The Lifecycle of Vintage Garments Tell a Story

The Salvage Revolution endeavors to make a historic record following items that are repurposed, restored, readapted, rescued, or remodeled. It isn’t only about salvage and redesign, there’s an integrity and memory to be preserved by vintage and antique pieces. In the early development of the concept for the company and its mission, we stumbled upon an example that clarified for us the vitality of the “raw materials” we were collecting.

Meagan, our director of merchandising (and many other duties), had been insisting that we explore recycling uniforms as blank canvases for embellishment, something she saw as a fashion trend. In a vintage clothing store in a suburb of Dallas, we came upon a U.S. Army dress green uniform jacket. It appeared to be in great shape and very clean (no matter the condition, we sanitize all repurposed components) and we agreed that it would be a worthy investment. In an interior breast pocket, we discovered two photographs of an attractive woman (fully clothed) and a couple of unopened condom packets. As one who is entertained by any forensic investigation, Marco dated the jacket circa 2001, because the condom packets were stamped with an expiration date of 2003. It was a “light bulb” moment as we became aware of the relevance of the history of each garment and how our finished product is part of a lifecycle.

We realized that there were examples in our own lives. Marco recalled a pair “7 For All Mankind” jeans (originally worn attempting to make an impression at a reunion in 2003) that he had “outgrown” and restyled with fleur de lis and scroll motifs to wear to a concert in New York in 2012. Meagan remembered draping and tying a brightly printed tablecloth as a sarong top to wear out one night during her years in Las Vegas.