Featured Seller: Rethreads

Based in Oxford, Canterbury, Briar has exciting plans for her clothing label Rethreads.

rethreads children's scoody
rethreads tie skirt and armies rethreads collar with rosette

What do you make?
Reconstructed clothing. Also called ‘upcycled’, it’s the process (or obsession) involved with taking nearly new but unloved and boring garments and transforming them into something funky, stylish and eminently wearable.

How did you get into selling your craft?
Through trial and error really, and I’m still getting into it (anyone know any good retail outlets for this stuff?)

A better question for me is why? And for that I have two clear reasons. One is – to make money. I love the process of buying and selling, the exchange that happens between two total strangers who would otherwise have nothing to do with each other.

The other reason I do it is to justify the wall of banana boxes containing fabric, clothing and textiles in my garage, and to have an excuse to shop for even more.

Your favourite tools, materials and processes?
Working with fabric this way is like sculpture. I work on the floor because I need the space. My tools are a pair of scissors, a pile of stuff to cut up, and a couple of sewing machines. No paper patterns, no measuring. One day I’d like to teach these methods, because sewing can be so overly complicated, and it doesn’t have to be.

What inspires you?
Putting my stuff out in public and seeing the response. A problem to resolve. Being alone. Being curious. The feeling of fabric, folding it, sorting it, washing and ironing it.

Does your work have an ethos – is there more to it than fashion?
Definitely, and it’s not fashion! I call it ‘guerilla clothing’ or ‘antifashion’. To me, fashion is an industry, clothes drawn on paper made cheaply somewhere else and worn for a season then tossed. These clothes – are made locally to last. I want rethreads garments to become favourites, to be worn until they fall apart. Then, being made from natural fibres, you can snip them up and use them to mulch your garden.

Where to from here?
I plan to keep designing and creating for a very long time. If I could find a business partner or two and a couple of machinists keen to take on recycled materials I think rethreads could grow very nicely indeed.

Visit Briar’s Felt shop to check out more Rethreads items.