Junk Shop Fashion

A new generation of shoppers embrace the make do & mend philosophy.

By Editor
January 27, 2013, 1:05 pm
Junk Shop Fashion

Old clothes, curtains, blankets and even sari’s – a new generation of savvy shoppers are embracing the ‘make do and mend’ philosophy

Tougher economic times means people are watching what they spend.

The high heels, glitz and glamour may still be ‘uber’ cool but we want them much cheaper now, and we’re even willing to make it ourselves!
As people begin the embrace this culture, one retailer in Manchester’s super hip Northern Quarter district is bringing customisation back into vogue.
The aptly named ‘Junk Shop’ believes you can treat yourself to new clothes and jewellery – by making them out of old ones.
The shop takes donated clothing or material scraps and turns them into stylish dresses, shirts and bags.
Junk Shop founder Charlotte Keyworth believes shoppers want more for their money.
“More than ever before, people are aware of where their clothes have come from,” she says.
“They don’t want to be wearing the same outfit as someone else, they want quality, and they want an outfit that will last more than a couple of washes whilst still looking very stylish.
“It’s why there has been such a resurgence of vintage fashion and now people are want to update their wardrobe, customise it or buy vintage and turn it into an outfit that they will enjoy wearing.”
Charlotte, who also has an outlet in West Didsbury and runs her studio from Islington Mill in Salford, is a huge believer in up-cycling clothing including both vintage and more modern stable wardrobe pieces.
The team at Junk Shop even use old curtains, lace and blankets to make outfits. Nothing goes to waste.
Charlotte, who also has her own label – ‘Made In The Mill’ - is also a huge fan of saris and shalwar kameez, and often turns the traditional Punjabi tunic top into a fusion dress which can be styled with leggings, or just heels for a night out or paired with knee high boots for a daytime look.
“There are so many clothes that go to waste,” says Charlotte.
“We just bring some life back into them.
“Sari dresses are really popular. The materials are so pretty and they make lovely tops, tunics, waterfall skirts and dresses.
“Recycled fashion has a sense of uniqueness; it gives people character and a sense of their own style, which they may not get on the high street.”
Charlotte, who always wanted her own label, has been making her own clothes since she was 14.
After graduating with a fashion degree, she designed her own t-shirts before launching Junk Shop. “I was very experimental and made outfits to go out with,” she said.
“When I look back I don’t know how my mum even allowed me to go out with some of them.
“I love making stuff and it’s nice to see people feel happy when they buy something that you’ve created.”
Charlotte gets her inspiration from her passion for vintage, old movies and even Woodstock.
“I find vintage clothing fascinating. The vintage fabrics for example are of a different quality all together.
“You can even tell how old a fabric is from the depth of its colour.
“Everything is digitalised now so you don’t get the same details as you do with vintage fabrics. A cotton printed dress from the 50s would be seen as high end fashion because the fabric is so good and you just don’t get that now, the cuts are designed to last unlike the mass produced products that are churned out in the Far East.
“Vintage fabrics are breathable and comfortable to wear, and once you see the difference, it really does change your shopping habits.”


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