Tuesday, 18 February 2014


On Valentine's Day, a team of eleven, 12 to 15 year olds from Islington, put on their very own “Slow Fashion Show” to showcase over 40 creations they had designed and up-cycled from ex-military wear, unwanted cloth and discarded clothing.

The show was the culmination of five months of after-school workshops, and part of our Kool Kouture programme.

The classes teach young people simple techniques of up-cycling clothing, and motivate them to reuse as well as help them acquire basic sewing and reconstructing skills. 

If you have been following our FaceBook you will know that they have learnt to visualise, create simple patterns, cut and sew straight seams, drape and embellish.  Since last October, they have made handbags, hoodie monsters, run their own Christmas market stall to sell their creations, and put together a collection for the Valentine’s Day fashion show. 

Our young team took on make-up and hair, modelling, styling, photography and hosting - with a little help from Thrifty Couture.  Our friends, London & Newcastle,  gifted their amazing Project Space in trendy Shoreditch for the show, and our collaborators, ReWorks, donated the clothing and cloth.

The participants received certificates documenting their achievements, and prizes appropriate to each age group. These included a paid internship and a full apprenticeship with Thrifty Couture for the older participants, as well as vouchers donated by ethical fashion brand, People Tree.  

For the younger participants, Thrifty Couture gifted a sewing machine and books on clothes recycling and slow fashion.  Benefit Cosmetics in Islington, provided make-up, and GetMoreFood supplied thte Valentine's Day refreshments.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

New study finds toxic monsters lurking in children’s clothing

Hazardous chemicals have been found in children’s clothes and shoes made by major brands including Disney, Burberry and adidas, according to a new investigation released today by Greenpeace East Asia...

Testing was carried out on products sold by 12 brands across the industry, including American Apparel, GAP, Primark and Nike for the report “A Little Story About the Monsters in Your Closet”. The findings showed little distinction between the levels of hazardous chemicals in clothing made for children – a group particularly vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals when released into the environment – and adults when compared to previous studies.

Every parent, fashionista, and concerned citizen should read this

Go to the Little Monsters website: there's more information, and you can find out how you can take action to rid fashion of its Little Monsters.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Give the gift of learning this Christmas with Thrifty Couture Packages

We have put together some irresistible packages for last-minute Christmas presents 

Thrifty Couture workshops from beginner to intermediate, all wrapped up with a thrifty sewing roll ...

Choose from three, saucy vintage ladies to adorn the sewing roll, and leave the lucky recipient to choose their workshop, and you are set!

 The contents aren't included but if you like you can add haberdashery goodies from Ray-Stitch or Merchant & Mills

  • Beginner: Cut Straight, Sew Straight and Bring out the Bunting!
  • Intermediate: Denim Divas
  • Intermediate:  The Most Useful Little Bag in the World
Visit our workshops pages for details and to buy

Gift Vouchers - or why not buy Gift Vouchers for your friends and family?  Thrifty Couture vouchers can be used for Thrifty Workshops and Thrifty Bikewear

In values of £25 and £50 they make lovely gifts that give lots of choice - and always "green"!

Buy Now!  Gift vouchers

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Kool Kouture After School Upcycling Project

Our young team has been working really hard to create green gifts for our Christmas Marketstall.  We hope you can come and visit us at Chapel Market, Islington N1 - we are there on Sunday 1st, 8th and 15th December

Monday, 25 November 2013

RE-issue jeans by Thrifty Couture, for The Big Issue's new social trading shop

We have just launched our first collaboration with The Big Issue and their new Social Trading Shop.

Take a look at the great one-off, RE-issue jeans our team is creating for the lovely supporters of The Big Issue!

Every pair is made to order, from donated jeans, and comes with a Ticket of Authentication. 
At £250 a pair, the price may seem high but this goes to fund the training and rehabilitation of homeless men and women in cities like London.  The training, such as journalism and creative writing, gives them employable skills, and the confidence to go and find a job or, even, to set up a business of their own. 

After a year, if you want, you can return the jeans and get a 50% refund or, a different pair of RE-issue jeans, or donate the £125 to another charity of your choice. It's what John calls social echo clothing.

So you see why Thrifty Couture just had to support this brilliant initiative by John Bird and his team!  Visit shop.bigissue.com for more information and to buy your very own pair of RE-issue jeans and your own unique, piece of social echo clothing.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Bikewear at the Cycle Show NEC 2013

Come and see us at the NEC Cycle Show on stand S27

And bag an original at a great price!

1980 French Air Force Trench with hi-vis inserts