Wench. creates new garments from unwanted clothing and post-consumer fabric waste. In this guest blog, we chat to Carys about why it’s important to love your clothes…
"It’s an interesting time in the history of our planet. Do you get the feeling that everything is hanging in the balance…. anything could happen…?
It’s an important time and we are at the helm.
I feel a call to be effective.
I’m starting with the clothes I wear every day. They are my second skin. They are important!"
What were your reasons for starting a sustainable clothing label?
I’ve an obsession – chopping up clothes and sewing them back together in a new form, I’ve been at it since childhood, so I’ve had plenty of experience by now!
Wench. was born in 2007 for two reasons; to pull focus on upcycling textiles, keeping old clothing out of landfill and to fire up the imagination about the way in which we dress. The demand for re-fashioned clothing is growing.
Where do you find inspiration for your clothing designs?
I’d like to say from nature, the shapes of leaves or patterns in the sky, but nature’s design is far better than mine! My inspiration comes mainly from the clothes themselves, from their shape when cut, what designs are already on them, how a body shape fits into it, how I feel and how warm it is in the workshop – if it’s cold I like to use wool! Occasionally I draw inspiration from magazines, but generally I just follow the scissors, and see how the fabric drapes and holds.
You also run Co-create workshops. What do those involve?
Co-Create workshops are at the cutting edge of upcycled fashion. They are a hotbed of persuasion to overcome the fear of cutting up garments. They are a playroom of possibility – transforming old faves, rags and rejects into exciting new creations. The workshops are aimed at beg
inners and at the more experienced re-former.
All garments are re-made on mannequins, without using patterns, fusing dissected pieces of clothing. Currently most of the workshops are held in a beautiful hidden location in Cardigan called Melfed.
"Sub-marina" - wool tunic by Wench
What is the favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe and why?
I’ve an old orange woollen jumper, which I’ve had for years. It’s become a favourite, since every time it springs a new hole I patch it with special scraps of fabric from friends and family. It’s now a memory map and a reminder of those close to me.
What advice would you give to help people show their clothes a bit more love?
Go and take a good look at your wardrobe. What’s in there you haven’t worn for ages? What can you do to give it a new lease of life? There’s a new life potential in every garment!
If you have to go out clothes shopping, go seek something from a charity shop, it will be a one off for sure and good value all round.
If you really do have to buy something new, consider from where it has come, who’s made it, were they paid a fair wage? Is the quality good enough to last for years?
In the long run it’s far better to pay more for a good quality item, which will last and has been made under fair circumstances.
Visit www.wenchwear.co.uk to see Carys’ collections and to find out more about the Co-Create workshops.