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Handcrafting, the British way

5 English brands supporting the ways of artisans

By India Gustin,  Weronika Maleszewska, Efstratia Nasioula, Carolina Pedrajas-Botella

1. Paolita Beach

A UK-based brand with influences from Greece and Mexico, the designer Anna Paola Papakonstantinos started the label in 2016 and since then she has created luxurious resort wear, garments and bikinis. The escapism and the desire for vacation are some of the feelings someone will feel when visiting her gorgeous shop in Westbourne Grove. The brand also supports other small artisans and artists from Britain, Greece, Venezuela and the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Definitely worth visiting if you want a multicultural shopping experience.

2. The London Artisan fair

These handmade, organic, and sustainable champions of design and craft are grouped here, under the dome of Truman Brewery Factory, Brick Lane, East London, E16QR. A visit is simply one of the best opportunities to catch up on the latest, freshest talents in the niche, artisanal world of outstanding diversity. Uniqueness, quality, a celebration of independence in fashion are all here – nothing more and nothing less. Okay, maybe something more… you just simply need to attend and get to know what we mean by that! Scarlet Wang is a 19-year-old Central Saint Martins student who buys from charities to make her outfits as creative as she can go. “I go to charity shops and see the potential in clothes. This scarf was hung in the trousers section. I realized that it wasn’t a pair of trousers but I could make them into trousers,” she said.

A dedicated area for artisans to support each other

3. Francli

Takeaway in scraps of waste material, this Cornish brand is inspired by workwear and the seaside. They produce hand-crafted items ranging from tools to clothing such as vests. They get inspired by the material leftover from industries all over the world, describing it on their website as “a ship’s sailor a supple hide of leather.” Their collection, Oddments, has one rule: there is no buying anything new. “Most of what I own is vintage or used,” said Alexandra Eno. She is a 32-year-old HR manager at Beelivery and would love to support artisans directly but believes that they are hard to find. “I definitely support them. I would much rather go to a small artisanal business than a big corporate cooperation.”

Picture Credit: Courtesy of Frankli from the Oddments collection

4. Zebel Bespoke

A well-known tailor in London that takes tailoring to the next level by providing personalised service to make the perfect suit for every man, this is the place for you if you are searching for something unique and bespoke. Just make a face-to-face appointment, where an artisan or tailor will take your measurements and start designing your made-to-measure suit.

Picture Credit: Courtesy of Zebel Bespoke – tailoring master from London

5. Industrial Jewellery

A brand that makes handmade jewellery using industrial raw materials such as rubber, springs, ropes, etc. The goal of designer Hila Rawet Karni is to transform not ordinarily wearable materials into something wearable. Their pendants, cufflinks, and bracelets are perfect for people looking to stand out from the crowd. Each item has a combination of retro and modern.

Picture Credit: Courtesy of Industrial Jewellery – handmade jewellery producer that uses rubber, springs, ropes and more of the potentially not-useful materials