Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Wasted Fashion Interview

Sometimes you see a company’s product range that is truly unique. Wasted Fashion is one such company. I met Rob at the MK Handmade and Vintage Extravaganza in March and was really impressed with his innovative use of materials. So impressed that I asked him for an interview, and here it is…

Image - Wasted Fashion

Tell us a bit more about yourself!

I’m 22 years old, from Milton Keynes and have lived here all my life. I’m a very creative person who’s not happy unless I have some sort of project to work on. If I see something being thrown away, I like to try and reuse or recycle it.

Image - Wasted Fashion

What led you to set up Wasted Fashion UK?

I set up Wasted Fashion as a brand to market the things I design and make under. Initially I used to give the items I made as gifts for birthdays etc and always got very positive feedback. I then decided to try selling the things I made to the public. I chose the name Wasted Fashion as it describes the things I make very well – fashion accessories made from recycled materials!

When I saw your stall at Mk Handmade and Vintage Extravaganza it really stood out because your product offering was so unique – is it an advantage to be so different?

I think it is. The reactions I get from people vary from surprise at the way I reuse and recycle old or familiar objects, to shock that their favourite records are still around and being turned into bags or jewellery. I like to think that my designs are a good talking point and that people are getting something completely different and bespoke.

Image - Wasted Fashion

Where did the computer theme come from?

I am myself a bit of a computer geek and like anything computer related. Luckily I’m not alone in this and people seem to like the idea of computer fashion accessories. Also computers are also something that is regularly being thrown away or up graded and so are reasonably easy to come by.  At the same time I enjoy design and craft making, so combining the two just made sense.

Image - Wasted Fashion

You also reference scrabble, old games and vinyl – do you have a favourite?

Anything retro or unusual appeals to me but my favourite to work with is vinyl records. They are instantly recognisable and very versatile to work with. You’re also never sure what records you will come across – good or bad!

Image - Wasted Fashion

How does the use of unconventional materials influence your product design?

I like to make my designs evolve around the materials (computer keys, records etc) so I tend to take an item and almost design around it. This is challenging but interesting as an idea I have in my head can turn out completely different when complete.

Image - Wasted Fashion

Where do you source your materials – floppy disks can’t be easy to find! Do you have to hunt or do they find you?

A lot of my materials are ‘hunted’ down. I find this quite a fun task, when looking through an old box of board games or computer disks you never quite know what you will find. I’m also very lucky occasionally and kind people will donate computer parts, disks and records that were otherwise destined for the dump.

Image - Wasted Fashion

Can you name three major influences on your work?

My major influences are my surroundings, I come into contact with computers and records most days, also if I see a product (bag, keying etc) thats design really stands out I will sometimes try to take that design and put my own recycled slant on it. Feedback from the public is a great influence and I’m always open to people’s suggestions on possible materials I could use or design ideas I could develop. Finally my own personal interests definitely influence my work. I’ve always loved vinyl records and buy them to listen too, and this is what inspired me to use them in fashion design.

Image - Wasted Fashion

Can you name three things about where you live that benefit/inspire you and your work?

Milton Keynes in general is a good city for recycling so it is something I’ve grown up doing.  It has some great places to find old second hand and unwanted items (boot sales, charity shops etc) which are great for resources and inspiration. Milton Keynes is a young city and my designs and ideas have so far been popular with the people who live here and the people who visit me at local craft fairs.

Image - Wasted Fashion

What can we look forward to from you in 2012?

I’m always working on new ideas and designs so expect more interesting and creative items from me in the future. I will be appearing at the next Mk Handmade and Vintage Extravaganza on the 26-27th May and at the MK Festival Fringe Street Bazaar on the 10-12th July, this is a new event I have never attended before.

You can find out more about Wasted Fashion on their Facebook Page here
And more about the MK Handmade and Vintage extravaganza on their website

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