Bare Necessities, an online second-hand clothing store, has opened its first physical shop in Salford Shopping Centre making it the first of its kind within the city.
The vintage marketplace, established just two years ago by founder Tony Shum, already boasts 119k followers on Instagram and offers garments from the 1970’s through to the early 2000’s.
Ben Simpson, 37, manages the thrift shop and has lived in Salford for the past year and a half. His love for retro clothing stems from his experience working in Thrift Shop Manchester, located on Parker Street.
“It’s been wonderful, the people of Salford are lovely”
“My job is to just entail that everybody has a good shopping experience; making sure the rails are racked up, stacked up with all the best, latest designs and trends”, he said. “There is something here for everybody; something old, something borrowed, something blue.”
The company consciously chose Salford as the location for its first shop primarily due to the university and student population. However, people of all ages have been seen browsing and purchasing items.
Kayleigh Lieu, 21 from Cheetham Hill has worked as a sales assistant since the store’s opening. She said: “I find it entertaining- there is this idea that nowadays a lot of secondhand is bought by younger people or students. But actually, working in the store you see people of all ages having an interest in it.
“What I like most about second-hand shopping is that clothes just get loved again. It’s also amazing to see how this generation likes to re-work and be creative with stuff”, she said. “Sometimes [customers] will get several shirts and end up sewing them together to create a whole new piece. Or, they might get a jacket that’s missing a button or has a faulty zipper, which would usually end up in the bin.
“Not only that but people take little notice of gendered clothing too, like women buying men’s shirts for example”, she said. “It’s also nice to see that not everyone wants to simply buy brand new clothes that must be fresh and unworn. Everyone here is giving second-hand clothing a chance.”
Over 2000 unique items are listed on their website every week, sourced from all over the world including America, Asia and Europe. Different pieces are hand-picked to be sold either instore or online, with the conditions of each item thoroughly checked before entering a general wash.
Bare Necessities is also committed to promoting the importance of sustainability. In partnership with environmental organisation Ecologi, Bare Necessities will plant a tree with every garment purchased. You can learn more here.
Ben said: “The best thing about shopping vintage is saving the planet, first and foremost. Of course, second-hand clothing is, unfortunately, the second-biggest thing in landfill – the second-biggest pollution problem that we have in the world.”
“Filling landfills with clothes is not doing the world a just service. But coming [into the shop] is doing so. For every sale that we make we will plant a seed as well so we are expanding forests considering everyone else is cutting them down.”
Ben, who grew up in North Wales before moving to Manchester at the age of 18, expressed his love for Salford specifically. He said: “Business so far has been booming. It’s been wonderful, the people of Salford are lovely. Students have been helping us out a lot, telling their friends, telling their family.
“Because we do have a variety of products here, we do have something for everyone. Everyone is doing us a service and they’re really welcoming us into the Precinct.”
The brand ensures to keep items affordable too, making it more accessible to customers. Ben said: “If you go into [Manchester] City Centre, you’re paying excessive prices for the same things you can get in here. In here, you can get the cheapest price around guaranteed.”
The brand plans to expand further and open more shops in the near future, continuing to appeal to the student market by locating close to universities. “We’re looking to expand into central Manchester, mainly Oxford Road area, perhaps”, Ben said. “In regards to other student areas outside of Manchester, the usual hotspots are Nottingham, Birmingham, Liverpool and London.”
Bare Necessities is open from 10:00am-5:30pm weekdays, 9:00am-5:30pm Saturdays and from 10:00am-4:00pm Sundays. You can check out their website here.