Reworked, remade and reworn. How’s this fashion brand turning old clothes & fabrics into beautiful new pieces?
It goes without saying that there are currently so many garments already in the market; tonnes of clothing end up in landfill every day, and there are many existing beautiful vintage pieces that could be given a second life. On a mission to save clothing from being discarded, Emma Shaw founded The Well Worn.
From dresses made with dead stock fabrics to tops made from vintage garments, The Well Worn have great pieces to wear during the last few sunny days this summer which can easily be layered up as we transition into Autumn.
We spoke to Emma to find out more about her mission to give old clothes a new life, her favourite pieces from her collections and future plans for her brand.
What inspired you to start The Well Worn?
About 3 years ago, I decided to take a year off work. I had been working in the fashion industry for over 20 years, and I was thinking, what do I do next?! I’ve always loved the idea of creating my own brand, but I never really had the opportunity to do it. I wanted to start a business where I could combine all the things I am passionate about.
One of my passions is vintage clothes and sourcing vintage fabrics. Another one is dresses; they’re just that complete outfit that you can just pop on quickly and instantly feel great. My other passion is UK factories. When I first left university, I got a job in one of the rare UK factories. So I wanted to do something that would bring all my passions together, which is how I came up with The Well Worn.
What’s your go-to piece from your collection?
If I’m going somewhere relaxed, I’d go for the Harper dress. and If I’m going somewhere a bit more dressed up, I’d go for the Matilda dress which has gorgeous ruffled sleeves and an open back.
What’s the best-selling piece in your collection?
The Felicity dress. It’s a really good dress for all occasions because you can wear it with pomps, trainers or boots. So, I would say that’s a key piece in my collections. I’ve also done it in a few different prints and fabrics.
Can you talk us through the process of turning old clothes and fabrics into new pieces?
For the fabrics, I’m constantly keeping an eye out for things that catch my eye, which can be from old curtains, bedspreads, quilts and fabrics on a roll. Quite often I buy these fabrics and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them. I get the fabric first, and then I decide what to make out of it based on what suits the fabric. The Olivia dress for example is made with a vintage bedding that I’ve made into a dress.
On your website you’ve mentioned your goal is to save 1 tonne of textiles and clothing from landfill. How far along are you in achieving that?
My goal was to save 1 tonne of textile and clothing this year, and so far, we’ve saved 348 kilos. My next goal after that would be 10 tonnes. I know it’s a stretch target, but I really want to start making a dent in the amount of fabric that unfortunately ends up in landfill.
What are your future plans for The Well Worn?
I would like to hit a few milestones, like saving 10 tonnes of textiles from going to landfill that I just mentioned. The other thing I’d really like to do is getting a space here to work as a micro factory. I love UK factories so much and I love the idea of doing everything under one roof. So, I would like to get a space here in Winchester to be able to create everything in-house.
Written By: Darya Badiei | Fashion Content Editor