Sustainable Spotlight Interview - Gemma

Sustainable Spotlight Interview - Gemma

There's no better way of finding out more about sustainability in Beyond Retro than from our incredible staff! Sustainable Spotlight is a new series of interviews with the staff that make our company tick - from warehouse, store and head office across the globe.

We spoke to Gemma, our Beyond Retro LABEL Designer to find out more about her role, the impact her role has on the environment and what she loves about working within the sustainability lead the Beyond Retro company!

  • What’s your role in Beyond Retro/Bank & Vogue and what exactly does it entail?
  • I’m the designer for Beyond Retro’s Label brand. My job is to find a creative solution to the excess amount of clothing which can not be sold within our vintage range and would otherwise be destined for landfill. Inspired by current and future trends I redesign garments either through customising, altering or using the fabric from a garment to create something completely new to give them a new purpose!

  • What’s your favourite part of the job?
  • Being able to create relevant and trendy designs and know that I am doing something to help the planet at the same time. We get to travel to India to work with the manufacturing team out there and it’s great having lots of interaction with the other teams in the business

  • Tell us more about how your role impacts the circular economy?
  • Living in the throwaway society we seem to have been accustomed to I think everyone is becoming more and more aware of the impact the fashion industry has on the world and the people on it. We have a great platform here where we can educate customers to make smarter choices when buying clothing and show how you can still dress fashionably affordable and not have to succumb to fast fashion.

  • What’s been the most interesting thing you have learnt about the sustainability of the fashion industry through doing your role?
  • Visiting the clothing recycling warehouses has really opened my eyes to the amount of clothing we are throwing away. The fashion industry has become faster and faster with ever changing trend and styles and the high street producing millions and millions of items of clothing which may only ever get worn a handful of times before being discarded and moving onto the next.

  • How have you seen the way we perceive sustainability change?

    Over the last few years, there has definitely been much more media spotlight on the issue of sustainable fashion and lots of big companies are starting to make changes within their business to try and help contribute to finding a solution. Take back schemes are becoming more common and designers are starting to take more action to raise awareness and make a change.

  • What do you try to do in your everyday life to help impact the environment positively?
  • I try and live as consciously as I can - recycling where possible, only driving my car when essential, reduce plastic usage where possible. I buy second-hand clothing and furniture and give to charity when something is no longer suitable for me to use. Small changes can make a big difference.

  • What do you wish you did better?
  • Finding the time to go to good fresh food grocers where items are not packaged in plastic.

  • What do you see in the future of the recycling industry?
  • I definitely feel like there are positive changes starting to happen with the government making new laws and trying to ban products which are damaging to the environment. I would like to see more companies who have power and influence setting examples and raising awareness so others will follow suit.

  • What do you think is key to reducing waste in the fashion world?

    I think encouraging everyone to make smarter choices when buying clothing. If it’s something that will be discarded within a short space of time then is it worth it? Investing in good quality long lasting pieces rather than throw away fashion will make a big difference. I also think that bigger companies need to look at the amount of clothing they are producing and re-evaluate the necessity of what they are manufacturing.  

  • What’s your top sustainable tip for our customers?
  • Be more mindful when shopping and don’t just buy things because of a ‘fad’. By taking the time to shop around and investing in better quality and better fitting products its more than likely they will become a staple piece in your wardrobe and you won’t want to throw it away!

     For more helpful tips on becoming more sustainable in everyday life, check out our blog for some super helpful tips on how to reduce your environmental impact.

    The Beyond Retro Ultimate Halloween Party Guide

    The Beyond Retro Ultimate Halloween Party Guide

    Welcome back to goth month!

    Where every fan of all things haunting and scary start counting down the days until the next Halloween night.

    Obviously here at Beyond Retro, we’re huge fans of the spooky season, and although we never really need an excuse to dress up we have a handful of frightening tricks and treats for our readers to devour for themselves. 

    How To Make Halloween Decorations

    Head Jar

    Everyone’s a little grossed out by pickled body parts in jars, so why not turn your own face into one? It’s pretty simple, just follow these simple steps:

    1. Take a selfie and side profile shot and upload to photoshop
    2. Align images and blend
    3. Print and laminate
    4. Fill your large jar, add food colouring to make it look like preserve
    5. Place the head image in the jar and freak out your friends!

    See the full tutorial here.

    Cockroach Hand Soap

    You know those bags of plastic creepy crawlies that are everywhere this time of year? Well, they look super icky oozing in gooey soap bottles, especially when your guests least expect it.

    Maybe consider saving some for later in the year as a prank.


    Spooky Houseplants

    Probably thanks to the need to have an Instagrammable bedroom, we’ve noticed that everyone has slowly become obsessed with houseplants.

    Incorporate the trend into your Halloween decorations with a little bit of black spray paint. 

    Another brilliant idea is to create a gorgeous Halloween party favour. All you need is wax chips, black wax dye, and red roses! 

    See the full tutorial here.


    Spider Lanterns

    Admittedly this is just the first two decoration ideas combined but popping a few fake insects into a jar amongst fake cobwebs with one of those electric tealights placed in the center make for a terrifyingly cool addition to your Halloween crypt.


    Because pumpkins are so last year. 

    To Die For Party Themes

    Addams Family

    They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re altogether ooky and they make a classic Halloween theme.

    Deck your house out as though it’s haunted and get your mates together for an iconic group costume.


    Freak Show

    Clowns are a lot of people’s idea of a nightmare but the rest of the circus can be equally as terrifying. Think mutations, rabid animals and garish prints. For more inspo, be sure to watch the American Horror Story series with the same title.


    Hollywood Undead

    Lay down the red carpet and make a Hollywood Walk Of Shame before asking everyone to arrive dressed as their favourite dead celebrity.


    Monster Mash

    Challenge your friends and family into inventing the scariest monster or creature. It’ll be a graveyard smash!

    Out Of This World

    Let your house be abducted by aliens and deck it out like the inside of a UFO or a Roswell crime scene, which if you’re on a budget means a lot of tin foil and silver streamers. Lime green punch is a must!


    Killer Halloween Costume Ideas

    Scary Skeleton

    The backbone of a traditional Halloween, we’ve made the skeleton costume just a little bit more fashion with our hand painted blazers. Complete the look with cheekbone defining and super scary skull makeup.


    Skeleton Leggings

    Stranger Things


    Everyone's favourite sci-fi Netflix series, Stranger Things, is coming to Secret Cinema! With an array of lovabhle characters, there's plenty of costumes to choose from.

    Browse our curated Stranger Things collection now to find your perfect costume, straight outta 1985.

    Geometric Top

    Teenage Witch

    Gone are the days of warty noses and green fingers, that look is over.

    Another Netflix favorite, we’ve got on trend peter-pan collars and hooded capes for every teenage witch or wizard in our Halloween section.

    The Girls from Booksmart

    Booksmart stole our hearts and money when it hit cinemas this year, and we're not alone.

    Nobody could stop talking about this movie - so pay tribute to your favorite heroines by donning a vintage boiler suit! 


    Other Spooky Ideas For Your Halloween Party

    Halloween Playlist

    Get your guests the heebie-jeebies and show off your freakish dance moves with our special Halloween playlist with hours of grooving to Halloween classics and hidden gems.  

    Spooky Nail Art

    An easy way for a subtle everyday nod to Halloween this month is with some scary nail art. Think cobwebs, eyeballs, bats, pumpkins and more!

    Pentagram Laces

    Summon a subtly demonic look by tying your laces in a pentagram-like we did last year. Follow the tutorial here.

    If you’ve enjoyed this, be sure to check out our 2019 Halloween Fancy Dress Ideas for some more spooky inspiration! Don't forget you can celebrate Halloween with Beyond Retro through an array of events we are hosting, and once the party is over you can recycle your Halloween costume back to us and receive  £5 voucher!

    10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle

    10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle

    As keen recyclers, we’re really excited about Recycling week! We all know that shopping secondhand and looking for eco-friendly pieces are great ways to make a positive impact on the environment, but the end of life of your purchases are just as important! Every household will have a recycling routine with items such as food tins or plastic cartons, but there are tons of other items in your home could be reused that normally end up being thrown away! These things can make a big impact for example if we recycle all the steel packaging we use in a year, it would save enough energy to make over 50,000 returns train journeys between London and Edinburgh! (recyclenow fact)

    So, this Recycling Week, we’re giving you a helping hand in the recycling department, with a guide to 10 things that are totally recyclable or reusable that you might not have thought of…


    10 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

    1. Bathroom Packaging

    There are lots of bathroom items you are able to recycle and make a huge difference. For instance, if everyone in the UK recycled one toothpaste box, it would save enough energy to run a fridge in over 2,000 homes for a year (recycle now fact).  Other items that are recyclable include shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles, but make sure you rinse them out beforehand!

    A handy note, if your soap bottle has a lid then this needs to be disposed of in the general waste. Alternatively, why not switch your plastic bottled soap for a reusable glass dispenser or use a bar of soap.


    2. Foil

    Did you know that the tin foil you use for cooking and food can go into your normal recycling bins?! To make it even easier to recycle, collect foil together and wrap into a ball. Other aluminium items that are recyclable include drinks cans, screw top lids from wine bottles (can be recycled with the bottle) and takeaway containers.


    3. Cosmetics

    Big name makeup brands are now starting to become more eco-conscious with not only how their product is made, but how to dispose of it once it’s been used up. Brands such as MAC, Lush, Aveda and Origins all now have their own recycling schemes, where you can take in empty containers and recycle them responsibility… and if you’re heading into MAC you can get a FREE lipstick if you bring in 6 empty containers!


    4. Batteries

    In the UK less than 50% of all batteries disposed of are correctly recycled. A pretty worrying figure when you find out that batteries actually contain toxic chemicals that can actually leak into landfill sites. It’s crucial that products like batteries from small AA to a large laptop battery are recycled responsibility in designated recycle point.

    To avoid throwing away batteries, try using rechargeable batteries where possible or buy appliances with renewable or solar energy.


    5. Coffee Pods

    Undoubtedly, something a lot of us can’t live without and now something that comes in a tiny pod that create your coffee in seconds. Simple and easy to use, they can be pretty bad for the environment. You can’t throw them away with your normal recycling, Nespresso does have an option for them to be recycled! You fill one of their recycling bags, and send them off via CollectPlus or drop into a Nespresso store, easier than you think eh?


    6. Underwear

    Yep, you heard us right... your old kickers can be recycled! Your old underwear or damaged clothing can be recycled and turned into cleaning cloths, industrial blankets and even padding for chairs and car seats!

    You can donate your items in your local recycle bank or head to one of our London stores and drop your items in the #LoveNotLandfill clothes banks.


    7. Mobile Phones

    Up to 80% of your mobile phone can be recycled, and only 13% of mobile phones are recycled properly every year! If your phone is past its sell by, you can recycle your mobile in your local Oxfam or find an e-waste recycling station.


    8. Light Bulbs

    Your energy effective light bulbs aren’t like incandescent bulbs, not only do they save you money but they are also recyclable! You can recycle them at recycling points and also at selected IKEA and Tesco.



    9. Pens

    Widely not known for general recycling, you can recycle your pens, highlighters and other pencil case essentials with The Writing Instruments Brigade Programme! You can drop off your pens at 100s of drop off points all over the UK, where your pens can then be made into new recycled products.


    10. Mattresses

    Not top of the list of things we think are recyclable, but our old mattresses are full of recycled materials, from the metal springs to the foam and cotton fillings. The best way to get rid of your mattress is to arrange to pick up with your local council, who pick up items locally in bulk to help in the recycling efforts.

    There are so many other items in your home that can be recycled, repurposed or given a new home. Find out more about what you can and can’t recycle over on the official Recycle Week website.
    Sustainable Spotlight Interview - Davor

    Sustainable Spotlight Interview - Davor

    There's no better way of finding out more about sustainability in Beyond Retro than from our incredible staff! Sustainable Spotlight is a new series of interviews with the staff that make our company tick - from warehouse, store and head office across the globe.  

    With Recycling Week coming up on 24th - 30th September, we spoke to Davor Radic from our Arkarden store to find out more about his role, how working within  Beyond Retro has made him more sustainable and some top tips on becoming more sustainable yourself! 


    What’s your role in Beyond Retro/Bank & Vogue and what exactly does it entail?

    I'm the proud assistant manager at Beyond Retro Arkaden in Gothenburg, Sweden. Basically, I aid and assist the store manager in all the day to day operations. It's a challenging and super fun job!


    What’s your favourite part of the job?

    Well, apart from that it's my dream job (I still have to pinch myself sometimes)! Each and every team member working at Beyond Retro is wonderfully unique and creative. It's more a sense of constant creative collaboration than work. No day is ever the same which is both creatively challenging and inspiring. Plus I love the clothes!


    Tell us more about how your role impacts the circular economy?

  • My job allows me to be an advocate for second-hand and to inspire (and be inspired by) others of the unique and creative possibilities of second-hand clothes. Educating myself and our team about the impact of fast fashion and the importance of sustainable alternatives and spreading the word to our customers.


  • What’s been the most interesting thing you have learnt about the sustainability of the fashion industry through doing your role?

  • The most important lesson was to learn how much waste goes into producing one single garment and what huge impact this has on our precious environment. As an example, 11 000 litres of water is necessary to produce just one single pair of jeans! It's up to all of us to demand and push for sustainable alternatives by refusing fast fashion and encourage second-hand.

    How have you seen the way we perceive sustainability change?

    In Gothenburg where I live we have second-hand stores literally everywhere, from cheapest thrift stores to high-end vintage. There's a growing interest in second-hand here. I also believe there's a deeper awareness of sustainability and the environmental impact of fast fashion, particularly among the younger generation which is discovering second-hand more and more.

    What do you try to do in your everyday life to help impact the environment positively?

     I buy exclusively second-hand as much as I can. It's sustainable and more fun! Also if you consider the number of clothes already existing out there there's really no reason to buy new. I also try to extend the life of the clothes I have by repairing or altering. If there's something I can't use I sell or give to charity - or use as cleaning rags!

    What do you wish you did better?

    Reducing the amount of plastic and synthetic use to zero! Plastic is everywhere from packaging, to clothes and even in our detergents.

    What do you see in the future of the recycling industry?

    It would be great to see a closer collaboration between the recycling industry and the fashion industry. The resources of materials and inspiration of the recycling industry combined with the creativity of the fashion industry could work fashion wonders and at the same time reduce waste.

    What do you think is key to reducing waste in the fashion world? 

    Less is more! We need to produce less and re-use more. Another alternative for reducing waste is re-makes. Re-using already existing material from outdated garments and turning into high fashion pieces. Considering the amount of creativity in the fashion industry this shouldn't be a challenge!

    What’s your top sustainable tip for our customers?

    Again less is more. Before buying anything ask yourself if you really need it. If you buy less you will buy with greater care. And if you get tired of a piece, alter it. Make it fun again!


    For more helpful tips on becoming more sustainable in everyday life, check out our blog for some super helpful tips on how to reduce your enviromental impact.

    #LoveNotLandfill London Clothes Banks

    #LoveNotLandfill London Clothes Banks

    In the UK 11 million items of clothing end up in landfill every week... that's 18 items a second! To help combat this crazy figure, we're working with London based Eco-fashion campaign #LoveNotLandfill and have placed clothing banks in our London stores to encourage you to recycle your clothes, not to bin them.

    What is Love Not Landfill?

    Love Not Landfill is a campaign which aims to encourage Londoners to put their unwanted clothes into clothes banks, donate to charity, swap them, borrow them and shop second-hand. Young people in the UK buy a crazy 4.1 million items of clothes every week just to keep up with the ever-changing fast fashion trends all over the high street. But whilst you’re new jeans are on trend for less than 6 weeks, what do you do with them when you don't want them? A whopping 35 million items are then thrown in the bin every year by trend-led 16-24-year-olds, that’s basically enough to wrap around the globe… twice.

    Co-funded by the EU and the London Waste and Recycling Board, the #LoveNotLandfill campaign is here to educate and encourage Londoners to recycle!


     Clothes Banks

    We’re lucky enough to be a part of this incredible campaign, and as mutual believers in recycling and sustainability, it’s a match made in recycling heaven! We have clothes bin in our Soho store, Dalston store and soon to be Cheshire Street store. Not only this, our Dalston store is now home to a limited-edition clothes bank, redesigned by anonymous street artist Bambi, often dubbed as the female Banksy. The image is Bambi’s characteristically tongue-in-cheek way of encouraging people to use the clothes banks. Bambi says, “I think people will be shocked how many clothes end up in a landfill.... Someone else may love the clothes you no longer want.”

    What clothes can you recycle?

    You can recycle pretty much anything, no matter what from your old knickers, a stained t-shirt and even your old shoes, every piece of fabric have the potential to be recycled and reused. By using the Love Not Landfill banks you’re helping to give your clothes a second life, making sure they don’t go to waste by allowing others to continue to love them!

    So why not recycle your unwanted clothes in the Love Not Landfill banks and don’t forget to #LoveNotLandfill on Instagram when you’re spreading the news that you’ve just recycled, and treat yourself to some eco-friendly shopping in store!

    In Conversation With No Planet B

    In Conversation With No Planet B

    No Planet B, a community of sustainably minded people who like us, want to make sustainable living the norm. Not only have are they the curators of the UK's first zero-waste vegan festival, but they also host bespoke workshops (even eco hen-dos) and monthly city events with talks, panels, Q&A's, music and delicious vegan food. 

    We're privileged enough to be working with them on their most recent event, This Thursday 13th September we will be on the panel alongside others at the forefront of conscious consumerism. 

    We spoke to the No Planet B team to get to know the founds, their vision and get to know some pretty insane facts about our environment.  


    1) Tell us about yourself and No Planet B.

    Myself (Chris Bush) and Maudie Johnson founded No Planet B February this year, both coming from events and wellness backgrounds. Maudie previously organised UK & EU wide healthy hen parties, consisting of wellness activities and healthy cooking classes for the conscious hens.

    I came from more of a corporate background, leading marketing campaigns for Coca-Cola and Amazon, which as you might imagine took a toll on my core values seeing the sheer waste these companies are responsible for.

    We came together to create No Planet B. A project aligning with both our personal values and what we hope to see in the world, where sustainable living becomes the social norm, not just a trend. We hope to achieve this by creating an inclusive community online and in person for the conscious generation.

    At the same time, No Planet B creates inclusive spaces for the just curious and inviting them to explore and learn more, whilst having fun.

    2) What inspired you to start the group?

    After becoming more aware of our impact on the environment through the news, social media, and the sheer amount of waste so obviously all around us, we searched for inspiration and solutions online.

    We were so inspired by the innovative sustainable projects popping up around the world and wanted to create a place to bring like-minded people together in person to connect and help to grow sustainable living.

    It can be hard to really connect with like-minded people in cities and that’s why before our official weekend festival in summer 2019, we have launched monthly nights in Central London, and later this year Brighton and Bristol to show our full-on commitment to creating community hubs and pairing serious environmental action with top tier fun.

    3) Why is conscious consumerism so important to you?

    We are realists and fully appreciate not everyone is minimalists, living with 31 items of clothing, never purchasing new items and living a 100% zero waste life. People will always want new things, and that's where the importance of conscious consumerism comes into play.

    We want to empower and accelerate our community to become more aware of the ways they can make positive decisions, on what to buy and where to look for solutions; whether that be in regards to fashion, beauty, food, gender discrimination or overall health and wellbeing.

    Customers are demanding transparency as they become more interested in ethical practices, ‘a minority of millennials believes businesses behave ethically (48% in 2018 vs 65% in 2017, Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018). When we spend our cash, we make a vote, telling companies that we support them. We believe this vote is a powerful tool and we want to help guide our community to continue making positive choices.


    4) What do you hope to achieve through your events?

    Think TED Talk meets Sofar Sounds, our events consist of vegan food, an ethical market, expert-led talks, panel discussions and incredible live performances.

    We want to continue inspiring new ways of living and expand on our attendee’s already existing interest in living an eco-warrior lifestyle! So that we can all start making small choices for a big change!

    But the community also needs the voice of Business. Business has the potential to lead positive change at scale. That's why we partner with companies to share their story on the innovative, sustainable plans they are achieving to share with our community of eco-advocates to continue supporting the right brands.

    We are also wanting to set a precedent for how festivals can and events should be run with our zero waste impact. A shocking average of 23K tonnes of waste is left over per festival in the UK each year. That's why at our monthly events and festival we are putting the responsibility on our attendees, encouraging them to bring their own food containers, cups and cutlery to leave no trace behind!



    5) What's your best tip to live more sustainably day to day?

    There are some really simple lifestyle swaps you can get into that include taking your own reusable bags shopping, a reusable water container out with you everywhere along with a hot cup for coffee and of course eating essentials such as your own cutlery.

    These sound like small changes, but if everyone implemented them on a daily basis on a global scale, the positive environmental impact would be huge! Significantly helping to eradicate single use virgin plastics going to landfill. Landfills create water and air pollution and are a breeding ground for deadly insects and pests. We need to take action on a global scale and also in our everyday lives to reduce climate change! Just to be clear the term zero waste means nothing going into landfill.

    Research now suggests all plastic packaging is only used once! We need to get back to basics and cut out this unnecessary waste.


    Limited tickets still available here

    Meet the Founder of Birdsong

    Meet the Founder of Birdsong

    We're proud champions of all things sustainable fashion, and love collaborating with like-minded brands. So from the 5th-9th September, we're thrilled to be hosting a pop up in our Dalston store featuring the brand Birdsong. Offering sustainable clothing that is ethically made, working with women's groups and charities, they're a groundbreaking brand that promotes feminism workers rights through their practices and the incredible products they sell. To celebrate their 4th birthday, the pop-up will give you the chance to shop their latest collection, get to know the brand, and join us for some exciting events including a Positive Activism Panel and a Feminist Comedy Night.

    To get to know Birdsong a little better, we interviewed co-founder Sophie Slater...

    Birdsong London team

    Tell us about yourself and Birdsong.

    Hi! I'm Sophie and I'm a co-founder and Brand Manager for Birdsong. I've always loved and worked around clothes, feminism and worker's rights so starting Birdsong was a natural culmination of working on all of those things.

    What inspired you to start the brand?

    I'd worked as a model as a teenager, and in retail for years, and these both gave me a total love of fashion...but also I could see the downsides massively. Like being told your bum's "too big", seeing how un-diverse the industry was. When I met Sarah, my business partner, we were both working for charities. Sarah was working with a group of older people in a day centre who had this incredible knitting group. They made scarves and jumpers to give to charity shops because it made them feel as warm and fuzzy inside. I was working with women's charities and met so many lower-income migrant women with these amazing sewing skills. We decided that we could help these remarkable women sell their wares online, which was much easier for them that doing market stalls or struggling to sell things on Etsy. Then we hired Susanna our designer who now designs everything for us in-house, and sources the most beautiful fabrics so that their skills are elevated and used to their full potential.


    Birdsong London x Beyond Retro


    Why is sustainable and ethical fashion so important to you?

    Women have always found creative ways to make a statement with what they wear. From the berets of the black panthers in the Sixties to the quiet resolution to only wear clothes made in the UK, fashion is an important ally for change. If you start something from scratch, like a fashion company, as outsiders to the industry like we did, there's an incredible opportunity to build things as you would like them to be, in an idealistic, optimistic way. We never knew how things were "supposed" to be done, so we built the kind of fashion we wanted to see in the world, and that's kind to the people who make it, wear it and the planet.

    Tell us more about the women's groups you work with.

    We design clothes for remarkable women, but we’re also made by them. We work with expert women makers who face barriers to employment – from artists and printmakers to seamstresses and painters – and pay the London living wage to bring our designs to life. We work with two groups of older knitters, and then four other women's projects or charities across London who do our cut and sew, embroidery, shirting and hand-painting. We know them all personally and love going to hang out. Making samples together often includes sharing a Bengali style feast and lots of laughs.


    Beyond Retro x Birdsong London

    What are your favourite pieces from your new collection?

    You won’t find anything like our collection on the high street. It’s about thoughtful clothes in bright colours, edgy silhouettes and original prints made from natural fabrics. Our block colour jumpsuits, hand-printed trousers and super-soft knitwear are staples that will hopefully spark conversation for a lifetime (because, obviously, everything’s made to last!). I'm OBSESSED with our taupe khadi denim suit. I've been bugging Susanna to let me steal the sample for weeks but I'm not allowed yet...It's a gorgeous boxy jacket and super flattering wide legged trousers with the prettiest topstitching and eco buttons made from nuts. It's been so thoughtfully made and everything in the new collection is natural, hand-woven fibres and eco fabrics like super silky bamboo.

    What's your biggest tip to help make a positive impact in the fashion world?

    For us, wearing our collections is a protest in itself– against the fast nature of the fashion industry, against the obsessive pursuit of trends and against the systematic abuse of women in the production line. We know that women want more from their wardrobe but that the world of ethical, sustainable and local fashion can be a minefield. So we’ve really tried to tick all the boxes for you. Company's like ours and Beyond Retro are so important because we encourage people to think about where their clothes come from, be conscious, and create opportunities for the people who really need it.

    And what’s your style staple for the new season?

    One of our bamboo or khadi jumpsuits. A cute one piece or dress you can throw on and wear for any occasion, and a big pair of dangly earrings to take you from the office to your after work dinner.


    To find out more about our Birdsong Pop Up, check out our facebook event! See you there :)

    Brighton Pride With Eco Glitter Fun

    Brighton Pride With Eco Glitter Fun

    We’re gearing up for Brighton Pride on 4th August, and can barely contain our excitement for seeing Britney!

    Now whilst you’re choosing your best Britney ensemble (here's our favourite looks) in our Brighton store  we’ve teamed up with biodegradable glitter extraordinaire Eco Glitter Fun, bringing you a one-stop glitter pop-up in store with FREE glitter makeovers, head down from 11am-2pm, be sure to get there early as it’s on a first come, first served basis.

    We interviewed the girls behind Eco Glitter Fun to get to know more about the benefits of biodegradable glitter and the hottest glitter trends right now.

    What inspired you to start Eco Glitter Fun?

    As a rule, we try to be as eco-conscious as we can in our everyday life. One day when my best friend, turned business partner,  Sophie discovered that glitter was plastic and that an alternative existed we decided we should make it our mission to make people aware of it as no one seemed to be doing it. When we realised that it was being sold in plastic pots we decided that we should offer a completely eco-friendly alternative to plastic glitter including the packaging. Eco Glitter Fun was born shortly after!!

    What is biodegradable glitter?

    Our biodegradable glitter is made from a certified compostable film. It's non-toxic, free of heavy metals and approved for cosmetic use. The film is sustainably sourced, there are no genetically modified materials or materials obtained from genetically modified organisms. Eco Glitter is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

    What harm does non-biodegradable glitter do to the environment?

    A plastic glitter is a form of ‘microplastic’ and it’s also ‘single-use’ plastic ie: it will not be recycled. They are tiny bits of plastics below a certain size and are commonly found in exfoliating scrubs, cleansers and toothpaste. The body of research of the effect of microplastics on marine life continues to grow, with many species confirmed as ingesting it; of course, this has far-reaching consequences for both aquatic life and the wider food chain within which they sit. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we must acknowledge the fact that the sparkly plastic glitter which we have loved for years, is actually dulling the shine in our oceans.

    What is your favourite glitter look for this year's festivals?

    I just adore glitter as you can imagine so it's hard to pick a few looks! I love the subtle glitter sparkle eyeliner under the eye in strong colours and I love sun rays around the eye...

    What are THE glitter shades of this summer?

    Fashion is loving pastels right so our set of uber chunky eco glitters include pastel shades of aqua(Turquoise), rosa (Light Pink), violetta (Violet) , rosa scuro (Dark Pink), verde (Green) with complimentary aurelie (gold) and vanna (silver). It’s the perfect set to have on hand at those warm spring/summer afternoon parties.

    And finally, what are your top tips for being more eco-friendly in day to day life?

    Start with small changes and build up to more and more. Stop using plastic straws and make sure you always specifically request no straws in your drinks when out. Carry a reusable coffee cup with you if you can't resist a cup of coffee or tea when out. Bring your own bag when you go shopping. Use Bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones. Bring a bottle with you when you're out. They are little things but they can make a huge difference!!

    Feeling inspired? You can also shop the Eco Glitter Fun range in our stores and online.

    Oh and don’t forget to follow them on Instagram for some serious makeup inspiration!
    How To Get Festival Ready With 6 Sustainable Top Tips

    How To Get Festival Ready With 6 Sustainable Top Tips

    The best time of year is here: it’s finally festival season! After surviving the tumultuous Winter, we all deserve to dance the Summer away with our besties to our favourite tunes, beer in one hand and overpriced food-van morsel in the other. The only downside is the amount of waste produced and with the number of festivals worldwide, it really adds up. Luckily we’ve compiled this list of top tips on how to get festival ready sustainably, so you can have the best time checking out your fave bands in the glorious sunshine, guilt-free.

    6 Ways To Be Sustainable At Festivals

    1. Reuse Your Cups

    Surely by now, we’ve all heard about how single-use plastics are breaking down in our oceans and destroying the marine life, if not from the news then definitely from national treasure David Attenborough’s recent Forbidden Planet series. The most effective way to combat this in your daily life is by limiting the amount of plastic you use, so the plastic water bottles have got to go. Lots of bar stalls at festivals now have a cup take-back scheme, so make sure you ask about it and keep hold of your cup to return to be recycled!

    Alternatively, you can grab a reusable cup from one of our stores, safe in the knowledge that you won’t be harming any dolphins or turtles, and they are perfect to take to a festival. As an added bonus, outside of festival life, the big-name coffee chains usually offer a discount when you bring in your own planet saving chalice.

    2. Borrow A Tent Or Consider Compostable Options

    In 2016, over 5000 tents were abandoned at Glastonbury festival, and these statistics weren’t much better last year either. Whilst some charities do offer a cleanup service, where discarded tents are donated to homeless charities, there are unfortunately still far too many tents going straight to the landfills. Not only that but buying a new tent each year will contribute to manufacturing waste, which is less than ideal.

    The best solution is to either borrow a tent from a mate or consider compostable options, available at both KarTent and Comp A Tent. And if you do somehow end up buying a new tent that you won’t use again, consider donating it to the homeless yourself to ensure it isn’t contributing to the destruction of our planet.

    3. Incorporate Eco-Glitter Into Your Look

    Whilst glitter is pretty much a festival essential at this point, it’s still a harmful microplastic and natural mica alternatives aren’t too groovy either. Luckily there’s a biodegradable version by Eco Glitter Fun that comes in a range of fun pigments suitable for all your crazy makeup needs and won’t be toxic to marine life. Winner winner, no plastic for dinner.

    4. Share A Lift

    Reduce your carbon footprint by getting public transport to your festival of choice. If this isn’t possible, you can always share a lift! Post a callout on your personal Facebook, the event page or even car sharing websites such as Bla Bla Car or Liftshare. After all, sharing is caring.

    5. Shop Vintage

    Of course we’re sticking this one in here, after all, we live and breathe vintage. Aside from being trendy, shopping second hand is the best way to make your wardrobe sustainable, as fast fashion is one of the main contributing factors to water pollution, toxic chemical use and textile waste. Did you know, 2,700 litres of water is used for a single t-shirt to be created, which is enough for one person to drink for 900 days! Best getting browsing the Beyond Retro website then really. Plus we’ve got a tonne of beautiful pieces that are perfect for rocking that festival style!

    6. Keep It Clean

    After all, cleanliness is next to godliness. Make sure you’re picking up your rubbish and putting them in a bin and taking everything home, recycling where possible. You don’t want to be causing any unnecessary stress to the environment. Oh yeah, and remember to snap those six-pack rings so curious critters don’t accidentally strangle themselves, that’s the last thing you need!

    Once you’ve got your sustainability cap on, click here to discover more amazing vintage items, bound to turn heads as you enter the festival gates!

    Earth day 2018

    10 Super Helpful Tips On How To Reduce Your Environmental Impact

    Here at Beyond Retro, we love selling vintage, secondhand and upcycled clothing in an effort to re-home 10 billion items in an ongoing effort to keep the planet sustainable! Alongside our parent company Bank and Vogue, we re homed 90 million items last year and we continue to keep on growing whilst continually finding new ways to better our output. We are always trying to find new ways to be sustainable, from the product we offer to the way we run our business, every little bit helps. As a team, we love learning new ways to be more environmentally conscious in different ways! 

    So to celebrate Earth Day, we'd thought we'd share our favourite helpful tips to reduce your environmental impact in very simple, easy ways. 


    1. Buy Second Hand

    It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one t-shirt, over 5000 to make one pair of jeans and each year, global clothing manufacture use the same electricity that all UK households need for 10 years, and that's just the start!

    Shopping vintage and second hand can greatly reduce your impact on the world around you. There are of course our stores and online shop, plus plenty of other vintage stores all over the UK, charity shops can also be great for finding a bargain for a good cause. You can also shop online with eBay and Etsy, apps like Depop and even head to a car boot sale, clothes swapping event or try swapping with your mates!


    save water buy vintage jeans

    2. Let Clothes Dry Naturally

    Your clothes dryer is the second most electrically draining home appliance, using around 2400 watts per hour. Not only will hanging up your wet clothes make the environment and your clothes happy, but you can save yourself over £1,000 in 18 months from your energy bills too!

    3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 

    Firstly, look into the recycling rules in your area, as most of us aren't entirely sure what you should be recycling with only 1/3 of plastic packaging being recycled in the UK.

    As well as recycling your household waste, consider how your daily life could be affecting the planet. Start sending emails instead of cards that are likely to be chucked, avoid using a printer when possible, invest in glass Tupperware instead of plastic tubs, donate unwanted items to friends, family or charities, or sell on! 

    Instead of throwing stuff out when it's broken, try fixing it instead, you might just learn a new skill in the process! You might even find a new use for an item, an old wool jumper, you can reuse the wool to knit something new or maybe an old pair of jeans that can be cut into shorts. 

    You can find out more about how to care for your clothing with our vintage care guide.

    reduce landfill

    4. Check Sustainability 

    Shop around and select appliances with high energy efficient ratings, use renewable energy sources and buy locally where possible. All these little things combined could make a big difference! 

    5. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) 

    Stay on top of this by keeping a carrier bag or a tote bag in your pocket when you leave the house, even if you aren't planning on buying anything. Since the new carrier bag charge, you'll save an extra 5p per outing too.

    Cotton tote bag

    6. Say No To Single Use Plastics

    Single-use plastics such as plastic cutlery, carrier bags and drinking straws are a major source of marine litter which is why cutting down on these sorts of products is so necessary. As well as providing your own bags, be sure to say no to disposable forks and the likes as much as possible. You can buy single and multi packs of reusable straws online for as little as £5. 

    Another way to avoid single-use plastic is to invest in reusable coffee cups and water bottles to keep with you!

    7. Holiday Helpfully 

    Research your destination before visiting to make sure it's not an environmentally sensitive area and go off-season if that option is available to you. Sounds obvious but don't leave your litter on the beach or disturb animals in their habitats either!

    8. Dispose Responsibly 

    Some things just aren't recyclable but items like batteries and light bulbs are hazardous to the environment. Contact your local council to see where to drop these used products safely and consider investing in rechargeable batteries and energy-saving light bulbs. 

    9. You Are What You Eat 

    Well, not literally but sparing a thought to where your food comes from can go a long way. Shop locally where possible, buy fruit and vegetables that are in season to minimise shipping costs, imported off-season fruit and vegetables need air, sea and land transport to make it into your local supermarket. Only add non-endangered fish species to your basket, consume less meat where you can or even give vegetarianism or veganism a go! A recent study showed that a widespread switch to vegetarianism would cut emissions by nearly two-thirds! Avoid ingredients such as palm oil that causes mass deforestation during production. If you have a garden, try growing your own vegetables! 

    10. Switch Off 

    Switching off your electronics at the wall after using them can massively help cut down on your negative environmental impact. Double check you've turned off everything at the office before heading home and try not to fall asleep in front of the TV. 

    Sustainable facts

    These 10 helpful tips on keeping sustainable can help to reduce your impact on the environment! 

    Beyond Retro team in India

    Meet Our Reworked Vintage Team From India!

    This Fashion Revolution week, we're focusing on our vision to make the fashion industry more sustainable. With our Reworked Vintage range being created entirely from recycled materials and to get the conversation on eco-friendly fashion started, we're talking to the talented ladies behind our remixed Reworked Vintage collection in India about their role in the company, their ideas of sustainability within the field and what they get up to in their free time.

    Padmini Venugopal - Raw Material Manager 

    Beyond Retro In India
    Hey Padmini! How long have you been working at Beyond Retro?
    I have been working in Beyond Retro since 2014! 
    What is your role and what does it entail?
    My role in the company is to procure raw material for our production process. I'm guided by the UK and Canadian teams on what exactly they need and my team of 17 have the task of then meeting these requirements. 
    What do you enjoy most about your work?
    I add life to every garment that's made in Beyond Retro. Since it's a rework of existing garments and accessories, we are able to be innovative in every product we make. We explore ways on how to create things that the customer would love. The ability to think innovatively each day is the best bit about my work.  
    Why do you think sustainability is important in the fashion industry?
    Sustainability is definitely important in the fashion industry because as citizens of Earth we need to protect the environment for future generations. We are responsible for every bit of damage inflicted on the atmosphere, environment and nature. It's high time that we raise our hands and do our bit to help every day. 
    What are your interests outside of work?
    Outside of work, I like cooking, playing badminton and reading books. 

    Deepali Gajra - Fashion Designer

    Beyond Retro Fashion Designer
    Hi Deepali! How long have you been working at Beyond Retro?
    I've been working for Bank & Vogue (our parent company) for three years! 
    What is your role and what does it entail?
    As a designer, my work begins by contacting the London design team where we discuss upcoming design ideas and clothing trends. After receiving the final designs, I get to work sourcing relevant hardware and trims for the upcoming clothing and accessories. 
    My main role on the factory floor is sampling, where I explain the design to sample cutters and tailors and describe how they're going to be used. After we finish the sample, we send photos and examples back to London to get them approved. Once the sample is given the go-ahead, I check all spec sheets and trims to make sure everything is ready for production and iron out any problems. 
    What do you enjoy most about your work?
    This is my favourite question!
    So in my work I really enjoy making new design samples, it's always fun to make a new sample and see what it looks like after completion. I also love when the London team comes over to work together on new season designs. 
    Why do you think sustainability is important in the fashion industry?
    The fashion industry is the second most pollutant industry in the world. Sustainable and eco-fashion is a part of the growing philosophy of sustainability where the goal is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility. 
    What are your interests outside of work?
    I like listening to music, travelling and adventurous hobbies like camping, tracking and hiking. But mostly I like shopping ;) 


    Nithya Mukandan - E-commerce Manager

    Beyond Retro Website
    Hello Nithya! How long have you been working at Beyond Retro?
    I've officially completed 5 years as of this April! 
    What is your role and what does it entail?
    I manage the online production of Beyond Retro, making sure supply meets demand. 
    What do you enjoy most about your work?
    That the whole team works together to make stuff happen. We all support each other to offer creative feedback and make our ideas a reality.
    I love the challenge of coming in every day and solving the problem of creating more traffic to the website from around the world. Each day is different and a constant adventure, I just love my job and my team! 
    Why do you think sustainability is important in the fashion industry?
    Sustainable clothing is really important. There are many elements that go into producing clothing: the fabric materials, the type of dyes, the amount of pollution, the transportation of the products, the factory employees, the amount of water used, etc. 
    Sustainably-made clothing is produced by finding ways to make all of these elements less harmful to the planet we live in. For example, using organic cotton over plastics like polyester can be a more sustainable way to save the environment from toxic elements.
    What are your interests outside of work?
    Travelling all around the globe! 
    It helps me connect with new people, which helps improve my interpersonal skills. Meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds helps you connect. This acquired skill is useful when working with global distribution. And after a full year of work projects, it's like a much-needed dose of oxygen. 
    Discover our treasure trove of sustainably Reworked Vintage goodies and uncover the gems that our talented team have been working on. 
    Beyond Retro at Innovation Forum

    Steven Bethell at The Innovation Forum 2018

    Five years after the Rana Plaza incident, this Fashion Revolution Week the Innovation Forum is hosting a two-day conference on Sustainable apparel to discuss how brands can transform supply chains. With global speakers from all areas of the fashion world, the conference will look at the latest innovations in circular fashion, transparency and factory engagement in the apparel industry. 

    Our very own director Steven Bethell will be taking part at this year's event, so we caught up with him to find out more about Bank & Vogue's involvement.

    Steve Bethell

    Why did Bank & Vogue decide to get involved in this year's Innovation forum?
    With over 20 years of working in the recycling industry, and with 15 years of Beyond Retro, we see this is an exciting time for our industry. There is a huge possibility for the landscape of second-hand fashion to change in the next 20 years and we are excited to be a part of this future. 

     The Innovation Forum has a huge list of guest speakers and an amazing agenda, which talks are you most looking forward to?
    I'm interested in everyone's idea's, it's extremely important in this industry to listen to each other and share new thoughts and breakthroughs.

     Tell us a little more about the talk your taking part in?
    'How can brands ensure that circularity is embedded from the design stage? ' is a panel discussion to create conversation around the future of manufacturing. 
    We'll be sharing our experiences through the success of our Beyond Retro Stores in UK and Sweden have proved that there is a huge appetite for a sustainable alternative! The transparency of the 'used' industry makes us different to the other methods of manufacturing all over the world, and though it's not easy, it's an exciting challenge that we are looking forward to discussing further. 

    I'll be in discussion with Katrin Ley from Fashion for Good, Cecilia Takayama from Kering, Cyndi Rhoades from Worn Again and Sigrid Barnekow from Mistra Future Fashion

    How are Bank & Vogue helping to transform the supply chain?
    We're excited about going to the next level and providing a second life for used fabrics in our vintage offering and our Beyond Retro LABEL range which creates trend-led, upcycled pieces from reclaimed fabrics. There is a transparency throughout Bank & Vogue and the wider team, we're proud to show where our pieces come from and who is making them. 

     What is the importance of an ethical and sustainable economy to you?
    I am constantly getting energy from nature, which gives me the motivation to find out how to make less impact on the world. 

     What advice would you give to those who want to contribute to the circular economy on a smaller scale?
    Start with actively looking to buy used items, after a while, you'll get a daily appetite for it. Ask questions, find out where is the product coming from? Who made it? How is it made? How did it end up here? Find value in your new-to-you purchase!

    For more ways to keep sustainable read our 10 tips on reducing your environmental impact!

     To find out more about the innovation forum, listen to podcasts with people in the industry and to find out more about the Sustainable Apparel Conference, head over to their website: