Photo credit: @considered_living for Virtual Vintage Fair
The pandemic has forced vintage markets, fairs and shops to close, leaving us seeking a new way to shop for vintage homeware. That’s why the creation of online marketplaces on Instagram has been so welcome over recent months, providing us with an alternative way to browse and shop. Here are a handful of our favourite accounts:
Virtual Vintage Fair is an online fair that displays goods from a huge array of antique and vintage dealers. The platform is the brainchild of Tamara (@reclecticvintageinteriors) and Samantha (@vintagecuratorinteriors) who had the idea when the first UK lockdown hit in March 2020.
Above: @fox.and.blonde for Virtual Vintage Fair
Tamara says, “All the fairs, markets and antique centres were being shut down due to Covid. That’s when we came up with the idea – to give some of the dealers we had met a platform to sell their pieces through.”
Above: @vintagevonnie for Virtual Vintage Fair
“It’s been a great success, not only in terms of generating sales for all the individuals involved but also by creating a positive community space for swapping advice and thoughts during a challenging time,” adds Tamara.
Virtual Vintage Fair operates daily, displaying ‘virtual stalls’ where shoppers can browse for items. They are also launching Virtual Vintage Auction (@virtualvintageauction) next month, a monthly auction that will raise money for charity.
Instagram handle: @virtualvintagefair
Hutch is a new marketplace for buying and selling second-hand homeware, working to promote a more sustainable way of furnishing your home. The concept was set up by Georgie and Katie who wanted to make it easier to browse for pre-loved home decor and furniture.
Georgie says, “During lockdown, we had the time and space to nurture the seed of an idea planted through years of renting in London. Hutch was inspired by our own experience of wanting to furnish our apartments in an affordable but sustainable way.”
“With 22 million pieces of furniture thrown away each year in the UK, we are creating a circular economy to reduce waste,” adds Georgie.
Hutch shares a variety of retro and vintage sellers on their Instagram page daily. They are also currently in the process of designing and building the Hutch app which they hope to launch this summer.
Instagram handle: @hutch_community
The Vintage Seller Directory is an online collective of dealers selling vintage homeware, clothing and accessories. The account was set up by vintage enthusiast Jo who wanted to make it easier for people to find new vintage pieces online.
Jo says, “I’m a big fan of buying vintage online and thought there must be others like me who are always looking for new places to buy from. The platform acts as a directory, making it easier for people to find vintage accounts they love.”Above: A selection of items available to purchase through The Vintage Seller Directory
“Each day we highlight a different seller and the response we have had so far has been fantastic,” adds Jo.
The Vintage Seller Directory highlights new sellers daily, with mini markets and fairs taking place throughout the month.
Instagram handle: @the_vintage_seller_directory
The Vintage Co-Operative is a community of vintage sellers selling everything from retro homeware to vintage clothing. It is the longest standing vintage virtual fair and was set up by Luke in May 2019 who wanted to create a mutual support network to connect and empower dealers.
Above: @prism_mirrors for The Vintage Co-Operative
Luke says, “To our customers The Vintage Co-Operative is dozens of dealers selling everything from retro homeware to vintage clothing. To our members we are more than that, we’re also a mutual support network. What we all share is the passion not just for the items but the knowledge and history that make them special.”
Above: @missbricabracvintage for The Vintage Co-Operative
“I wanted to bring buyers and sellers together in a free and easy to use way whilst retaining the thrill of the rummage from physical fairs. I wanted to help my fellow dealers reach the audience they deserved without the financial commitment required from other outlets”, adds Luke.
The Vintage Co-Operative runs fairs on the last weekend of the month, starting from Friday evening and running until Sunday night. They are also currently developing a website to further promote the co-operative, their members and their items.
Instagram handle: @the_vintage_cooperative