or ethically made clothing in our every-day shops...

For my first try, I had a look around Urban Outfitters. This wouldn't have been one of my usual shops as everything in there is super hip and seems mainly aimed at teenagers and young college students. Also, all the shopping assistants look like they either stepped straight of the catwalk or just waltzed in from a night out. Needless to say, I feel a bit like a frumpy spinster in there. Anyways, I got over myself and asked a shop assistant, who turned out to be very friendly and helpful, whether they sold any fairtrade clothing. She informed me that Urban Outfitters used to have some fairtrade items, but that was a long time ago and there hasn't been any since. However, they did sell some vintage garments, she told me and pointed me in the direction of the vintage section. 

I didn't have high hopes for the clothes to be anything different from regular vintage fashion, but as it turns out, all of Urban Outfitter's "vintage" clothes belong to the Urban Renewal range. Urban Renewal pieces are created either by upcycling vintage garments or by using end of roll fabrics to create trendy modern fashion. The pieces are hand-made in Philadelphia or the UK and Urban Outfitters promise that they are one-of-a-kind, so you may not receive exactly what you see on their website. Cool!

The Urban Renewal range is very casual, so you're not going to find your office clothes there, but it's perfect if you are looking for a funky top to wear out, a cool bag or some casual (very short!) shorts. I particularly liked their sequined tops and the cosy knitted cardigans.

However, I fell in love with their little print dresses. Here's the one I chose to take home with me:

 It's a very simple cut, with an elasticated waste so it fits many different figures. I love the colour of the floral pattern and the length is perfect for me. (For someone a bit taller, it may be more of a top than a dress...)
To spice it up, it's got a cheeky slit down the back.

You can find Urban Renewal clothes in most Urban Outfitters or you can order them online. All in all my first Highstreet Scout was a great deal more successful than anticipated. Christmas Dress - sorted!

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