I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of bargains last week, from the (now) late Ideology Boutique in Sheffield. I hate to capitalise off something as negative as the closure of an independent retailer, so I feel the need to stress how much I have enjoyed having this shop on my doorstep, and really tip my hat to the fact that it was one of the first places that got me thinking about what I was wearing a good three years ago.
We all understand that traditional retail has been hit pretty hard the last five or so years, but the amount I hear about this shop from people around Sheffield, I was honestly surprised to see it go. It just shows that people are very unaware of the fact that shops need customers to stay open, something easy to forget when there’s a Bank in every town and city across the country.
Despite from now having nowhere to see new collections in person, I think the closure of this shop has a long term negative impact. This is the fact that city centres are completely rotting, with bookmakers on every corner and the smell of Subway in the air providing nothing new or interesting for people to see, appreciate and get into. The one style fits all nature of out of town shopping centres that litter A roads up and down the land provide a stark reminder of the very reason I got into men’s fashion. It was chance encounters into shops like Ideology, Oi Polloi, Triads, Sakis, Psyche, The Hip Store and many others that made me aware of the fact that you don’t have to settle for Topman and River Island, where the focus is on tee shirt deals and denim at thirty quid that lasts you six months.
I’m not sure I’ve got it in me to provide some sort of meaningful analogy on why you should support independent retailers, because I don’t hate the high street, I just shop elsewhere. I'm just a person who really likes clothes, even though my pocket doesn't stretch to anything I look at or buy. I just hope that those people, like the 19 year old me, still find their way into looking at clothes, because with a distinct lack of niche and counter culture for today’s youth, you've got wonder how people today do end up bothering with anything outside of what Meadowhall, BlueWater or the Trafford Centre is offering them.
I'm really interested to hear what people think on this topic, so any thoughts at all, please do get in touch.