We are all aware our relationship with fashion can be a problematic one (the number of items we own, the lifespan of items to name a few) and that is not even mentioning the issues within the industry and manufacturing itself. We are always on the lookout for those approaching the circular economy in a modern way and fashion for us is most definitely one of those areas. Personally, on the fashion front we’ve both cut back, but ultimately we love and enjoy fashion being part of our life. With London fashion week upon us it felt like a good time to revisit and find some more inspiring discoveries.
Good news in that we are apparently in the midst of a repair renaissance. It was the instagram account of Emma Slade during the first lockdown that really encouraged us to tackle our ‘mending pile’ and oh the satisfaction on many levels. If you fancy having a go yourself we found some great advice on the Clothes Doctor and also this book has been recommended to us too.
Keen to leave it to the professionals? We have discovered with some of our most loved items we’ve been holding onto, there is huge value in getting something altered to fit a little better. If you don’t have someone local to you, we’ve discovered a new host of options out there such as Make Nu and Sojo (who are on a mission to make it easier to love your clothes) or check out the likes of Timpson for a store near you. And if it is an accessory you have, check out the Restory for restoring your special items back to all their glory.
Any homemade/retro notions the word ‘upcycling’ may conjure up are sure to be debunked when you look at the likes of Bethany Williams and E.L.V denim. There are so many amazing designers out there who have really coined their own distinguished style and demonstrated how these repurposed materials can be elevated above and beyond their original carnation. A more recent discovery is the designer Nkwo Onwuka who has developed a new African textile called Dakala, it resembles handloom-woven cloth but is made by stripping and sewing together pieces of discarded denim. And if you would like to read more about Magpie Vintage we loved visiting her studio and gaining even more of an appreciation of what goes into her process.
The sharing economy is on the UP and there is an array of businesses out there each with their own USP but with our favourite site Onloan recently announcing they are taking a pause in operations it is a clear reminder there are also complexities to scaling this model too. Onloan we’ve tried and tested and loved the concept around making elevated everyday items more accessible, via renting from their stock holding with your monthly subscription. Here are a few others (untested) on our radar: NUW is a social network to share clothes with people in your local community and extend the life cycle of our wardrobes. You upload your pieces to their app and receive ‘borrowing’ tokens in return. Items all go through an approval process but cleaning and swapping is down to the lender and borrower for them to communicate via the app. HURR on the other hand is a peer-to-peer clothing rental service, which means the clothes are from people's personal wardrobes.
On the handbag front if you want to bag a designer number on your arm, Cocoon has some serious brand names and arm candy within their offer.
And not as you may have experienced it. There are a slew of sellers now making this such a pleasure, curating their ‘edits’/’drops’ and sharing their experienced styling and fit advice. This feels like online shopping taken to a whole other service level. Our only words of advice here is you often need to be quick so we suggest following the accounts you like and setting a calendar reminder for their drop times (often once a week). Our top favs are The Curatory, Stae store and Manifesto Woman. Also Eliza has found some great finds on Depop, I’m still to give it a whirl!
Small batch made and made to lastThe first brand that is top of mind and top of their game (we reckon) is Paynter Jacket. They make limited edition jackets based on iconic styles, only a few times a year (that sell out in mega quick time). They are rigorous about every aspect of the process and in their words ‘We have no stock room, because we have no stock. We make only what is ordered, and even returned jackets go to new homes from our waiting lists.’ We really admire their approach and their jackets - one day we will get our hands on one!