Meet Laura Gaither – better known as Planet Vintage Girl – an avid 20th Century furniture and object collector with her very own antiques store and online shop. With an incredible eye for vintage furniture and devout passion for salvage and restoration, Laura sees collecting as part of a wider environmental philosophy where collecting these items not only saves them from landfill sites, but preserves them for another generation to appreciate. Laura chats to QueensofVintage.com’s Tara Gardner.

How did your love affair with vintage begin?

Laura: Like many people in the field, you begin picking things up at charity shops, and the next thing you know you have such a large collection, that it is just natural to start selling. I began selling in Washington DC through my own yard sales, back in the early 1990s. I worked in high end residential interior design and was horrified at elements of the business. It didn’t seem right to me to spend $15,000 on a coffee table when there were loads of hungry people nearby.

At the time, interior design was very resistant to green and ethical issues. At the large Design Centre, you’d smell all the chemicals off gassing from top end $400 /metre fabric. I began to wonder why people really would want to put that in their homes. Yes, vintage fabric was made with some nasty chemicals at the time it was produced, but that was a long time ago. So why buy new fabric when the vintage stuff is long wearing and great looking?

In Planet Vintage Girl I sell postwar furniture, accessories and lighting. I aim for original vintage – no reproductions. Whenever a vintage piece is used as a model for reproduced new goods from China, the price of the original vintage piece plummets. The environment is impacted by its manufacturing and distribution, so I stay away from reproduction. I believe that your moral and environment code should be integrated into your business model: how you buy, how you market, how you sell, how you dispose of waste, etc.

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3 Responses

  1. Lena

    Oh my God! I just got paid today and am about to spend my food money on the gorgeous stuff on planetvintagegirl! Damn you!

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    Hi Laura, thanks for doing this interview with us. It’s very informative and I just love your philosophy.

    QueensOfVintage.com’s sister glossy is http://www.greenmystyle.com, which is a showcase for the most stylish ethical fashion, beauty and homewares. Together the two websites are very much about keeping beautiful items out of landfill and cared for for future generations.

    I’m also a Manchester girl. I grew up there and return often to see friends and family. I’m no stranger to Failsworth Mill ;-). It’s a treasure. Next time I’m there we must say hello!

    Thanks again, Sarah x

    Reply
  3. Ann

    I love the long odd shaped mirror in your picture on page 3. is it for sale anywhere? I woud love to know.
    Thanks a lot.

    Reply

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