J'AIME SEPTEMBER 2020

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Your local luxury lifestyle magazine

FEATURE

Timeless style

FROM A LONGSTANDING PERSONAL PASSION, VINTAGE FASHION HAS BECOME A

THRIVING BUSINESS FOR GINGER EWART, OWNER OF GINGERMEGS VINTAGE IN

BIRMINGHAM’S JEWELLERY QUARTER. JENNY AMPHLETT DISCOVERS MORE

Ginger Ewart has always been a bit different. As a

12-year-old she went to lessons at her Birmingham

high school wearing a 1940s suit and a fit and flare

coat. Department store nylon skirts were never going

to cut it for her.

By her early teens she was buying her clothes from

vintage stalls on the rag market and learning how to

repair, restore and alter items to suit her frame.

What has now become a full-time business for Ginger

was all sparked by a chance find at a jumble sale in a

local church.

“I bought a 1950s black velvet coat and rarely took it

off,” she says. “That was the start for me.

“That was the fashion era that really captured my

interest to begin with. I also had a thing for the

Avengers at one point and started buying 1960s

clothes too as I wanted to look like Emma Peel.

“Buying vintage clothes is definitely more

mainstream than it was. When I was a kid I didn’t

know anyone else who bought their clothes that way.”

Apart from underwear and vintage reproduction

jeans, the 44-year-old, who still lives in Birmingham,

tries to ensure that everything she wears was made at

least 60 years ago.

Many fashion lovers are currently opting to avoid

fast, disposable clothes in favour of reusing and

repurposing existing pieces or buying second hand

items.

For Ginger this isn’t a new way of looking at clothes,

this has been her way of life for decades.

“There are a number of reasons why clothes made

in the past are just so much better than the sort of

things you could pick up in the average high street

today,” she says.

“The quality of the fabric is a key reason for me. I

hate synthetic fabrics. I don’t want polyester and I

don’t want nylon. I don’t want to wear those fabrics

myself and I don’t want to sell them to other people.

“The construction of older clothes is just beautiful

and I find that things fit so much better. If you spend

GINGER HAS LONG

HAD A PASSION

FOR VINTAGE

FASHION

£50 on a vintage dress you’ll often find you have a

dress that feels like you’ve spent £500.

“Vintage clothes often have hand finished details and

other touches that you just don’t tend to get today.”

The desire to stand out from the crowd and express

some individuality is also a factor for Ginger and

many of the customers of her business, Gingermegs

Vintage.

“I don’t want to dress the same as everybody else,”

she says emphatically. “I don’t want to buy a £10

dress that a million other people in the UK have

got. I don’t want to buy things and know I’m going

to have to throw them away because they’re falling

apart, or to know that they’ve been made cheaply in

a sweatshop.

“It’s not cost effective to buy cheap and disposable

clothes and it isn’t environmentally sound or ethical.

“If I buy modern gym clothes I know that they’ll

only be good enough to last for a few months. They

just don’t have any longevity. Who wouldn’t rather

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