Our massive Garage Sale is back and stocked with over 20,000 items in a HUGE covid-safe space!

Catch us both online and in Peckham’s very own Bussey Building from Tuesday 18th - Sunday 23rd August with FREE entry every day, for super cheap vintage picks, with 1000s of items added daily. 

Head down for 6 days of vintage shopping with plenty of safety measures to keep you happy while shopping, including mandatory masks, 2m social distancing, payments by card only, lots of hand sanitising stations and a maximum capacity!

Bag yourself multiple new looks for absolute pocket change, from rails and rails of genuine vintage goodies. With items ranging from £1 to £12, you’ll be all set for the new season in a single shop!

ALL jeans £10
ALL dresses £8
ALL tops/t-shirts/shirts £5
ALL skirts/shorts £5
ALL knits £6
ALL trousers £5
ALL sweatshirts £9
ALL jackets £9
ALL coats £12
ALL belts £1
ALL bags £3
ALL other accessories £1


RSVP to the Facebook event so you don’t forget and tell your friends! You’ll be a fool to miss it.

How to Break Up with Fast Fashion with Lauren Bravo

How to Break Up with Fast Fashion with Lauren Bravo

Fast fashion is the ultimate toxic relationship. It's bad news for the planet, our brains and our bank balances. We can't go on like this; our shopping habits need an overhaul.

We are proud to be hosting a very special sold-out Q&A event with journalist and author Lauren Bravo on her new book Breaking Up with Fast Fashion this January in our Bristol and Brighton stores!

We spoke to Lauren about her latest book, vintage shopping and how she sees the future of sustainability. 

What inspired you to write your latest book?
I’d gradually been buying less and less new and more secondhand over the course of a couple of years – partly because I’d become disenchanted with fast fashion, spending too much time and money on clothes that never really delivered what they promised, and partly because I’d been reading more about the environmental impact and humanitarian problems of the industry and felt too guilty to keep on shopping the way I was. But the biggest wake-up call was probably moving flat when I was suddenly faced with five years’ worth of shopping mistakes.
Sifting through pile after pile of sad, crumpled polyester was the push I needed to make that final break. So I challenged myself to go a whole year without buying anything new (or new-new – I was allowed secondhand), in an attempt to end my toxic relationship with fast fashion and fall back in love with the clothes I already owned instead. And then, a few months into the challenge, I was approached by my publishers to write a guide to breaking up with fast fashion. There were some brilliant books out there that looked at fashion's problems from an academic, analytical perspective but not much that felt super accessible, or – dare I say it – fun.
I wanted to write a book that celebrated the joy of fashion while also being brutally honest about the issues. I wanted to give people helpful, practical solutions rather than simply overwhelming them with scary stats, and I wanted to discuss the emotional side of clothing as well as the cold hard facts. Hopefully How To Break Up With Fast Fashion ticks those boxes!      
What are some top tips for those who are keen to shop more sustainably?
There are so many different ways! That's the first tip: don't feel you have to follow the same path as everyone else. If you feel ready for a shopping ban, they can be a really great way to hit 'reset' on our relationship with fashion, and challenge yourself to make the most of the clothes you already own. If you're not up for trying a whole year, start with a month and see how you go. Or alternatively, ease yourself in with a rule like #secondhandfirst. Before you buy anything new, always look to see if you can find it secondhand.
Check vintage shops, charity shops and resale sites like eBay and Depop – you'd be amazed how often you'll find the exact thing you wanted, or close enough, for much cheaper than you would have paid new. I also recommend swapping and sharing as an alternative to buying; investigate some of the brilliant new rental platforms that are coming along now, or just put the call out on WhatsApp and see what your friends are willing to lend. And re-familiarising yourself with a sewing kit is a brilliant thing. If you're prepared to alter clothes and repair them as they get worn, it breathes so much more life into your wardrobe. 

What do you think is the future of the fashion industry?
The industry has to change and fast. We need to see the big fashion brands slam on the breaks and seriously slow down their rate of production – to take the pressure off factories and garment workers, as well as reducing the number of surplus clothes that end up in landfill (300,000 tonnes each year in the UK alone). We need to find better ways of working with the materials we already have, recycling old clothes into new, and move towards a circular economy where much less is wasted. We need brands to be open to alternative models of consumption; rental, resale, repair. I'd love a future high street where you can buy a preowned dress from the same shop as a new one, and have an old garment repaired next door. And crucially, more sustainable fashion needs to be accessible to everyone – whatever their size, style or budget. It can't only be the preserve of the thin and rich. 

What are your favourite vintage/second-hand pieces in your wardrobe?
It's usually the ones with the biggest emotional connection. So I have two coats that belonged to each of my grandmothers – one a fabulous faux astrakhan, one a really classic navy pea coat – and wearing them always feels really special. There are a couple of vintage dresses that I wore to death in my first year of uni, and they're knackered now but I'd never part with them because they remind me of being young and fun and free. And then there's a dress that I bought from Beyond Retro on the day I decided to write the book. It's a casual, floral-print 70s midi in really soft cotton and it fits like a glove, works in all seasons, goes with everything, and has become a bit of a lucky charm over the past year. I must have worn it about twice a week, and I'm showing no signs of stopping.

What would you advise for those who are new to vintage shopping?
Take your time. Shopping secondhand isn't the same as buying from the high street, and it isn't necessarily meant to be. Give yourself time to really rummage, and comb every rail twice if you can – I don't know why, but I always find brilliant stuff on the second sweep that I didn't notice the first time around. If in doubt, always try it on. Vintage sizes have varied hugely over the decades so never trust the size on the label; always go by the measurements, or just give it a go. And have a little imagination. If you're prepared to tweak your vintage finds a little bit – taking up a hem a few inches, cutting out shoulder pads, changing buttons etc – it really opens up your options.
Finally, if you're nervous of vintage or think you can't "pull it off", ease yourself in with separates that you can style with newer pieces, and take your cue from trends (at least at first) to stop you feeling too fancy dress. All the 90s trends currently on the high street are still out there from the first time around, remember! So much better to have the original thing than some high street reproduction. 

You can buy How to Break Up With Fast Fashion here
Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness Week is a one-week celebration from November 13th - 17th leading up the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

This #TransWeek we’re working alongside some incredible people to help raise the visibility of trans and gender non-conforming people, and begin to address the issues the community faces as well as celebrate our local queer community by raising fund for ELOP, LGBT+ mental health and wellbeing grassroots charity based in East London. 

Tangerine x Zodiac 

The first of our fundraising events is with our good friends Zodiac Film club, who are hosting an evening of film for Transgender Awareness Week on Monday 11th November, with a screening of the incredible film Tangerine (2015). 

Sean Baker's improvised day in the life of two trans sex workers, played by Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor, is a colourfully chaotic screwball dramedy with a tender friendship at its core. Underneath the frantic and raw energy, this film is a portrait of friendship and human connection and rather impressively shot on entirely on an iPhone 5.

Join us from 7 pm for free drinks and a few zodiac surprises. Tickets are on a sliding scale with all profits going to Elop, with a standard donation or low wage donation. 

Navigating Style Through Gender

To commemorate the end of Trans Awareness Week, on Tuesday 19th November we’re teaming with several artists and activists from London’s queer community. With special speakers Jamies Windust, William Dill Russell, Tobi Norman and Erik Pascarelli.

As well as this, we’ll be celebrating with free drinks, makeup masterclasses from Emily After and a DJ set from our very own Xoey, with every penny raised going to ELOP. Tickets are on a sliding scale, with a standard donation or low wage donation. 

We spoke to our speakers to find out a little more about what they do, their personal style and everything in between!

Jamie Windust

An EVER INSPIRING non-binary activist, writer, model, speaker AND editor-in-chief of Fruitcake magazine. 

Hi Jamie, tell us about how Fruitcake magazine began...

Fruitcake started in 2018, for my final year at university. I was asked to create a new business, and the summer previously I’d interned at stonewall. This, and the poignant spike in anti-trans media, I knew I wanted to do something for the queer community, but I just didn’t know what. 

The response I got from social media was overwhelmingly promising, it felt that this was a magazine that people wanted and people needed. Once receiving funding, it became a reality. 

Its run by me, but the premise is mostly contribution-based. We only have one issue a year, and my only stipulation is that entries are fun, quirky and able to be printed. It's incredible how many young people approach me, I get 13-14-year olds sending me amazing ideas, so I have the chance to give them a platform to speak. And it feels the need for the magazine is still very much present.

How would you describe your personal style?

For me, there’s no one way to look non-binary. The way I decide what to wear comes from me not believing in the rules. I’ve never cared for rules like what is “day” or “night” appropriate, so just wear what I want, when I want. I love anything fun, I definitely like 80s clothes in particular, and look for pieces unique to me and my identity. 

I first started experimenting with my personal style with vintage clothing. Growing up with rural Dorset, when an independent vintage store opened nearby, I started spending my whole evening there after school. 

Coming to London, there were so many shops to discover! Beyond Retro Soho was one of my favourites, it felt like opening Pandora’s box! I was amazed at how much there was and how accessible it all felt. I love finding vintage pieces and making them my own too. I came to a leather painting event in Beyond Retro with Alice Dean, and I gave her an old leather jacket of mine to paint ‘Nancy Boy’ on the back. It's now one of my favourite pieces, and it makes something truly yours when you can upcycle it. 

Fashion and gender have a complicated relationship. Could you tell us about how your personal style reflects your identity?

In the beginning, when I was experimenting with fashion, I was exploring my identity at the same time, so the two came hand in hand. In fact, I feel I have learnt a lot about my identity through fashion. When I first found out about the idea of non-binary, I had just moved to London. I began to fully experiment with the way that I look, and the gender experimentation and style experimentation fed each other. Now that I feel confident in my identity, I don’t think about my style as interlinked as it once was. 

You’ve spoken a lot about the concept of safe-spaces, and have done so much important work in creating those for gender non-conforming, non-binary and trans people. 

Something we love about vintage fashion is that it acts almost like a safe space for those marginalised groups to explore their identity - vintage fashion is like a toolbox for the exploration of your identity. With vintage clothes, you can always find something that feels so unique, and so you. 

What’s your relationship with vintage clothing like? 

I sometimes work for fast fashion brands on their social content or on a consultancy basis, and their lack of transparency makes me want to balance and counteract it, so I tend to shop predominantly with vintage stores. You find pieces that are more representative of your personality, you can begin to make fashion more relevant to who you are, rather than just piece, to allow you to wear your personality on the outside. 

What are your favourite pieces of vintage in your wardrobe?

One of them is definitely my graduation dress that I got from Beyond Retro - it's one of those pieces that is always in my wardrobe, sometimes ill wear it just around the house! It’s a navy sequin halterneck, fitted to the floor, with a little train. Something very special! 

My second piece is unusual but another personal one for me. When I passed my driving test, my driving instructor noticed I had an individual style, so she gave me a jacket of hers from the 80s that she thought I would like, and I still wear it all the time.

Tobias Norman 

YouTuber and makeup artist, breaking down the binary ways in which we view masculinity.

Hi Tobia, tell us about yourself.

I'm a 20-year-old Queer Transgender-man advocating for open expression free from prejudice, sharing my views here on the internet, under my YouTube persona Laddie. The words are simple, but getting there is hard. And as I've recently entered the world of a trans-male makeup artist, I know this all too well. So, let's talk about it, and hopefully, the discussion will get us a little closer to where we want to be!

I started my YouTube page about three years ago under the (rather cringe) name of CallmeLaddie. It didn't start off as an LGBT+ oriented channel, but when I saw the support and encouraging response when I made my first video speaking about how I identify all those years ago, sharing my experience for the benefit of others became a constant part of my content. I have made transition timelines/updates, in-depth behind the scenes documentaries of top surgery, funnier content and have now moved on to MUA work as I began to delve into the makeup world. The most important part, however, is that YouTube has helped me to be a more confident person, exposed me to so many opportunities and I will always be grateful to my amazing supporters!

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is a few words. Unique. 90's. And never the same.

It was once described by my mother in the best possible way "You're just something that can't be defined" and with my style, I really like it that way. I buy clothes from the men's section that I can make feminine and from the women's that I can make masculine. Whether it be dungarees and big white platform boots - to ripped jeans, graphic T's and beanies, I love any 90's or unique style. As my masculinity often fluctuates so does how flamboyant my style is and I love to experiment with that! 

When did you being to explore makeup?

It surprises many people to know that I only started exploring makeup properly again just 5 months ago. I was so caught up with my dysphoria and ideas of "what a man really was" that I didn't dare let any makeup go near my own face, I just practised my love for it on my friends. But as my transition made me feel more comfortable and confident in my own body, I tried a little bit of eye-shadow, and it all went from there - gradually doing more and more makeup on myself until I started my first MUA Instagram to show it to the world. My style definitely leaned to the more extravagant and flamboyant during this time but it was fun to explore! Many people ask but I can't quite describe why I don't feel dysphoric when I wear makeup - and I shouldn't have to - I feel fierce, and that's all that matters.

Fashion and gender have a complicated relationship. Could you tell us about how your personal style reflects your identity?

I would say that my identity and style are very different but some it of that shines through. I am a transman and sometimes my expression would lead people to believe that my gender is more in-between that of male and female. My expression always fluctuates between the masc and fem ends of the spectrum but my gender remains constant, however, I think the "uniqueness" of some aspects of my style helps me embody my queer (pansexual) sexuality and trans identity a little on the outside. 

What’s your relationship with vintage clothing like?

I've based a lot of my more recent looks on 90's iconography and I’m OBSESSED! It's my new favourite era of fashion and edgy clothing that really compliments my personality and I completely agree that vintage fashion can help me explore uniqueness without boundaries. Sometimes I even look back to even earlier era's if I want to expand the areas of style available for me to explore. Fashion trends never die, they merely have a nap.

What are your favourite pieces of vintage in your wardrobe?

I would for sure say my favourite piece of vintage clothing in my wardrobe is my lush Denim Dungarees, pair that with the original 90's white platform Buffalo's shoes and we have a winner! (also don't forget a trusty beanie from UO).

William Dill Russell 

Fashion designer changing the way we think about gender non-conforming fashion.

Tell us about yourself and your fashion label.

I’m a non-binary designer, originally from Wolverhampton, who’s currently based in London.

I started my fashion label in 2016 to generate income as I was unable to afford the internship year during my studies. Since then I have created 3 collections which I have retailed online. I have had the pleasure of working with some incredible people such as Tilda Swinton, Tim Walker and The Metropolitan Museum of Art during their 2019 exhibition ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’.

My collections usually tell a story of an individual, a problem I feel I need to address or empowerment I feel we need.


Where do you find your inspiration for your collections?

I predominantly find inspiration from history. I enjoy watching documentaries and reading about ancient characters. I’m often drawn to people in history who I either feel an affinity with or that I feel are a caricature of people in our current times. Therefore, I like to develop my collections as extensions of what I feel these characters would wear if they existed now.

 I’m also incredibly inspired by the queer community. Instagram is a fabulous (often sometimes scary) way of finding inspiration. Seeing how people across the world style themselves, do their make-up or even how they talk about queerness is so inspiring and motivating. This does sometimes develop into an obsession with someone I don’t know in real life. As I don’t know them personally, I create a character of what they might be like in my head which I develop into a person within my collections. This is the same for people in ‘the real world’. I love seeing how people dress practically. When people are travelling on the tube in London, I love to see how they carry their bags, or how they fasten their coat or what angle they wear their hat at. All these things filter into my design process where I often drape things to re-create these amazing people. 

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is often very historical. I love a skirt with too many meters of fabric and ruffles on every inch of the hem paired with a fleece. Often my clothing is second hand or vintage, therefore things often fit strangely on my shoulders or waist. So, I have to try and style things to make them not just look like they don’t fit me correctly which often results in some amazing ideas!


Fashion and gender have a complicated relationship. How do you feel your work explores gender and identity?

I’m of course inspired by a lot of incredible LGBTQ+ who have all had their own take on clothing and their identity. I, therefore, take their points of view, along with mine and people I know to try and create clothing which isn’t specific to binary gender identities.

This means I have to look at design elements such as the silhouette or the materials used for a garment. But it also means I need to look at how a garment is cut across someone’s chest or crotch, which way a garment fastens and where the garment’s hem is. All these things can make people of different identities incredibly dysphoric so I really try to talk to people to see what they would feel most fabulous in.

Generally queer folk find it more difficult to reach higher-paying jobs, therefore they don’t have the disposable income to spend on incredibly expensive clothing. Therefore, I try to keep the prices of my pieces as low as possible, and I’m looking into more intimate ways of creating clothing so that pieces can be altered to fit an individual’s needs along with offering payment plans to allow people to buy a high quality, personal piece of clothing which they can wear forever. 

What’s your relationship with vintage clothing like? 

I have always loved vintage clothing. Whether it be vintage things I bought when I was a child to go in my fancy-dress box, or whether it be the Victorian clothing I have in my wardrobe. I’m so inspired by the construction, materials and techniques used in vintage clothing that I can only hope to create such interesting pieces in my career.

I also like that vintage clothing is often accessible for people whether it be bought from a car boot sale or a vintage shop. I feel this allows people to create their own sort of ‘archives’ of pieces that they love and cherish whilst helping them to appreciate clothing and the longevity of pieces as appose to fast fashion items. 

What are your favourite pieces of vintage in your wardrobe?

I have the most incredible vintage Schiaparelli hat which I got for my 18th Birthday, which I adore. I have some vintage coats/ dresses which have slowly disintegrated as I’ve worn them and I find the natural way they distress and the different silhouette it creates so interesting.

Erik Pascarelli

Queer hairstylist working in both fashion and in-salon, specializing in colour. Erik mainly works with his fellow queer and trans clients to offer a comfortable salon experience. 

Tell us about yourself Erik, and your work as a hairstylist.

I started training at Bleach London around four years ago. Before this I'd never really considered hairdressing as a 'real' job that I'd end up doing, I'd just done bits and pieces for me and my friends. It started with me cutting my own hair because I was fresh 'out' as trans and every hairdresser I went to tried to give me a 'feminine' cut. This lead onto me cutting my other trans friends hair, and then branched out further to anyone! I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a lot of fun and gave me the confidence when I started training professionally to really go for it and try to learn as much as I could. Before hair I'd always thought I'd have a career in fine art, but now I have a job I really enjoy and still get to express myself creatively, whilst still being able to make money, 

How would you describe your personal style?

To be honest it changes about three times a week. On the whole, right now I suppose I'd describe myself as quite 80s, big textured mullety hair and Levi’s. I've always related quite heavily to being a bit more emo or goth though, as that was the style of most of my teen years. No matter what style I'm going for I'm almost always wearing a mash-up of hand-me-downs, charity shop and eBay finds. As a hair colourist so many of my clothes get ruined, so I try to tye-dye over old colour stains or cut up and crop ruined shirts. 

Tell us more about your exploration with hair as part of a look?

Hair can either be a statement piece or complement a look. If you can't be bothered with choosing an exciting outfit every day, then colourful hair can be an easy way to stand out without much daily effort. Almost like carrying around a designer handbag. I wear quite a lot of colour these days, so I like keeping my hair a warm blonde, but I think this really goes with the 80s glam rock vibe. The same with different cuts or styling - I think you can really solidify a style you’re going for by matching your hair to what you're wearing.

Do you feel that your hair is an expression of your identity? Do your clients see their hairstyle as an expression of their identity?

I think hair is one of the most obvious expressions of identity that we have. Often you have to wear a uniform to work, but within reason can usually have your hair how you want. It's becoming so much more accepted to having colourful, funky hair. For me as a queer person as well I really feel like my hair has been so important for my self-expression. When I was younger I would change it constantly depending on how I felt at the time, every cut every colour I could manage, almost like a mood ring. Early in my transition especially; if a Gender Clinic appointment fell through or I got misgendered, I'd just shave a bit of my hair off. There are lots of things you can't control in your life, but hair is the one that you can. 

What’s your relationship with vintage clothing like?

I'd like to think I have a very healthy relationship with vintage clothing! On the whole, it never does me dirty, nothing fits the same as vintage clothes. I've actually made a pledge to only wear second-hand clothes from now on as fast fashion is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. 

What are your favourite pieces of vintage in your wardrobe?

I have a vintage 70's cowboy-style shirt that is the absolute apple of my eye. She only comes out for very special occasions. That with my unfortunately unnumbered light blue Levi’s (if only I could find the same fit) and red cowboy boots are the most important items in my wardrobe. 

Who are ELOP?

ELOP provides dedicated, high-quality, user-centred, responsive and professional services to local lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans (LGBT+) communities, that aim to preserve, promote & improve mental, emotional, psychological and social health, wellbeing, safety and empowerment, whilst working to challenge and eradicate discrimination and inequalities faced by LGBT+ people, and others questioning &/ or exploring their sexual orientation and/ or gender identity.

This ELOP undertakes through the provision of a range of services & activities including:

  • counselling & therapy services
  • Head up – mental health action plans
  • social & support groups: young adults, asylum seekers, LBT women, GBT men, Rise Above Hate
  • advice & information
  • signposting & assisted referral
  • support & advocacy
  • community safety & victim care
  • youth group & schools project
  • same-sex families service
  • consultation, training representation & awareness raising
  • community activities, events & workshop; and
  • a range of community volunteering opportunities

ELOP started from a group of local people exploring the need for a local service and we started with a volunteer team of 2 counsellors; providing a service to 6 people a week: our counselling service now has a team of 40 counsellors: providing a service to 120 people a week. We provide a range of social and support groups: work with young people, work with families and those becoming families, work with older people, work with asylum seekers, and a range of support, training and consultancy work to support providers of mainstream services to be better equipped and meeting the needs of the LGB&T community and work with 5000 people a year.

The most important achievement has been our support to keep people alive at points of crisis and we regularly work with people at the point of desperation in their lives, whether this be due to their experiences as LGBT asylum seekers, and the horrendous ordeals they have fled from in countries around the world, people in crisis as relationships break up, people in crisis due to ongoing mental health issues, young people facing violence at home when they come out to family, older people facing bereavements and limited social connections with others, the devastation that drugs and alcohol can have on the lives of our community members and much more. 

We know that many of these issues are compounded and at times caused by growing up in a culture that is not LGBT affirmative, that does not provide enough role models, especially for sections of our community in relation to faith, ethnicity and disability and gender identity.

ELOP has a small staff team and our financial resources are small, so any support received enables us to sustain the work we do, we know that our work saves lives and provides a safe space for those that need it.

Brighton Tattoo Pop Up

Brighton Tattoo Pop Up

Brighton-based stick & poke extraordinaire Kirk Budden will be in Beyond Retro Brighton for ONE WEEKEND ONLY offering his unique tattoo art for only £50 - £100 per design. 


Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August 11am - 6pm


Join us for our drop-in tattoo pop up and don't miss the chance for an incredible new tattoo for a crazy low price. First come first serve!*
*Over 18s only, photo ID will be required.

We asked Kirk a few questions to get to know him and his work.

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist?
I think my main inspiration and introduction into tattoos was rock n roll music. I’d played the drums since I was 11 and had been in bands shortly after, playing all sorts of punk and rock music. I got tattooed a lot in my early 20’s. I was in the hardcore scene in Brighton and formed some good friendships with tattooers. Slowly I started building a collection of tattoos and the next thing I knew I was working in a tattoo shop. It all just sort of fell into place really. 

How would you describe your tattoo style?
I guess I’d have to describe it simply as hand poke style. I don’t use a machine, and hand poked tattoos can be quite distinctive. My drawings are mostly floral or simple graphic images. I love drawing anatomical hearts, skulls and swords. But who can deny the opportunity to tattoo a simple bunch of flowers for someone!? Simplicity is key, I’m not into fuss or faffing, and I feel like my tattoos reflect that.

What influences your tattoo art?
Oh man!.. everything! I love being outdoors and try to get inspiration from everywhere I go. Even clouds can be a source of it. People you meet, a song you’ve heard, even just how you’re feeling that day. Inspiration is everywhere. The hard part is trying to transform that into a tangible design or drawing. 
Tell us more about the stick and poke method and is it your preferred method?
All my tattoos are made using the hand poke method. Basically, it means that I replace the machine with my hand, so instead of dragging a needle across the skin as it bounces in and out electronically, I gently push the ink into the skin a single dot at a time. It’s so much calmer and quieter. It gives me the chance to just hang out with each client and carefully compose their tattoo. I got into hand poke after getting my knuckles tattooed by one of my peers. They made it look easy and it was less painful, I couldn’t afford a machine so I just started doing it this way! I practised a lot on myself, and the rest is history!
You're based in Brighton - where do you like to hang out?
You’re kind of spoilt for choice in Brighton if you’re looking for somewhere to hang out and have fun. There’s the Prince Albert, The Green Door Store, The St James, Bees Mouth... I could go on and on! These days though, especially summer, you can’t beat the beach! Or even taking a stroll along under cliff walk as the sun goes down. 
Whats the most memorable tat you've created?
There’s been a bunch of memorable ones. It’s so hard to pin it down to just one. I think though, that the one that meant the most to me was fairly recent. My mum asked me if I’d like to tattoo her. She’d only been tattooed once before so the offer came as quite a shock. It’s a weird sensation, tattooing your own mum!
How has tattoo art changed over the last few years?
I think everything has changed over the last few years, the internet has made everything so much more accessible, it’s opened the doors of the average tattoo studio to the world, which is great! They’re not seen as these dark and dingy little places full of big burly bikers who look at you like you’re a tourist anymore. Tattoos are so much more mainstream and a common sight, virtually everyone has one. You can pretty much get anything tattooed these days! 
How many tattoos have you got? What's your favourite one?
I honestly couldn’t tell you! The only parts of me that are tattoo free are my head, neck and my back. I've got a load of tattoos! I think after a while, you stop counting. It’s not a matter of how many I’ve got, its more a case of, where can I put that? Or, I haven’t got a tattoo of a snake yet, so that’s next. Saying that one of my favourites is a skull I tattooed on my kneecap years ago when I was just starting out and trying to learn. I remember doing that pretty vividly! It was hot and I was sweating! Haha! But it came out great and is still one of my favourite tattoos I’ve got, along with many others!

Follow Kirk on Instagram for daily updates of his work.


Cancel EVERYTHING, our Garage sale is back and bigger than ever!

That's right, our legendary Garage Sale is back in Peckham this February, now bigger than ever and stocked with over 20,000 items!

Catch us both online and in Peckham’s very own Bussey Building from Wednesday 26th Feb to Sunday 1st March with FREE entry every day, for super cheap vintage picks, your favourite vintage brands and with 1000s of items added to the shop floor daily.

Head down for 5 days of vintage shopping, with DJ's blasting songs you can't help but groove to!

Bag yourself multiple new looks for absolute pocket change, from rails and rails of genuine vintage goodies. With items ranging from £1 to £15, you’ll be all set for the new season in a single shop!

ALL jeans £10
ALL dresses £8
ALL tops/t-shirts/shirts £5 
ALL skirts/shorts £5
ALL knits £6
ALL trousers £7
ALL sweatshirts £9
ALL jackets £9
ALL coats £15 
ALL belts £1 
ALL bags £3 
ALL other accessories £1


RSVP to the Facebook event so you don’t forget and tell your friends! You’ll be a fool to miss it.

The Beyond Retro Guide To Summer In London 2019

The Beyond Retro Guide To Summer In London 2019

There is nothing quite like the city in the summer. It might feel 10 degrees hotter because of those pesky building and lovely pollution, and you might not be able to actually find any room in a beer garden between June and August, but DAMN London just feels different in the sun.

If you don’t live in London we highly recommended to visit when the sun's out; we have more roof-top bars than you can shake a stick at, after all. 

The great British tradition of ‘tinnies in the park’ really becomes a part of everyone’s lives in summer, regardless of where you are in the country; but if you feel like taking a day or two to explore the other things the city has to often then boy, do we have a list for you.

Top 15 Things To Do In London In Summer

Urban Beaches

If the city feels too hot, hectic and crowded, escape to the beach without even having to leave London. There are some hidden gems that make the perfect day out, check out Ruislip Lido for a beachy retreat in Zone 6.

Image result for ruislip lido

Underbelly Festival

For the past 10 years Underbelly Festival has been taking over Southbank and this year is going to be it’s biggest yet. On until September, the pop-up festival provides a summer of shows for affordable prices and a mixture of big names and up-and-comers. For all the weird and wonderful goings on check out the Underbelly Festival website.


Image result for london fields lido

There’s nothing like a swim to cool down after being in the sun. Grab yourself a vintage swimsuit and head down to one of London’s lidos. Have brunch in Broadway market and then head to London Fields of take a stroll around the Serpentine followed by a leisurely dip in the Serpentine Lido. You can see a list of the top ten lidos in London here.

Notting Hill Carnival

A pillar of the London summer experience, Notting Hill Carnival is an eclectic celebration of Caribbean culture, arts, community spirit and cultural diversity. Every year you’re able to enjoy a boozy weekend full of live music, djs and the best local street food. There are 38 sound systems blasting beats across the weekend and culminates in the grand finale parade. Notting Hill Carnival is on from Sunday 25th August until Monday 26th August, what a way to spend the bank holiday. Head to the website for more details on what to expect.

Summer Streets - Central London

Taking place on Sundays from 14th July to the 15th of September Regent Street closes the roads to traffic for it’s yearly Summer Streets festival. “Including a range of activities, entertainment and food and drink offerings instead of the usual traffic, Regent Street is the perfect place to while away your summer days.”  With lots of brands, museums, food and drink companies involved it’s sure to be a good way to spend a sunny Sunday. More details here.

Film4 Summer Screen - Somerset House

Summer Screen

Arguably the best outdoor cinema experience in London, the Summer Screen at Somerset House is a yearly event where Film4 host movie nights in the famous courtyard. Snuggle up in a blanket as the sun goes down and watch some iconic flicks including The Princess Bride, This is England and Clueless. Tickets and info here.

Giant Inflatable Obstacle Course

The Monster

Relive your youth and finally live your dream of being on Get Your Own Back (except with less slime?) by heading to Ally pally to take on ‘The Monster’. The inflatable obstacle course includes an 18m mega slide along with sections called ‘The bouncy cage of doom’, ‘The Exterminator’ and ‘The House of Hell’ - Fun! If you fancy tackling the course head to their website here.


Mayfield Lavender Farm

Image result for mayfield lavender

Escape the hustle and bustle by heading to a fragrant, purple paradise. The Lavender fields sit on 12 acres of land that has been lovingly taken from dilapidated to delightful. Undoubtedly a calming day out - plus think of all the pics you can get for the ‘gram. Find out more about Mayfield here.

Bearpit Outdoor Karaoke 

Bearpit Karaoke

There’s nothing like embarrassing yourself in front of strangers and this year there is a new place to do just that! On June 15th, July 13th, August 10th and September 14th, Bearpit Karaoke will be taking over Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens for guerilla karaoke, encouraging strangers to get up and sing as a crowd forms to watch. A fun afternoon or hell on earth? That’s up to you!

A Room Of Rainbows - Tate Modern

Photograph of Olafur Eliasson's artwork Beauty, 1993

Artist Olafur Eliasson brings his latest piece to the tate Modern this summer. You might remember the giant sun illusion he installed in the turbine hall in 2003 or the slabs of polar ice in 2018, but this time around he is bringing a retrospective of his work, including the mesmerizing rainbow illusion installation. Not to be missed! 

On Your Bike!

Regent's Park

If all the fun has left your wallet feeling a little light but you still want to go and make the most of the season, a scenic bike ride is a fun day out. If you don’t have your own bike then hire a Santander Bike from any local cycle bank and be on your way. If you’re feeling adventurous you can find a list of the 9 best bike rides around London here.

River Stage

River Stage

The National Theatre brings a summer of free outdoor performances to the popular Southbank this year, with five weekends of events curated by a selection of different cultural hubs. Hoxton-based drag club, The Glory, are amongst the curators promising a plethora of captivating shows. More info here.

Kiss My Genders

An exploration of gender identity, this exhibition includes work from over 30 artists and over 100 artworks. Described as “a trailblazing show” by The Telegraph, it is set to be a truly important summer visit! Tickets and info here.

Summer By The River

This summer the stretch of the south bank between London Bridge and Tower Bridge is being taken over with fun events including an open-air production of Shakespeare, film screenings and riverside bars. Tickets are free and you can get them here.

Summer by the River

AI: More Than Human 

Take a futuristic look at the world around us with the Barbicans' newest exhibition. From robots to automation and interactive installations this sprawling show is set to be a mind-blowing experience. Find tickets here

If you're as excited for summer as we are then head over to the blog where you can also check out our guide to living your best life in summer and our guide to festival dressing. Or if you're excitedly planning your summer events already then head over to our site to shop our vintage festival clothing and holiday shop edits.

An Interview With Nawel From Good Girl Gang

An Interview With Nawel From Good Girl Gang

Ahead of our upcoming event in collaboration with XXY Magazine and Good Girl Gang at our Cheshire Street store we spoke to Nawel from Good Girl Gang to discuss all things DIY, sustainability and feminism.

Good Girl Gang started in 2016 as “a means to create clothing for the underrepresented,” and you can see this reflected in every design the sell. Hand drawn and hand printed using handmade silk screens they create unique designs that celebrate a range of different marginalised people by putting them at the centre of all their beautiful designs… these are no means your average high-street graphic tees with faux-asian writing and cringe-worthy slogans. *eye roll*. Just when you think their t-shirts couldn’t get any better, they’re also printed on organic cotton for a more sustainable approach to fashion. Their website describes the collection as “a love letter to feminism and all things girl power” and we’d have to agree with that.


Tahmina Begum from XXY Magazine models a GGG t-shirt


Where did the idea to start Good Girl Gang come from?

It all started after leaving an unfulfilling art foundation course, looking for a way to not only continue my artistic interests but build something in which me and my cousin could feel represented, hence the birth of our first t shirt, ‘brown girl power’! We hadn’t really come across clothing in the market for women of colour to really resonate with, so decided to create a small collection of tees like ‘melanin blessed’, ‘not your babe’ & ‘not exotic’, which were received with amazing support and love!!!



GGG tees are beautiful and humorous, seeming to represent both the women who make them and those who wear them. Where do you get the inspiration from for your designs?

I find inspiration is present everywhere I look! I usually don’t find it in one specific place, but through music, films or even tense family debates. Conversing with people about a wide range of discussions, can really cultivate ideas for what to put on a t-shirt next. Random things like talking about why brown guys are excused from house work while the girls seem to be the ones cleaning up after everyone with my grandma, usually is inspiration enough!



Do you find screen-printing to be a mindful, calming process for you where you can channel anger or emotions through or is it strictly work?

I 100% find it an extremely therapeutic process. As I am self taught, I do run into majorly infuriating issues that can only be resolved through trial and error which can be a bit debilitating and get me feeling furious but it’s nice to know I can learn from my mistakes and become not only a better screen printer, but work on myself in the process, turning seemingly unresolvable problems into calming solutions.



How do you incorporate mindfulness and self-care into your daily routine?

I tend to resort to music & films when practicing self care. Seeing what people are currently creating can be really inspiring for me and aid me in being motivated with my own work. Also tending to indulge in some alone time, be it going on an evening walk or a trip to the cinema, it’s nice to reserve some time for yourself.



We’re really excited for the event on the 13th, what can we expect from your screen-printing workshop and in what ways do you think it would be a good way for someone to get involved in mindfulness if they haven’t before?

It’s going to be a super fun day and I’m so excited to take part! I’ll be running a little printing station where you can make your own prints to take home and also just learn a lil something new! It’s going to a very calm night, full of lots of love and great people, a wholesome way to end the day!



We love to support boss-ass babes disrupting the industry with new approaches, so we are excited to have Good Girl Gang at our Mindfulness evening on the 13th June. We’ll have screen-printing workshops as well as zine-making and a feminist book swap, for a wholesome evening of self-care, self-love and celebration. If you haven’t already check out XXY Mag and Good Girl Gang on Instagram and be sure to get your tickets to the event here.

Words by Eloise Gendry


An Interview with the Author of "I Married Me!"

An Interview with the Author of "I Married Me!"

Self-love and dating in 2019 both have their difficulties, however, Sophie Tanner has been able to find the ultimate solution by marrying herself. Describing herself as a sologamist, Tanner had a cultural ceremony in Brighton where she declared her love and commitment to herself in front of her friends and family.

Sophie bought her wedding dress from Beyond Retro and as champions of self-love, and people doing whatever they want in general, we are excited to announce that four years after her ceremony Sophie will be launching her new book with us in Brighton! READER, I MARRIED ME! is Tanner's first novel, described as ‘engaging, uplifting and empowering’, the book follows the main character Chloe’s journey to self-discovery.

After captivating the attention of the media for her radical act of self-love, Sophie’s book is sure to inspire and encourage other women to abandon the relentless cycle of dating and take time to appreciate and love themselves.

We can’t wait to celebrate with Sophie at our Brighton store on the 18th of May and ahead of the launch we spoke to Sophie about love, life and living as a sologamist.

Q- First off, how have the first four years of sologamist marriage been for you?

I can honestly say these past four years have been the best in my life. Making a public commitment to face my disappointments and embrace my dreams has been more powerful than I ever imagined. Obviously, I’m never going to be perfect and I’m always going to make mistakes (because I’m a human!) but I’ve learned so much on this journey of self-love and met some amazing people along the way. Sometimes, when I’m having a bad day, I have to remind myself of my vows to love and respect myself and it really helps! 

Q- What was it that inspired you to marry yourself?

Well, I was recovering from a bad break up. It wasn’t the first time I’d been cheated on but, somehow, this time it had really knocked me. I couldn’t help blaming myself and feeling like it must be my fault. Then, one morning, a few months down the line, I woke up and was so relieved to feel my usual sense of optimism returning. The sun was streaming through the window and I looked around my bedroom and realised that I wasn’t the loser; I loved my life - my family, friends, home and, most importantly, myself! I wanted to jump up and celebrate the fact that I knew I could be fully happy without another ‘half’ to complete me. In our culture, everyone blindly applauds you when you announce you’re ‘in a relationship’ but you don’t get nearly the same reaction when you decide to focus on your relationship with yourself. In fact, everyone pities you when you’re single. I decided it was time for that to change and I figured - what better way to celebrate self-love than with a wedding?! 

Q- What does sologamy mean to you and how do you deal with people who don’t understand?

For me, sologamy is an ongoing commitment to self-compassion. After all, kindness begins with the self. And, once you start to acknowledge and accept things about yourself, I think you’re in a much better position to have more meaningful relationships with other people. Not everyone gets this, there are many who read the clickbait headlines and react in anger or ridicule. It’s kind of bizarre how nasty the trolls are, I don’t really get it, because there’s nothing more harmless than working on loving yourself! However, the way I deal with it is to write a novel about it - it’s been very therapeutic.

Q- Tell us a little about the book and what did you find most difficult about writing your first novel?

READER, I MARRIED ME is based loosely on my own experiences of sologamy but it is fiction. I’ve dramatised all the different layers there are to self-love. It’s a light-heartedly subversive challenge to the traditional rom-com narrative which suggests you need to find ‘the one’ for your ‘happily ever after’. I’ve always wanted to write a book and this has been such an awesome learning curve. I guess the hardest thing was realising that the action in a book isn’t like the action in real life - where you might be in lots of different locations and meeting lots of different people every week. I had work hard to keep the story arc focused on the key themes; luckily I had the excellent guidance of my publishers at Trapeze Books.

Q- What does self-love mean to you?

Self-love is a bit of a buzz-word at the moment. For me, it’s more than taking a hot bath and treating yourself to a glass of wine or chocolate. It’s about paying attention to what’s going on in your body and mind, it’s about acknowledging that there are some things you can change and learn from and others that are out of your control. I think self-love is also about gratitude and being ‘happily ever now’ - it’s important to want what you have and not always have what you want. 

Q- Your wedding dress was vintage from Beyond Retro if you could have had the wedding dress of any celebrity from history who would you choose?

Oooooh, if I get the choice I’d probably have to go with the queen of style - Gabrielle Bonheur ‘Coco’ Chanel!

READER, I  MARRIED ME! is available from the 18th May and you can get your free ticket to join the celebrations in Brighton here.

words by Eloise Gendry

An Interview with Tahmina Begum from XXY Magazine

An Interview with Tahmina Begum from XXY Magazine

In 2019 mindfulness and self-care are buzzwords often thrown-around which might signal you to nod and smile blankly when thrown around in conversation, but these are actually quietly radical ideas that in troubling times can help us through.

Tahmina Begum, of XXY Magazine, often uses similar terms when posting on her Instagram (if you don’t follow her on Instagram then go do it and get yourself a daily dose of all things uplifting). The 23-year-old editor is a wunderkind of sorts, known for her thought-provoking takes on what it means to be female, Muslim and a creative in the 21st century and she certainly isn’t afraid to talk about things which others might deem to uncomfortable.

 Tahmina with XXY Magazine in print

We are excited to be hosting the What I’m Taking With Me event on the 13th of June in collaboration with XXY Mag and Good Girl Gang, for a day of workshops intertwining printing, zine-making and mindfulness. In all the noise of a constantly-changing, divided world we can’t wait to have a day to take ourselves out of this space and focus on what we can do to ensure our minds aren’t only filled with external problems.

Image from an XXY Magazine editorial

Ahead of the event, we spoke to Tahmina Begum to discuss what mindfulness, self-care and feminism mean to her.

First off, for those who don’t know, how would you summarise the mission behind XXY Magazine?

XXY Magazine is a community made up of emerging voices that tend to be ignored. It's talking about narratives that would have been forgotten otherwise through various ways of storytelling. We really honour artists and wordsmiths from minority communities.

Mindfulness and self-care are often confused and diluted, what do these terms mean to you?

Self-care can end up being another word Goop churns out and it can also be rather surface but I tend to go by what Audre Lorde said about self-care, that "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare" especially when you're a black woman, especially if you're a woman of colour, especially if you're queer, or disabled or disenfranchised from what's deemed as normal. 

I think in a time where anxiety is at an all-time high, whether it comes to the environment, politics, the ever-changing job market, being mindful and present is so powerful. It's essentially the first step in being hopeful. 

What about these ideas are most important to you and how do you practice them regularly?

In order for me to be either mindful, I need to take care of myself first and pour from my own cup first. I can't pour into anyone else or anything else if I myself am empty.

For me, it's trying to find balance and listen to my own voice, which can be difficult when I'm in a vacuum of voices but it's about taking moments for yourself. Sometimes, it's cancelling dinner. Sometimes it's making sure you're a good friend and you turn up to dinner. It's doing you, without being selfish all the time.

As someone with great style and a love for fashion, is there a way you mix fashion with self-care or do you think they are two separate things?

I have always dressed to my mood so what I try to do every morning, is dress instinctively and not for what I think I should be dressing for. I never dress for a person (or the weather which can be difficult when you live in the UK).

We’re really looking forward to the event on the 13th of June, what about this event do you think makes it a good opportunity for people to get to grips with the core ideas of well-being and mindfulness?

With being the middle of the year, I think it's a great opportunity to reset and unburden yourself with anything negative you've picked up from the past couple of months. This time of the year is odd because it's no longer new any more and I feel like everyone looks around, trying to work out what this year will mean for them. I think art therapy can be very powerful and community is also integral in being present so this event, where we're having purposeful stations to unwind, unlearn and just be, will help our readers to keep to the core ideas of being mindful and their best selves. Also, I can't wait to do a bit of screen printing, collaging and taking a new feminist book/magazine home!

 Tickets for the mindfulness workshop including screen printing, zine-making and feminist book swap are available here.

words by Eloise Gendry

Scruff Of The Neck Takeover Beyond Retro Brighton!

Scruff Of The Neck Takeover Beyond Retro Brighton!

This May, we’re teaming up with our old friend's Scruff of the Neck to show off some of the best up and coming bands from the UK. Our sunny Brighton Store sets the scene for the three-day event, filled to the brim with great live music, beer and vintage clothes. Sounds great right? But we know you guys love a bargain, and just because we love to treat you all...entry is completely FREE!

So come along to party/shuffle/nod your head slightly out of time with us and if that’s not enough, you can also buy some summer treats whilst you're there. In association with Distiller Records and Lagunitas Brewing Co. supplying the beers all weekend long!

To find out more about the 3 days of brilliant bands, and don’t forget to click attending on the Facebook event.


Beyond Retro Brighton, 42 Vine Street, Brighton BN1 4AG


Thursday 9th May - Saturday 11th May

To really get you in the mood we’ve put together a little introduction to all the featured bands.

Listen to all the bands over on our Spotify playlist!


50% Pop, 49% Glitter, 1% Oat Milk. Things are most certainly on the up for Brighton-based alt-pop quartet ORCHARDS. For anyone who might be wondering why, there’s one word that seems oddly lacking in the description of many bands, but sticks to Orchards like glue: Fun. Charming, delirious, positive, big-beaming-grin-on-your-face bundles of fun.

The band's whip-smart math-pop is all glistening surface and immediate melody, but beneath this chrome-plated chassis lies a complex rhythmic engine.” - CLASH Magazine





Marsicans are a Leeds-based 4 part band playing upbeat indie meets dirty pop

‘Pronounced "MAR-sick-anz"




White Room

Enter the White Room and explore a sonically tangled reverie, filled with sharp, groove-laden sounds, majestic melodies and evocative lyrics.

'A swirling anthemic climax that’ll sweep you off our feet and into the psychedelic vortex' - DIY MAG




Alfie Neale

Singer/Songwriter Alfie, from South-West England, explores influences from Soul, Hip-Hop, Disco and everything in-between with a band from every corner of Europe

‘not only one of the most talented artists Brighton has seen for a long time, but also one of the most popular and charismatic stars Brighton has produced in years, it was an utter joy to behold.’ - Brighton Finest





Brighton-based 5 piece alternative indie-rock band with influences rooted in hip hop, reggae and psychedelia.



Saytr Play

Manchester Indie Pop outfit Saytr, produced by Courteeners Bass Player and long-time collaborator Joe Cross and is to be released on his own ‘Lovers Music’ label.

“It’s impossible to bottle lightning, Saytr Play come pretty bloody close” – Louder Than War





Average Sex


"Badass power-pop champs sucking on ice cream and the tears of their ex's." Art is Hard





Hot young teens in the Cambridgeshire area, looking for a good time!

One thing for sure, you’re going to want to say you saw them first. - SO YOUNG MAGAZINE




Voodoo and the Crypts

Voodoo and the Crypts possess both a timely and timeless sound that hints to the baggy, and psychedelic bands of the 1990s, yet with a musical maturity that shoulders its own unique sonic identity. A kaleidoscope of influence from Primal Scream and the Rolling Stones to Fat Boy Slim and Groove Armada gives the quartets sound a diversity not heard amongst many modern bands. Coupled with ferocious live energy, this crossover gives the band the potential to establish themselves as one of the countries best upcoming bands going into 2019.

“Psychedelic/Britpop at its absolute finest” - BBC Introducing





A sweet twist on garage rock with catchy hooks and raspy soul vocals.





Brighton trio Projector occupies the heavy space between brooding 80s darkwave and My Bloody Valentine's wall-of-sound pop; a combination tone of Goo-era Sonic Youth and Pixies pulled together with an industrial Joy Division pulse.





Spicy indie rock fronted by former Birdskulls and Abattoir Blues members.




Murmur are a grunge band born in East Staffordshire, currently based in Brighton. Murmur produce playful yet dark themes, providing a backdrop for their socially conscious lyrics.




Beach Riot

Beach Riot is a 4 piece Brighton based fuzz-punk band on Vallance Records and recorded by Blood Red Shoes Steven Ansell.




Viktor Magick

Put Bowie, The Smiths, Kate Bush and Ariel Pink into a blender, add a pinch of Todd Rundgren and a sprinkle of Sparks and you have the psychedelic dream-pop reveries of Viktor Magick.






Young, energetic, and alternative.




The Hubbards

“The city’s biggest Indie Rock band” - Hull Daily Mail




Sick Joy

Cutting together malign heaviness with acidic melody then tying into place with the reigns of contagious pop. Sick Joy's 'noise-pop' blood is dirtied with echoes of Pixies and Nirvana among many others.




Gaffa Tape Sandy

Three piece garage rock band from Bury St Edmunds, spewing out glorified noise for your amusement only!




Kate Lomas

Kate’s ascending popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed and this year and Kate Lomas is set to storm performances at UK wide festivals including ​Glastonbury and ​The Great Escape Festival​. The end of May sees Kate release anthemic dream-pop single “​Happy Like This ” coinciding with her TV debut on ​BBC 2’s Great British Menu​.  





Fashion Revolution Week With No Planet B

Fashion Revolution Week With No Planet B

This Fashion Revolution Week we've teamed up with No Planet B for a night of talks, music and a panel discussion on the future of fashion and ethical practices.

Join us on Saturday 27th April and grab 20% off your ticket with code BEYOND20, click here to purchase!

With an amazing panel line up from Fashion Revolution, Know The Origin, Stories Behind Things and Stay Wild Swim, we spoke to them to tell us more about what they do and how they are supporting ethical practices. 

Please can you tell us about Fashion Revolution and the global movement you have created?

Fashion Revolution began in 2013 as a response to the Rana Plaza building collapse, which killed over 1,100 people, most of whom were young, female garment workers producing clothing for major global fashion brands.

In the wake of the tragedy, co-founder Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro came together to create a movement that would effect lasting change in the industry. Since then, Fashion Revolution has been campaigning for a more transparent fashion industry, by engaging citizens, brands, policymakers, students, and educators around the world. In 2018, we had over 275 million people globally engage with our campaign.

Why is it important to consider who made our clothes?

Fashion is one of the most labour intensive industries in the world. When I was studying fashion design in my early university days, I learned that clothing production is much more difficult to automate than seemingly more complicated products like phones and computers. Why? Because robots and machines have greater difficulty manipulating soft goods like fabric than they do assembling hard parts.

Millions of people around the world work in the garment industry, and too often these jobs come with low pay, long hours, and unsafe working conditions. Too many garment workers are subject to verbal and physical abuse among other kinds of exploitation.

So at Fashion Revolution, we begin with the question "Who made my clothes?", to look behind the curtain at the often-secretive supply chain. It's impossible for us to enact change if we can't see the problems. This is the essence of why we are demanding a more transparent fashion industry and why we must continue to ask #Whomademyclothes?

How can someone join your movement and support slow, ethical fashion?

With Fashion Revolution Week 2019 just around the corner (April 22-28), hundreds of events will take place around the world. You can find a global events directory on our website, and find clothing swaps, panel discussions, film screenings, and so many other activations wherever you live.

We also have a guide to getting involved here, which is a great way to take part in our digital campaigns, write to a brand or policymaker, and begin asking the right questions.

What are some key impacts that fast fashion has on people and on the planet?

This year, we at Fashion Revolution are spreading the message that you cannot separate human and planetary sustainability. The activists around the world leading climate marches are campaigning for peace and human rights as much as they are campaigning for a policy that addresses carbon emissions and pollution. Because without a healthy planet, there will be no supply chains, safe working conditions, or fair fashion.

Quantis has estimated that globally, the fashion industry contributes to around 8.1% of climate impacts. Of course, fast-fashion's environmental impacts reach everything from water pollution and contamination to deforestation, landfill contribution, and waste incineration. The garment industry has also been flagged by the Global Slavery Index as the 2nd highest at-risk product category for Modern Slavery.

If you want to learn more about the full scope of fashion's impact, I'd recommend the UK Environmental Audit Committee's Fixing Fashion Report, which documents their investigation into the sustainability of the Fashion Industry. Our policy director, Sarah Ditty, was one of the witnesses who submitted evidence to their report, and we're proud to have seen some of these issues addressed through the EAC's policy recommendations. You can read the report here.

Please could you tell us about Know The Origin and what products you offer?

Know The Origin is a multibrand platform, bringing together 70+ brands that have pioneering levels of ethics from clothing made from bamboo, pineapple and recycled plastic, to sustainability and plastic free conscious living essentials. We also create our own brand of clothing, KTO. It is a Fairtrade and Organic fashion brand working to set a new standard of transparency in the fashion industry. From the farm to the factory we work with socially and environmentally focused businesses that are pioneering new ethical standards across India. These producer groups were started to alleviate poverty or address injustices such as human trafficking or farmer suicide rates from GM related debt. In 2017 we were ranked Ethical Consumer’s top-rated fashion brand due to our commitment to the highest standards of Fairtrade, organic and fully transparent supply chains. KTO has been also featured on Forbes 30 under 30 lists, Evening Standard, Guardian and Refinery 29.

How is KTO setting new ethical standards in the fashion industry?

Currently, 61% of brands don't know who made their clothes and 93% don't know where the fabrics come from. Charlotte was inspired to start KTO after finding that the lack of transparency within fashion supply chains had led to abuses of human rights and environmental degradation worldwide. Through developing strong relationships with incredible organic and fairtrade producers across India, Know The Origin shows people that fashion can, and should, be done differently. Know The Origin respects people and the environment at every stage of the supply chain from cotton farming to the final factory with traceability and high ethical standards at the heart of its work. We have created standards of 25 criteria across people, planet and purpose behind businesses. All of the brands on our platform are required to meet 6 of these standards and provide full traceability, which makes us incredibly unusual.

Why should we think twice about supporting high-street chain stores?

It is fascinating how easy it is to be disconnected from the impact we have on people around the world. We walk down the high street and see beautiful clothing, and seek quality in the pieces we buy, whilst completely disregarding the quality of the person’s life who has made it. When we realise our money is the power to vote for change, then it has the ability to transform an industry. Through supporting smaller, certified and transparent brands we can grow the kind of cultures we want to see in these industries. I think unless high street stores are unable to offer transparency, it is unlikely they know where the pieces are made, or whether they are slave free.

Can you offer 3 top tips for someone wanting to make more ethical fashion choices?  

  • Get educated, films like The True Cost perfectly represent the major issues that are currently at the forefront of fast fashion.
  • Start with small changes and grow, that's what produces sustainable change.
  • Only buy items that you'll wear 30+ times.
  • Aim to buy items that are 100% fibre, natural products that can break down and will one day decompose.

Please can you tell us about Craftivist Collective and the movement you have created?

I set up the Craftivist Collective as a group in 2009 after people around the world wanted to join in my craftivism projects and unique 'gentle protest' methodology. I started doing craftivism in 2008 after feeling like a burnt out activist in my personal life as well as being a professional campaigner in my day job too. I picked up a cross stitch small craft kit up and noticed how repetitive stitches especially overwriting helped me engage more deeply in the complex injustice issues I cared about and think more critically about how I could be more strategic, compassionate and ultimately effective in my activism.

I focus on hand embroidery and paper crafts both heavily focused on the importance of the words created, the colours we use, the textures, fonts and design and with activism as our priority and craft as our tool. Over the last 10 years, I've learnt a huge amount, honed my craft in craftivism and written honestly about where I think craft can be useful for activism and where it might not be. My book How To Be A Craftivist: the art of gentle protest explains my unique methodology and is full of case studies and testimonies of how our projects have worked.

Craftivist Collective aims to inspire, educate, and empower people to engage in more strategic, kind activism to improve our world without burning out. I encourage craftivist to stop, think carefully and act effectively to improve the systems and structures that exist within our society. Always inclusive, always collaborative, always positive, I strive to create an inviting environment in which all are welcome into the Craftivist Collective to craft towards a fairer, more beautiful world with courage and care. I'm proud to say that our craftivism projects have helped to change laws and business policies as well as hearts and minds around the world.

What is your approach to mindful activism?

I have a whole chapter in my book on 'Mindful Activism' - it's all about using the slow, repetitive action of craft to be mindful of how our bodies are feeling, how our mood is, what baggage are we bringing to our craftivism or activism and do we have a robust activism strategy to tackle the injustice we see or are we just reacting rather than proactively planning? Using the comfort of craft and the time it takes to do, we can slow down and really ask ourselves these big questions, be honest with ourselves. 

Activism is about engaging other complex human beings especially those who disagree with us and that is really difficult. And that's why we need to be even more mindful of what we are bringing to our activism that might help or harm our actions.

How can someone get involved with your group stitch-ins and what are the benefits of attending?

The benefits depend on if you come to our sessions with an open heart and an open mind and the results can be different for different people in the same workshop. Our projects are all different so each one will engage you with a different issue and technique to not only help with the cause your project is about but also help train you to be a more confident thoughtful craftivist who can use our 'gentle protest' approach to craftivism in your own campaigns too.  

Wherever you are in the world alone or with others you can take part in our projects - some using our free resources, others using our ethical kits (to help the collective survive and thrive). You can create your own 'crafternoon' or evening workshop with friends or at an existing group and we have top tips on our website here how to set them up yourself. I do deliver workshops and stitch-ins so keep an eye on our Instagram or Facebook page for updates.

What would your 3 top tips be for someone wanting to support slow fashion?

  • Be curious - research who made your clothes, check the label on new clothes, ask the shop staff if the company has an ethical policy
  • Enjoy slow fashion - enjoy learning about the wonderful stories of people who are part of this movement and the skill, energy and love they put into the products. Share these good news stories to attract people to join the movement rather than guilt-trip them into joining
  • Be a strategic changemaker - we need to help change structures and systems of fast fashion as well as change our own habits and actions. This can be joining Fashion Revolutions actions, becoming a shareholder activist of a fashion brand (one of my craftivism projects was in collaboration with ShareAction and led to 50,000 employees of one company gaining a pay rise in line with the real Living Wage), shopdropping our Mini Fashion Statements (which gained worldwide media attention including the homepage of BBC News) or finding your own loving and strategic way to challenge those in positions of power to be part of slow fashion for the sake of our fragile planet. Be strategic, kind, positive, encouraging and respectful in your activism and it makes it much harder for the industry to ignore you.


    Polyglamorous present WASTE SUCKS

    Polyglamorous present WASTE SUCKS

     Polyglamorous and Alright Darling are coming together to bring you a late night shopping event celebrating sustainable fashion and everything green in our Brighton store!

    Join them on Thursday 18th April for DJs, vintage shopping, NYX makeup booth, competitions and free beers from Two Tribes Brewery. For more info on this FREE event, check out the facebook page.

    We spoke to the people behind Polyglamourous to chat queer pop, vintage and all things drag.

    Tell us about Polyglamorous

    Polyglamorous is a Brighton based poly-chromatic club night. We’re a monthly queer dance party that aims to create a fun and safe environment for Brighton’s lovely queer people. Expect a different colour theme every month, a chance to dress up and let your hair down, all whilst dancing the night away to queer pop and gay anthems.

    What inspired you to create the collective?

    We're a creative collective that has all worked in different areas of Brighton nightlife. We have DJs, drag queens, makeup artists, photographers, you name it. We wanted to combine our talents to create something for the Brighton queer community. We sometimes felt like we'd be all dressed up with nowhere to go, so we wanted to create a space and throw a party for people to who felt the same.

    How would you describe the contemporary drag scene? Why do you think the drag scene is so important in modern culture?

    Drag is considered to be the new punk. If you look through the Polyglamorous Instagram and Facebook, you'll see how diverse, talented and unique our guests are. We think this reflects on why the drag scene is so important in modern culture because unfortunately there aren't always welcoming spaces for this kind of diversity. It's been so incredible to see new and returning faces let their creativity and self-expression thrive.

    Why do you think vintage clothes are such a big part of the drag scene?

    Drag empowers you to be creative and draw inspiration from your surroundings, fashion movements of decades past and cultural icons from all across the ages. One day you can be a 20s flapper girl and the next day Dolly Parton! Drag is a celebration of the fabulous things in life, it’s history and politics. Drag is about making a statement but it can also be expensive making or buying new outfits! Buying vintage is often much more affordable and you can find some unique items that nobody else will be wearing!

    What are your favourite vintage pieces in your wardrobe?

    Alfie Ordinary: I recently bought a gorgeous black rhinestone hat from Beyond Retro. It's like a crushed top hat with a huge silk bow. It's simultaneously the ugliest and most incredible thing I've ever seen. It makes me feel like a gay Mr Man. Currently, sourcing trousers to match!
    Cat Atomic: A black jumpsuit with art deco style lapels. It's also from Beyond Retro! It's powerful and from the '80s, which is definitely my favourite era. They weren't afraid to blur the lines of gender.
    Emily Meow: Mine has to be a baby pink bishop sleeved, a high necked dress that's very 60s/70s. It's fascinated at the back with a cute pink chiffon bow. It was such a gorgeous Beyond Retro find, I'd never be able to find something like it on the high street!
    Lydia L'Scabies: It's definitely a gold lamé prom dress from Beyond Retro. It's served me well over the years!

    What are your plans for the future of Polyglamorous?

    We're continuing with our monthly parties that have a different colour theme each time. On Saturday 11th May we're taking over the Spiegeltent at Brighton Fringe to present a fabulous gold ball. Tickets are on sale now! Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming colours, exciting things are on the horizon!

    Follow Polyglamourous on Instagram & Facebook for more events!