Q. What kept you motivated while you worked so hard to make your own way and start a brand new enterprise?
Primarily the clothes. Every time I stumbled across another collection that was ethical, fashionable and beautiful, I got another huge surge of energy to battle on, and to create a space where others could also appreciate these great brands.
Also, the people around me who expressed their admiration for what I was doing, it’s amazing how powerful a few words of support can be.
Q. How would you describe the design aesthetic of The Keep in 10 words or less?
A carefully curated, rustic-chic, beautiful boutique.
The lightening passage of trends. As soon as you’ve bought the latest jacket, the next style hits the high street. What you’ve just bought becomes discarded, and you end up just wanting what’s coming next, rather than really loving what you’ve got. It creates an endless treadmill, and unique style gets lost on this exhausting runway of fast-fashion.
Q. Which ethical designers are inspiring you right now?
|Pelican Top by Partimi|
Sara C is very similar in both ethos and style. I’ve had her first collection in the shop for a month now and they’re a real eye-catcher. The prints on the bamboo tops make life very difficult…most people want them all and her maxi-dresses are unique. Seeing what’s in store for her next collection is keeping me motivated now the shop’s up and running!
Q. Do you have a favourite item in store right now?
The Les Racines du Ciel dresses. They’re dyed using sweet potato paste, buried in the mud for six months and then washed in a river thirty times. They’ve become like children to me! I’m genuinely thrilled when someone buys one and I know it’s going to a good home – to someone who’ll treasure it forever.
Q. What’s your advice for people interested in making a career out of ethical fashion and design?
You might not be able to tick every box, but as long as you’re aware of where the limitations are, honest about these, and looking at ways to improve…then you’re on the right path.
And stick at it, because the ethical/sustainable route will become easier as time goes by and more people/brands choose to adopt it.
Right now I’m focusing on establishing the shop as a destination location in Brixton Village, whilst growing a customer base of very loyal keepers across London.
I’d love to introduce menswear in a year’s time, and then another one or two shops in London after that. I’ve been told a few times that The Keep would do well in Japan…so who knows…Tokyo here we come.
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