Remember the joyful experience of vintage shopping when you were younger? Before disposable fashion seeped into the recycled clothing stores, replacing the mohair sweaters and silk dresses with faded Glassons tunics and stretched Supre tops? Before you had to spend a flippin bomb to afford decent vintage or recycled designer? I just had that experience again at Go Jo Recycled Clothing Store in New Lynn, West Auckland.
The owner Jo Bratton is gorgeous, she truly loves and appreciates clothes. We got chatting about how people’s relationship with clothing has slowly moved away from a culture of investing in those special, quality pieces that you would really sweat over the decision to buy and then love forever. “I get girls coming in here dropping bags of clothing off that haven’t even had the tags taken off. The high from shopping these days comes from the purchase itself, rather than the quality of the garment”.
Jo is a wealth of knowledge and makes you feel instantly at ease. She believes shopping for vintage challenges you to think about and develop your individual sense of style, as opposed to mindlessly consuming the fast fashion fads that major brands are handing us on a plate. Jo believes recycled clothing stores add interest and diversity to the mainstream retail market. She’s all about encouraging people to explore their style in a fun, non-judgemental way.
There is absolutely no crap in the store to give you sad feelings, everything smells good and looks loved. The clothes are all in good condition, and seem to have a history and a story, and Jo loves it when people ask about the story. Jos beautiful dog Zoe seems to have a story too.
The first thing to greet you as you enter is a rack of great mum jeans - Levis and GAP - all for around the $20 mark. For wool lovers like me, you are absolutely spoilt for choice, there are handknitted garments, Italian wool from the seventies, New Zealand made mohair from the eighties, even surprisingly good quality Glassons jumpers from the nineties - “The nineties was actually still producing incredibly high quality garments, in New Zealand and around the world” Jo tells me.
Go Jo is a total mix of vintage through to contemporary designer. There are jumpsuits galore including an eighties coke binge beauty, beaded cardigans and LBDs from the sixties, woolen two-pieces, turbans, long line blazers, italian leather shoes (including a pair of Prada). There’s fur (war-era, which along with hats were one of the few things that weren’t ever rationed during the war Jo tells me). There are even wedding dresses from the sixties, seventies and eighties which have been lovingly created for brides of the past.
As I comment how impressed I am by the price considering the high quality and breadth of style spanning the decades, Jo tells me “I want this to be fun for people. If you’re not getting a bargain in a shop like this, it’s just not fun anymore”. Amen to that sister.
You can check out Go Jo Recycled Clothing at 1/1 Riverbank Road, New Lynn in Auckland. She has a Facebook page where Jo and the beautiful staff are often modelling the clothes.
Don't forget to check out our background piece to recycled clothing here