On the 25th of February, hidden away in The Crate Brewery in Hackney, East London, SOON met Jemma and Ella, the inspiring women behind @storiesbehindthings, at their first public event- ‘The Big Clothes Switch’. Based on Instagram, @storiesbehindthings is a wonderful project that aims to celebrate preloved clothing and sustainable fashion. ‘The Big Clothes Switch’ was a huge triumph and no doubt will stand as the first of many successful events to come from the pair. People travelled from as far a field as Amsterdam to swap their no longer wanted items of clothing for other’s preloved treasures, with the chance to grab a vegan cupcake and browse independent stalls of sustainable goods at the same time.
SOON got the chance to chat with Jemma and Ella about their thrifting top tips, favourite places to go in London and current life mantras. The full interview will be available in ISSUE TWO (June 2017) but here is a little sneak peak of what to expect…
For those who don’t know you and your wonderful project, please introduce yourselves…
J- Hi I’m Jemma Finch, currently studying Fashion Marketing at Leeds University. (Co-founder of @storiesbehindthings.)
E- Hi, I’m Ella Grace Denton. I’m a musician, an activist and an influencer on the platform Instagram! (Co-founder of @storiesbehindthings.)
Was it your interest in fashion or sustainable living that inspired @storiesbehindthings?
E- Personally it was my interest in both of these things! Both fashion and sustainable living are things I love. I’m not a huge ‘trend follower’ but I’ve always loved the ability to express through clothing.
J- For myself this passion stemmed from a passion of self-expression and all things creative, which led me to study fashion marketing at university. However, with the increasing trend and importance of sustainability it was important for us to consider a way to combine sustainable living in a creative way. Nowadays sustainability in regard to the fashion industry is often seen as un cool or out dated, and that’s just not the case at all! We wanted to highlight the emerging markets and grab it by the horns. Ella’s always been thrifting and got me more into it in the last few years. We’ve combined out passions and skills and that’s how @storiesbehindthings was born! We both strive to make sustainable consumerism modern and appealing to give people the choice to take control of the way you consume.
What’s one item of clothing that you own that you couldn’t live without?
J- At the moment I have a lot of sentimental value in a moon stone ring that marks a new chapter of my life, filled with positive dreams and drive.
E- Probably my dad’s big Pachamama jumper that he wore whilst travelling in his 20’s.
You must be so excited to be hosting your first clothes swapping event What made you decide to host this sort of thing?
J- We wanted to bring our community together!
We have a strong following in London and wanted to bring this amazing community that share the same values and beliefs finally together! This is something we want to do more often in a lot of different venues and cities. We have lots of exciting ideas we are brainstorming currently regarding trips around Europe!
E- We’ve always wanted to give people in London the opportunity to gather around an event that promotes slow fashion and so The Clothes Switch came together as a fun event that has both purpose and pleasure in mind!
What’s the plan after this first event? Will there be more SBT events in the future?
J- We are planning to bring sustainable brands together in one place for our community to experience our events, and online space to enable them to express themselves as well as holding a space that celebrates things in our lives that hold meaning. We thrive off the importance of this in a lot of aspects!
E- 100%! There’s a lot more to come from us. We’d love the format of The Clothes Switch to spread, so we will be focusing on how we can do that.
Finally, what’s your Something Out of Nothing? That one thing that you love, that’s really simple… like the smell of coffee, getting into a freshly made bed or skinny dipping..
J- For me, it is without a doubt the taste of a warm drink, whether it’s a cup of builders tea or a herbal hot drink, there is nothing more therapeutic for me to relax.
E- Knowing I have a whole day to myself, in my space.
For the full interview, keep your eyes peeled for ISSUE TWO, hitting the shelves in June 2017. (Photographs- Portraits- Ed Little. ‘The Big Clothes Switch’ Event- Leia Morrison)