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Retro stores in Brighton rely on steaming clothes resulting in rising electricity bills

Brighton is home to countless independent second-hand clothing shops and with the rising cost of energy bills, shop owners are having a hard time keeping their businesses alive. Vintage clothing stores require a significant amount of steaming since second-hand clothes require sterilisation and making clothes wrinkle free. Therefore, steaming is the most effective method. This will eliminate any traces of germs and bacteria. Shop owners are struggling to pay their bills as a result of higher energy costs caused by steaming.  

Growing demand, scarce resources, a lack of storage space, and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine continue to make high energy prices a major concern for British households and businesses. As per the Office for National Statistics, between March 2022 and March 2023, electricity prices in the United Kingdom increased by 66.7% contributing substantially to the annual inflation rate. 

Some of the smaller stores are mostly affected by the rise, the manager of Independent Rag, Cosmea, talks about how the store has not been getting enough sales to maintain their bills. “We have to turn off light switches, things like that. Because it’s a small shop I don’t think our outgoings are that much.”

Sustainable fashion aims to educate consumers about the use and manufacturing of clothing that adheres to social and ecological sustainability criteria. But due to inflation, procurement of clothes from different countries and their maintenance can be a tedious task for these shop owners.    

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May 2024