Remade In Leeds Relaunch
When I first moved to Leeds, I found out about a group called Remade in Leeds, who (under the guise of their clothing brand Antiform) recycled second-hand, vintage or unwanted clothing into exciting new gear with an ever-so-slight punk twist. Ethical, fabulous and pretty darn awesome, Remade in Leeds (after a quiet period) have now refurbished their Hyde Park HQ and it was there I dragged myself off to on Thursday night for their relaunch. When I say dragged, I have the luck to live not two minutes away, so I scoffed my tea and sidled round.
The space is great: tucked away behind suburban student dwellings, near enough to the Brudenell for lunchtime pints, small but spacious enough to fit in a crowd of excited fashionistas eating cake, it combines a shop, dressing room, mini office, and sewing studio all in one.
The combination of elements in the venue reflected the ethos behind Remade in Leeds’ ‘brand’ concept: design flair, craftsmanship, ethical concerns and being hellishly fashionable. While the shop area that night contained solely Antiform brand clothing, they also have concessions for independent, new designers, alongside second-hand vintage clothing and handmade accessories.
I spoke to Phie and Becky, who both work as part of the Remade in Leeds cooperative, and their passion and excitement for the project shone through. Each individual takes on a specific, but flexible, role in the cooperative, some working in the shop, others photographing and documenting processes, and – last but not least – the designers and crafters who create the clothing.
While Leeds’ does suffer from a glut of ‘vintage’ and ‘independent’ shops in the centre of the city – albeit with a smile and a wodge of cash – finding a little gem like this in the litter-strewn streets of student-ville is not only refreshing, but inspiring. Not only for the clothes – which if I had a little more money and a few more parties to go to, I would have bought there and then – but for the external community-based projects Remade in Leeds takes part in. They offer a well-priced repair service, rolling programme of sewing classes, clothes exchange, donate unsold clothes to local hospices, and will soon be starting a sewing café where you can drop in and get some essential textile tips. They also rely on local home-grown talent from students and graduates, providing a good experience base for newcomers to the industry.
The clothes themselves started at about £20, with accessories starting at a fiver. I tried on some shorts, much to my amusement and luckily avoiding the gaze of any innocent bystanders, and instead wished I could own some of the beautiful pieces I’ve photographed: feminine but not girly, trendy but the right side of hipster.
Projects like this make me glad to live in Leeds, and supporting them can only be a good thing. It means graduates can stay and can make it, independent fashion can be ethical and well-priced, and Hyde Park isn’t just full of grimy takeaways and people wearing Uggs. Hooray!
To celebrate their relaunch, this Saturday 2nd April Remade in Leeds will be holding a treasure hunt across Woodhouse Moor, complete with style-spotter and prizes, and will be hosting a huge clothes exchange at their HQ. For more information visit www.remadeinleeds.org or pop in at 25 Back Kensington Terrace, Hyde Park.
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