Here Today Here Tomorrow aims to connect shoppers with the clothes they wear.
When four friends became the first graduates from the inaugural MA in Fashion and the Environment at the London College of Fashion, their next step seemed eminently clear: open a shop, get people in, share ideas, and begin exploring more sustainable ways of working in the fashion industry.
With that, Ines Vicente, Emma Rigby, Julia Crew and Anna-Maria Hesse formed a collective called Here Today Here Tomorrow. They found a shop in Dalston, London, and kitted it out with wood and furniture found in skips and left on street corners. Ines eventually returned to her home country of Portugal, and the gap was filled with artist designer Katelyn Toth-Fejel.
That was just under a year ago. Today, Here Today Here Tomorrow is now a thriving hub of sustainable fashion, and we caught up with Emma Rigby to find out why.
As the first graduates from the MA, what did you take away from the course?
The course allowed us to develop a thorough understanding of the key environmental and social problems in the fashion industry and develop solutions via our own work as designers.
It also provided a ground to meet like-minded creative individuals with one common agenda; to envision a more sustainable fashion industry. We [the HTHT collective] all had different backgrounds and experience of working in various areas of fashion, which was a great starting point for opening a shop and experimental workspace.
What’s the philosophy behind HTHT?
Here Today Here Tomorrow is a collaborative and experimental shop/studio that is used to make, showcase and sell sustainable fashion and accessories. The aim is to connect the customer and local passer-by to the processes involved in making the products. The importance of transparency and showing people the materials, skills and time required to create unique products by hand is something that is not frequently communicated to the average high street consumer, and encourages customer engagement and understanding.
Our work focuses on different elements of sustainability including high quality handmade craftsmanship, durability, locality, recycling, natural dye, organic materials, individuality and transparency of production.
What kind of clothes are you making?
We make a selection of clothes and accessories in the studio, including knitwear, leather bags and accessories, jersey t-shirts and some more tailored pieces. We also sell other local designer clothing who manufacture within the UK and have a commitment to sustainability. At the moment we are selling: Remade In Leeds, Lilia Yip, Miko Spinelli’s super funky baseball caps made in Hackney London, and handmade jewelery by Fox Le Magpie.
What kind of impact are you hoping to have on the sustainable fashion industry?
HTHT hopes to show that there is not a one-way approach to sustainability. There is a trade off to every choice that is made, and the fashion industry needs to go a lot further than just offering organic material and fair trade. We hope to encourage creative thinking, locality, mindfulness, material diversity, community engagement, empowerment and resourcefulness.
Where do you see sustainable fashion heading in the future?
A growing awareness around social and environmental issues in the fashion industry is important for the future of sustainable fashion. Business and policy play an important part in building sustainability, yet often the most poignant contributions towards sustainability are people centered. In the future we hope consumers will feel empowered to be less passive and more engaged with their products and the making process. We hope sustainable fashion will be about longevity of
products, beautiful design, durability, reconnecting with nature, understanding limits and recapturing values.