Clare Lewis on First Timer Vintage

Retold was founded by Clare Lewis in 2018 with the mission of curating beautiful vintage pieces for lovers of modern and contemporary fashion. Based in east London, Clare handpicks each item – her edited finds are listed on retoldvintage.com every week! Clare hopes Retold encourages more women to consider vintage and secondhand shopping as an alternative to buying new which in turn will contribute to a more circular and sustainable fashion model.

We discuss vintage (and much more) in this week’s podcast episode, but here, Clare shares her tips for incorporating vintage into a wardrobe of new.

Balance

“Avoid the head to toe vintage look! Unless thats your vibe, which is totally cool, but if you are new to vintage then start off small. It may simply be an accessory such as a vintage belt or bag or a beautiful silk blouse that you can wear with your favourite jeans.”

Contemporary Shoes

“For me, adding a pair of modern shoes to a vintage dress or skirt instantly makes the outfit still feel current yet unique and individual.”

Measure Up

“Make a tape measure your new best friend! Avoid referring to labels on vintage clothes; sizing has changed so dramatically over the years and also depends on the country you are in, so ditch the habit and shop with a tape measure instead. YouTube has some great videos on how to measure yourself so make a note of all your details and refer to this when shopping for vintage. You may be pleasantly surprised!”

Inject Personality

“Be you! The joy of vintage is there is something out there for everyone’s style and taste. Just because you start shopping vintage, you have to change your whole aesthetic. Like you have your favourite high street brands, get to know vintage traders and what they specialise in. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, they are the experts and can advise on fit, style and after care. “

Madeline Petrow’s Favourite Mamoq Brands

Humphries & Begg

“I love their style. They have amazing jumpsuits that are all block printed by hand in Jaipur, India. I think that humanitarian elements really speaks to me because that is my background. They produce really awesome, fun clothing. What’s really special about Humphries & Begg is their a young company. Seeing them improve their supply chains while we’ve worked together is so inspiring. They’re now phasing out any conventional cotton and are moving into organic. When we spoke about a year ago, they told us that was their goal. It’s been really amazing to see them actually execute that. It’s all about doing the best you can and continuing to make changes.”

Elvis & Kresse

“Elvis & Kresse are so impressive. Kresse Wesling who runs the company is an OBE. They are really interesting because they work ‘problem first, product second’. She found the problem of firehouse waste, then designed her accessories to take it away. The whole design process is completely flipped backwards for them. They now take 100 percent of all firehose waste from the UK, and 50 percent of their profits go back into firefighting charities.”

Rakha

“Rakha is a really beautiful brand. You’d look at them in a magazine and all you’d think would be, it’s gorgeous. Then you delve deep into the story. The founder, Gözde, is currently getting her Masters from the University of Cambridge in how to better recycle textiles and make a more circular economy. In think it’s a really inspiring brand because it’s all about active learning. It’s not about running with the status quo. They’re always think about how to get better and how to inspire others.”

Jennifer Ewah on Balancing Social Entrepreneurship with a 9-5

Straight after recording this week’s podcast episode, Jennifer Ewah shared what she’s learnt from balancing her job as a lawyer, with her ethical jewellery brand Eden Diodati.

“Definitely focus on time management. It’s not fun, but it is important to prioritise the things that you need to do over the things that you want to do, when you have two different jobs.

“That means getting up early and prioritising the paperwork you have to do over the content creation that you want to do. Or doing the stuff that is a little bit more procedural, but needs to be done as a matter of priority.

“I’m awful at that. So much of the brand is such a pleasure for me – being artistic, creating, designing – but I can’t spend all of my time creating and crafting, or bonding and philosophising. Sometimes you need to do really boring stuff. But if it has to be done because it’s essential, get that done first. It’s like delayed gratification.

“Equally important – believe in your own vision. Even if other people don’t. Fashion is often about trends, and that means you’re asked to believe in what other people will find desirable. You need to find what your voice is. If your voice is unique, offer it. And make sure it’s visible. Then you don’t need the trends. You are a trend.

“Often, you need to refuse to take no for an answer. And a refuse to believe that certain things can’t be done. One thing is certain through every up and down: you’ll never regret doing this, because you and your business are about making the world a better place.


Eden Diodati is launching a product based crowdfunding campaign in Autumn 2019. To register your interest for exclusive campaign benefits, visit www.edendiodati.com.

Victoria Prew’s Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

After a few months off, I’m back with a brand new instalment of Clothes & The Rest! This week’s episode features Victoria Prew, co-founder of wardrobe rental site Hurr Collective.

Victoria and her co-founder Matthew Gelet spent years prepping and preening the business before its launch in earlier this year. As a result, Hurr entered the market with a flurry of press coverage and now has a growing waiting list.

Here, with Hurr’s launch success in mind, Victoria shares the lessons she learnt when she made the leap from person-with-good-idea to entrepreneur.

“For me, an idea is just an idea. It’s important to prove your concept. Don’t jump ship, don’t leave your job, don’t raise money, don’t do anything until you have proof of concept.

I think that’s what most people shy away from. Saying “I’d love to rent on Hurr,” is very different to actually transacting on Hurr, so until you can prove that people are going to use your product, you don’t have a business. For me, and for the companies I mentor, that’s the most important thing.

Before we started building anything, we spent around eight weeks doing research. In that time, we did some serious focus groups and tested the product in a very un-glamorous, un-sexy way. We were really asking “do people want to rent clothes?” and “how are we going to do it?”. Testing your concept in real life is key.

For us, mentorship has been really helpful. Our mentors and advisors are absolutely crucial to where we are today and, hopefully, our future growth. I have mentees too, and I always think: if I can give someone one piece of advice that changes their path into something more successful, I’ve done my job!

Sara Arnold on Supporting Extinction Rebellion

“The International Rebellion starts on 15th April. The idea is to block streets and major junctions, bringing cities to a halt.

In the UK, everyone is making their way to London – there is currently a 70 year old walking from Cornwall. We’ll stay on the streets until the government negotiates. And we’ll have a party!

“If you think about social movements in the past which have achieved political change, it is through masses of people coming out on the streets… and staying there.

“A huge amount of research goes into the methods we’re using to create these changes. A really important aspect of Extinction Rebellion is that we’re non-violent. Once you have violence, you stop holding the moral high ground.

“We train people in non-violent direct action. The number one piece of advice we give is, if someone’s angry, let them vent their anger – don’t try and fight back. Nod your head and be compassionate. Only once they’ve calmed down should you start saying your point of view.

“Sometimes it gets to the point where we’re sitting in the middle of the road, and the police want to drag us away, so we do practice runs. It’s important to think about what you would do in those situations.

“But you definitely don’t need to be prepared to be arrested to be part of Extinction Rebellion! We need masses of people to do a myriad of other roles – just being there is a great start.

“If you want to help the Rebellion, be there on 15th. Book time off work and help us take action.”

Listen to Sara’s episode of the Clothes and The Rest podcast to hear more about Extinction Rebellion, as well as Sara’s incredible clothing rental company, Higher Studio.

Wardrobe Re-Discovery with Emma Slade Edmondson

On the Clothes & The Rest podcast this week, I chat to Creative Consultant Emma Slade Edmondson. We talk charity shops, freelance life and the accessibility of sustainability – please check out the full episode if you haven’t already!

Here, Emma casts her mind back to her Back of the Wardrobe styling days to share some advice on how to re-discover what we already have in our wardrobes:

“Something I always used to say to my Back of the Wardrobe clients is that you should have a night in with your wardrobe. Treat it like you’re on a date with your wardrobe and you need to get to know it again. Put your favourite pyjamas on, play some good tunes, and pour a glass of wine (or whatever your vice is!). Take the time to get to grips with what is actually in there.

“Do it alone! Would you take your friends along on a date? No. Kick everyone out of the house and spend some one on one time with your wardrobe.

“Try things on and figure out how you feel. It’s really as much about how comfortable and how confident you feel in pieces, as it is about eventually pulling looks together.

“Sometimes, we have items in our wardrobes that we haven’t worn for a long time, and it’s good to discover why we’re not wearing them. Often with my clients, it was down to a fear. They were scared that the reality of what they looked like in a piece wouldn’t live up to their aspiration, but sometimes those negative thoughts were about a body hang up, rather than a reality about how the piece fitted or appeared. Often those sessions were as much therapy as they were styling.

“It’s really helpful to have some knowledge about how to create silhouettes. Often people will let t-shirts hang out because they are concerned about their tummy area, when in reality, having a baggy top is sometimes the thing that will draw attention to an area you may be insecure about. Tucking in instead might actually give you the silhouette you’re looking for. Similarly, nipping in your waist with a belt is sometimes a good idea.

“Ultimately, be confident! All bodies are beautiful bodies and styling is about working with what you’ve got. You’re supposed to have a fun relationship with your clothes, so create one!

Find Emma on Instagram and on her website, emmasladeedmondson.com

Sara Benincasa

On dissent, disruption, and fighting back against the bullshit

Sara Benincasa started Excellent Coats on Irritated Women in December 2018 and since then, she’s gained a healthy following of 26,000 Instagram users. If you’re not already one of Excellent Coats’ fans, it’s definitely time to delve into the account. Spotlighting women who are “all outta fucks in a fabulous coat,” Benincasa’s content is equal parts humour and herstory. This week, I spoke to the woman behind the coats about fashion, politics, and joyful anger.

“I created it because Nancy Pelosi wore this fabulous Max Mara coat for a meeting that she and Chuck Schumer had with Trump. It was really cool to see her claim her throne as someone who’s an effective antidote to the president; both rhetoric-wise and legislation-wise.

“She walked out with that fabulous coat on that everybody loved, and so I tweeted: “This is a great day for excellent coats on irritated women,” and a few people said: “this should be a thing!”

“People say things like: “all politics is personal,” and I think that extends to our purchasing choices, and the way we choose to present ourselves in the world. We live in a capitalist society that runs on commerce, regardless of our feelings about that and how it could, or should, be amended. A lot of people operating in this system are doing really great work to affect change, so I wanted to celebrate them.

“People often think of fashion as being this very superficial thing that only has to do with how you want to represent your status to the world, so I wanted to take these people, who are celebrated (or denigrated) for their beliefs, and look at their fashion; it’s a cool high-low mix. Why don’t we praise them for their presentation and beauty as well? Not to take away from their other accomplishments, but to highlight them in fact. Maybe some people who are most interested in fashion more than anything else will come to the account and learn about some really cool leaders who could help change their lives.

“I’m learning as I go. People send me images of women who I hadn’t heard of or seen before all the time. I don’t always have a credit for the photographers, so people will often research them for me. It’s really important to me to credit the artists I spotlight properly for their work.

Growing up, I loved watching a show on MTV called House of Style. It was hosted by 90s supermodels like Shalom Harlow and Cindy Crawford, they had a rotating list of hosts over the years, and Kevin Aucion, who was a brilliant makeup artist. Watching that show was so much fun because you got to meet the designers and see them in a new light. They were funny and silly and over the top and dramatic. That introduced me to the notion that there were real people who made up the fashion world.

“Obviously, fashion can be, to use an over-used word, toxic. When you only see tiny people in clothes, it can be really limiting, but I think that we’re in a such a fascinating and exciting era for fashion because we are starting to have models of different sizes, shapes and colours of different backgrounds. The internet has empowered them to have their own voice.

“I did, at one time, work as a paralegal for a law firm specialising in immigration for fashion models in New York. They hire extra seasonal help the way retail shops will. I was 26, and just out of graduate school for teaching, and making portfolios where we would have to prove a certain level of excellence or expertise in the field. For the models, we would use recommendations from people like Anna Wintour and Mario Testino. It was like applying to university, but more so. Looking at the way my country treats immigrants of all kinds, I’m really glad I had that experience. It showed me what happens when you get the elite treatment.

“Until recently, I had just been emphasising the women in the clothing, but then I started to think about the clothing that I was showing. I realised that I was inadvertently promoting whatever designer was showing. I want to highlight designers who are using recycled materials, who are trying to be zero-waste, who are local, and who are incorporating designs from their own cultures.

“I can’t control what celebrities or icons of history wear. If it’s Mahalia Jackson singing on the steps of an institution where she was barred from singing because she was a black woman, and she’s wearing fur, I’m not going to put my 2019 values on it, because this is about something much bigger. It’s about this woman’s accomplishments and what she did.

“I want to highlight women who have demonstrated through their actions that they have been irritated. Sometimes there’s a joyful rage that powers activism and powers making a change. They don’t always look angry, but I try to highlight women who have engaged in dissent, disruption and fighting back against the bullshit, and sometimes they look pretty happy.

“I love this quote from Molly Ivins. She’s my role model. She was a brilliant journalist and humorist from Texas, and she wrote amazing columns about politics in the 80s and 90s. She said:

“So keep fighting for freedom and justice beloveds, but don’t forget to have fun doing it. Be outrageous, ridicule the ‘fraid-y cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce, and when you get through kicking ass and celebrating the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.”

Molly Irvins

“It’s guiding principle for myself and a guiding principle for Excellent Coats on Irritated Women too. I will show people who are angry at a protest and who are pissed off, but also people who are joyful in the midst of whatever their struggle, or the struggle of which they’ve chosen to be a part to uplift others. Ultimately, I spotlight dissent, disruption, and fighting back against the bullshit.”

Follow Sara Benincasa on Instagram and Twitter.

Follow Excellent Coats on Irritated Women.

Jemma Finch on Clothes That Mean More

On the Clothes & The Rest podcast this week, I chatted to Jemma Finch, co-founder of Stories Behind Things. In the episode, we talk about the beginnings of Stories Behind Things, how fast fashion impacts mental health, and why Instagram is both a blessing and a curse. To listen to the full episode, please click here. In this post, however, Jemma shares some advice for how we can all find deeper connection with the clothes we wear…

“Go to your wardrobe, look at what you already have, pick an item that you haven’t worn in a while and ‘mend into’ it. Up-cycling is one of the best ways to rediscover things. Buy some thread, or a sew-on badge; both really good ways to inject some love back into items that need it. You’ll be surprised that they can feel totally new.

“Up-cycling does take time, but I think that’s a really nice thing. You’re putting energy into it, so I think you’ll value it more.

“Having a clear out is a really good idea, and can be really powerful… it’s just about whether you can bring yourself to get rid of things! It’s good for your mind to make space for new things.

“When I’m shopping, I don’t have the best willpower. With shopping second hand, if you see something you love, you have to get it because it might be gone the next day! I’m lucky that I have friends I can pass things on to if I don’t wear it as much as I thought I would; I always share with my friends.

Our swapping events are just a scaled up version of swapping with friends. You get the same dopamine hit of buying something new when you buy something second hand. It’s an important message to relay to yourself; it’s the same thing. You don’t have to got to a shopping centre, you can go to a clothes swap or a charity shop instead. And second hand clothes definitely have better stories!

For more from Stories Behind Things, please follow them on Instagram.

Patrick McDowell’s Advice for Young Designers

This week, on the Clothes & The Rest podcast, I chatted to Patrick McDowell about up-cycling, sustainability, and creative education. Just one year after graduating, his creations have been worn by singers like Rita Ora, and have been featured on the cover of Elle’s sustainability issue, so here, he shares what’s he has learnt from his first year as an independent designer…

“Take time to experience things. You don’t have to rush through everything. It’s something we learn in education that I don’t think is true; you don’t have to rush just to get to the end. You can take time off to do something other than work.

“Enriching your environment by doing different things will make your brain better. If you’re only sitting at your desk working all the time, you’re going to do bad work. It’s a fact. So get out and do stuff! Don’t be a martyr to your work; people don’t like that anymore. Go out and see things.

“New experiences are always enriching, so when you do go out, don’t go the place you went last time, and order the thing on the menu that you’ve never tried before. If you don’t like it, you eat three meals a day so it’s fine, you can have another one tomorrow morning!

“Sometimes it can feel like money is the biggest obstacle, but it will only make you stronger if you have financial struggles and produce great work. All you’re doing is working harder. If you’ve got less money and you’re still doing good work, you’re already miles ahead of other people.

“In my experience, it pushed me to be more creative. It builds everything, actually. If I had bought everything from a shop, I would never have spoken to anyone, or made the contacts I now have. I wouldn’t have applied to a scholarship with the British Fashion Council if I didn’t need the money, but it completely made me as a designer.”

For more from Patrick, please follow him on Instagram or visit his website.

#17: Khandiz Joni | Multidisciplinary Artist

This week, I talk to makeup artist and creative consultant Khandiz Joni. Khandiz discovered clean beauty in 2006, and since then, has been passionate about researching and working with organic products. In this episode, we talk about where her passion for green makeup began, why it’s so important to be conscious about the products we use, and the future of sustainable beauty.

Clothes and The Rest

Khandiz Joni

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Khandiz Joni’s Guide to Clean Beauty

On the Clothes & The Rest podcast this week, multidisciplinary artist Khandiz Joni talks about her journey to clean beauty. Here, however, she explains the terms and brands we need to know about to get started with conscious beauty…

Absolution does skincare and cosmetics. In my opinion, they do some of the best lipsticks on the market. We’re very used to certain colours and textures, and Absolution have nailed lovely consistencies and bright, fashionable colours.

Kjaer Weis is a luxury brand that I also really like, both the packaging and products are incredible.

Avril is a French brand and it’s very affordable, so it’s a great entry level point. They do really lovely foundations. I also love Zao because their products are mid-priced, but they have something for everybody; it’s a full range of products.

“When it comes to skincare, for me, it’s about finding things that were made locally. If you’re trying to limit your impact on the environment, shipping stuff across the world just because it’s lovely doesn’t make sense.

“The terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ can sometimes get confused. ‘Natural’ is contentious because it means different things to different people, but for me, it means that the ingredients were sourced from nature; grown from the earth. ‘Organic’ is anything grown by organic farming practices. This means that water cannot be deemed ‘organic’, nor can minerals because they aren’t actually grown. They can however be ‘natural’.

“Something I talk about a lot is vegan beauty. Personally, I don’t subscribe to vegan beauty because it isn’t the most environmentally sound. It means avoiding ingredients like beeswax, lanolin and carmine. I definitely think that there are animal-derived ingredients that shouldn’t be in beauty products, but I don’t think a beauty product full of synthetic ingredients that have been extracted from crude oil is better than one containing sustainably sourced beeswax, for example.

“You often have to go to specialist shops to find clean beauty. Content Beauty and Wellbeing in London has a great selection of products, Wholefoods has some entry level products and there are lots of great online stores which stock fantastic products.”

For more from Khandiz, please follow her on Instagram or visit her website.

#16: Nelly Rose | Designer and Artist

My guest this week is print designer and textile artist. After graduating from the London College of Fashion in 2015, Nelly has visited Nepal, Japan and Indonesia, working with local artisans to create new, exciting designs, and preserve traditional craft. In this episode, Nelly explains why it’s so important to support artisanship, how she defines ‘sustainable empowerment’, and what she has learnt from global collaboration.

Clothes and The Rest

Nelly Rose

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Nelly Rose on Global Artisanship

Nelly Rose is passionate about preserving traditional craft. She’s lived and worked with artisans in Nepal, Indonesia and Japan, learning to create beautiful fabric art and incorporating these skills her own designs. If you want to hear more about Nelly’s work, please listen to her episode of the Clothes & The Rest podcast. Here, however, she talks about some of the most fascinating textile techniques she’s picked up along the way…

“Batik is one of my favourites. It’s amazing. It can be used for tiny intricate details that you would never believe were done with such a tiny tool.

“There are so many different types of weaving. Backstrap weaving is absolutely amazing, and it’s such a female craft. There are a few male weavers, but it’s a very maternal action. It uses hip power and it’s really sacred. It’s connected to so many spiritual and natural forms of power.

“In Indonesia, I worked with Songket weaving, which uses a special type of loom; creating the most intricate, amazing pattern. It’s a form of jacquard weaving. I loved working with Ikat weaving too, but I see it as a digital print everywhere and it’s heartbreaking. Actually, it’s done with two sticks, and strings which are stretched across a loom at floor level. It’s so laborious. I tried it and was absolutely awful; it’s so hard to do!

“I’ve learnt some amazing forms of dying. Dian Pelangi used an amazing method called disperse dying. It’s all about how you knot the fabric. I’d love to learn more about shibori dying and indigo dying in Japan.

“It would be so ignorant to go in and think I could just pick anything up. The people teaching me have been learning their craft for years. Batik was interesting, because I went there and started implementing it with a paint brush instead. We were still using wax, but slightly differently.

“One day I want to write a book, and showcase as many different traditional crafts as possible. There is such an array of techniques and I think they are all fascinating.”

Please visit Nelly’s website for more.

#15: Laura Von Behr | Vintage Expert

This week, I speak to vintage seller and expert Laura Von Behr. Leaving her career in TV styling behind, Laura started selling vintage at fairs and online before discovering her passion lay in a more personal shopping experience. She invites women to her home studio for a chance to browse her incredibly curated collection of handpicked vintage. In this episode she explains exactly why she loves vintage so much, and why, in her opinion, vintage is for everyone.

Clothes and The Rest

Laura Von Behr

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Laura Von Behr on Shopping Vintage

Laura Von Behr has loved vintage forever. “I think my love for clothes probably started in my granny’s dressing up box. I found a 1920s kimono in there which is one of my favourite things ever.”

After working as a stylist for TV, she turned her hand to a career in vintage. She sold at fairs and online, before establishing a unique in-person shopping experience. “It was my friend Dolly Alderton who inspired me to invite women over after we spent an evening together trying on my stock. We found her a dress and since her posting about it, I have spent the last 6 months dressing lots of women.”

Laura’s collection is beautiful; she handpicks everything she sells, and is always on the look out for a new gem. If you want to hear more about Laura, and her experiences dressing women in vintage, please have a listen to the latest episode of the Clothes & The Rest podcast. Here, Laura shares some of her vintage shopping expertise…

“The first thing I would say is don’t rush. You’ve got to go into a shop with the expectation of spending a few hours. Take your time, and try on as much as possible.

“Definitely take a tape measure. It’s devastating thinking you’re going to fit in a certain pair of jeans when actually, they’re about five sizes too small. It’s really hard to tell on the rail if something is going to fit, and it’s so heart braking, especially with vintage, if something doesn’t, because you can’t just get another. Measuring is a really good way of avoiding that problem.

“If you’re nervous of vintage, a nice place to start is with a jacket or a coat. A vintage coat is amazing; it will often be made of wool and cashmere and be so much better quality than you could find on the highstreet.

“Always make friends with your local dry cleaner and seamstress. It’s amazing how much you can change something just by shortening a maxi into a midi, or other small alterations. Often a tiny nip in of a dart will completely transform the shape of a garment, so it worth doing.”

If you want to find out more about Laura, or book an appointment with her, please visit her website for details.

#14: Vin | Vin + Omi

My guest this week is Vin, of eponymous label Vin and Omi. The pair opened last London Fashion Week in St Pancras’ Grand Terrace with a show celebrating their passion for sustainability, and ultimately probing deeper into the clothes they make. In this episode Vin talks about the beginnings of Vin and Omi, creating new fabrics, and the next generation of designers. I really hope you enjoy!

Clothes and The Rest

Vin and Omi

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Vin on How to Stop F***ing the Planet

The beginning of a new year seems like the perfect time to start making changes. But sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start. I think most people would like to live, and dress, with minimal negative impact on the environment, but aside from the basics we learn about in school, it’s hard to know how to take it a step further. Even harder to put those changes into action.

My guest on the podcast this week is Vin, of eponymous label Vin + Omi. Vin was a director of public art before becoming a fashion designer (with no previous sewing experience). Since the brand’s conception in 2004, Vin + Omi have focused on sustainable processes, thinking up new, unique ways to produce ethical textiles.

Vin + Omi’s Stop F***ing the Planet recycled plastic collection and campaign encourages consumers to consider the environment when updating their style. Confronted by January sales, it may seem difficult to resist a thoughtless purchase, but for Vin, it’s important to pay more attention to our wardrobes: what we put in, what we take out, and how we take care of what we have.

Microfibres

It’s scary but it’s true. Microfibres are tiny (smaller that 5mm) plastic threads, often thinner than a human hair, which escape into our waterways, and ultimately our seas, when we wash our clothes. They often form part of a sludge collected at water treatment plants which is then sprayed onto soils as fertiliser. To combat this, Vin suggests we wash our clothes in a microfibre catcher bag, and instead of throwing away the fibres, use them to stuff a cushion. For more information about microfibres, I recommend visiting Friends of the Earth.

Mindful Plastic

Plastic Waste is a hot topic at the moment. Blue Planet demonstrated just how much plastic ends up in our oceans and the show’s popularity means its now on lots of people’s radar. According to Vin, when it comes to plastic, it’s all about being conscious. “Question everything you buy wrapped in plastic or made of plastic,” he says. “Do you really need it?” For a deep dive into plastic waste, I recommend reading Lucy Siegle’s Turning the Tide on Plastic.

Say No To Fur

A simple way to immediately make a positive change is to boycott fur. Vin recommends looking for sustainable alternatives to achieve the same look. Back in October, I was fascinated to read Bel Jacobs’ Is the the end for real fur? on the BBC, which highlighted just how problematic faux fur can be. Sometimes, it seems as though we have to choose between animals, and the environment. Of course, it’s ideal to ‘do right’ by both concerns, but in my opinion, when it comes to fur, animals take my priority. I’ll try to find sustainable faux fur, but until I do, it’s easy for me to simply pick a different coat.

Made In England

Finally, Vin advises buying Made in England, and from small, independent brands where possible. Again, this comes alongside shopping more mindfully – examining the provenance of what we buy can help us make more informed decisions. Buying Made in England, means supporting the remaining local garment industry which has not yet been outsourced abroad in search of cheaper labour. If we don’t support local independent business, we may not have any left.

Ask Questions

For Vin, it’s important to evaluate our potential purchases. At this time of year, it’s easy to fall into the trap of a mindless evening browse, turning into a mindless evening spree. But before we click “checkout” it’s useful to think about when, and how, we might actually wear what we’re about to buy. Eco Age has a fantastic 30 Wears campaign, which is worth taking note of if you find yourself with a wardrobe full of nothing to wear.

#13: Agatha Lintott | Antibad

My guest this week is Agatha Lintott, founder of online sustainable womenswear boutique, Antibad. In this episode we talk about the beginnings of Agatha’s fashion career (she’s been in the industry since she was 16!), how she defines ‘sustainability’, and why vintage is an essential part of her wardrobe. I really hope you enjoy!

Clothes and The Rest

Antibad

Thanks for listening!

Agatha Lintott on Curating a Sustainable Wardrobe

This week on the Clothes & The Rest podcast, I talk to Antibad’s Agatha Lintott about luxury fashion, vintage and making sustainability ‘cool’. She’s definitely helped to transform the image of sustainable clothes, so here, she talks about how to dress ethically, without losing your personal style…

“I don’t feel like I’ve lost my personal style since doing this, but I think you have to look a little bit harder. It might take a little bit longer to find the perfect piece but I quite like that challenge now. If you find a pair of trainers that you love, research and look into the ethical option. It might not be exactly the same but you could find a vintage pair, or swap with someone. You have to think a little bit outside the box and not just buy straight away. Think about it a little bit more and make it into a game or a challenge.

“I love the research now but before, I wasn’t really interested. I didn’t think about where my clothes came from but I have completely switched around. I look into things a lot more.

“Look at the labels of your clothes to see where they were made and what they are made out of is so important. Learn how to look after and wash your clothes. I shrank so many things before I became interested in sustainability. I had such a throwaway attitude back then but now, I’d be devastated if I shrunk anything in wardrobe. It would be much more of a big deal.

“I get a lot more pleasure from my wardrobe now. Now I take more care over what I buy, its so much easier to dress. Also, I wear the same thing two days in a row, and I don’t mind so much. It’s just about changing that mindset and seeing your wardrobe as much more of a long-term thing.”

Photo by Maddison Araceli.