Not to be a killjoy, and most of you already probably know this: Valentine’s have been coopted by capitalists to become a consumerist holiday. You might not agree with this, but numbers are telling. In the US, Valentine’s is a billion-dollar business expected to reach approximately 27.4 billion U.S. dollars this year—a quarter of our national budget for 2020.
Filipinos are not far behind in spending. We are in fact are the biggest VDay spenders in the Asia Pacific. A middle-class average earner is likely to spend P2,000 on gifts like chocolates and flowers, while the upper five percent of the population prefer spending money on romantic vacations.
This hyper-consumerism ramped up by advertising and emotive—not to mention gender performative—showcase of one’s affection is not helping our cause to negate our consumption that ultimately fuels carbon emissions that is continually degrading our planet.
I am not telling you to cancel Feb. 14, let’s be clear. We want to rethink the way we celebrate this romantic holiday, to reclaim the way we express our love from being materialistic to being sentimental. But if there is one way to physically show it, here it is: go vintage.
Not only is patronizing circular economy proven to curb the need to buy brand new, opting for a thing with a story to tell, with a character, a thoughtful way of giving. Items like jewelry and watches, in particular, are great investments—yes, investments. If you are able to get your hands on a quality piece made with durable material, with proper care and maintenance, you’d be able to pass it on to your children (or to your family).
Here are some online shops where you can get vintage gems that are worth every penny, that your significant other will love, and that’s pushing the circular economy.
Vagabond Vintage PH
Earrings, necklaces, brooches and rings made with 18k gold from the 1930s to late 1990s are this online store’s specialty. They offer pieces from designers like Givenchy, Chanel, and Celine on bidding and direct message basis. Vagabond Vintage also does pre-order with 50 percent downpayment and guaranteed arrival within two weeks.
Available at It’s Vintage, 2F Planters Products Inc. Bldg. 109 Esteban St., Legazpi Village, Makati
Aptly named for its travel-related sourcing, Souvenir sells vintage jewelry from around the world selected by creative Sam Potenciano from her travels and hauls of international flea markets from New York to Paris. Apart from their Instagram page, their pieces are also consigned at It’s Vintage’s physical store in Legazpi Village.
No Name Vintage
Contrary to its name, most of No Name Vintage’s finds are signed by designers like Givenchy, Napier, Les Bernard, Sarah Coventry and Erwin Pearl, most of whom came to fame in the early 1930s up to the early 2000s and are known for their craftsmanship. Most of the numbers from their collection are peppered with colorful rhinestones set in gold.
For something more nostalgic and keepable, opt for Mi Hermana’s selection of romantic lockets and rings. Apart from traditional heart-shaped ones, they also stock vintage timepieces that can be worn as necklaces.
Fashion Factory by Maisie
Colorful enamel pieces from brooches and rings to earrings and pendants are Fashion Factory by Maisie’s best-selling items. Occasionally there is jewelry made of brass or gold, but you’d have to be quick to call dibs.
From a Facebook community of now more than 80,000 fans, Patina is also on Instagram with their pieces ranging from vintage Omega, Tudor and Longines wares. These are all available through online auction or straight sale by simply sending a DM.
More than just vintage wristwatches, Wristwatch Manila also carries pre-owned and brand new timepieces ranging from Tag Huer to Rolex. If you’re lucky, most of these come with their original box and card and are very well-kept.
Vintage Watch Manila
Apart from their expansive collection of prized watches, this Instagram-based store let’s valued costumers—those who have previously purchased a unit from them—pay later, get a discount, and avail of a 15-day service warranty on top of an assurance that all pieces are pre-serviced prior to sale.
A Wrist to Tell
If you’re looking for something other than the usual round-faced timepieces, A Wrist to Tell (get the pun?) has rectangular vintage Cartier tanks and Omegas with genuine leather straps. Oh, and if the watch you’re eyeing on their feed is still available, you don’t even have to direct message them as the prices are indicated on each post.
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Writer: CHRISTIAN SAN JOSE
ART LEVENSPEIL SANGALANG