We got to meet the gorgeous girls behind Stories Behind Things! The ultimate force to be reckoned with when it comes to sustainable fashion and giving a whole new meaning to the simple act of getting dressed in the morning. These girls showed us the importance of loving what we wear in a time of fast fashion.

Why is sustainable fashion important to you?
Clothing is an extra layer of yourself, we believe what you put onto your skin is a langue of self expression. Sustainable fashion is at the very core of what we do, it’s what we formed our first messaging as a brand around. Every day we all put clothes on our body and we both started to become curious as to where they came from, what memories they hold and why we chose to wear what we do each day, and the rest is history! 

What inspired you to start Stories Behind Things?
We wanted to celebrate the act of connecting to the clothes we wear, the energy we put out to the world daily has always been a curiosity for Ella and I. I (Jemma) entered into the sustainability space from a mental health perspective, co-finding Stories Behind Things was a self care act for myself and Ella, to simply start connecting again to the material things around us that we were engaging with on a daily basis. In our fast paced throw away culture we wanted to cultivate a space for slow appreciation and celebration for the story.

We found it fascinating that everybody gets up and dresses themselves daily but many do not connect to what they wear or form an emotional connection to that ritual. We wanted to celebrate the story behind what we wear and what we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. Re-building that connection that we thought was lost in our society and slow down our minds to make intentional and conscious decisions, it’s been an extremely fun and playful process for us to build this community to what it is today.

We started by simply hanging up pieces we owned and told the story of where we got it and why we loved it often referring to a memory or emotion that was connected to the piece. From there, we started telling stories of other peoples brands that we loved, and it grew and grew from there! We never set out for this to be a business it was build authentically and organically as a passion for Ella and I. 

Why did you want to do clothes swaps in particular?
Ella and I had tons of clothes that we didn’t wear, after Stories Behind Things grew an initial online community around sharing memories about clothing, we decided to experiment by bringing our online community offline for the first time, this wqas back in the summer of 2017. It’s always been extremely important to bring out community of likeminded people into real life experiences where they can engage with each other and collectively make positive change.

We thought it would be a fun idea to all switch clothes, so we got a huge warehouse space in Hackney, got a DJ, loads of rails, having no idea how many people would come as we never hosted an event before we had over 200 people come join us… that’s when we knew we were onto something and that there was a place within the market for what we were doing! That was 2 years ago and from then we have done 7 more clothes switching events with themed market places celebrating local makers shares and designers, at venues across London like The Hoxton Hotel, Greek Street Soho, The Good Hotel and more. 

Where are your favourite places to shop for vintage or pre-loved clothing?
Notting Hill, always! The Oxfam there is always holding gems and one of a kind pieces, apart from Notting Hill there are a few great spots on Brick Lane in Shoredtich. We like the curated vintage stores best, our current favourites on that street are Search And Destroy and House Of Vintage. 

What is your most loved item in your wardrobe?
The vintage I own, to think the pieces of vintage in my wardrobe have lives a life before entering my life makes me want to care for it more than the high street clothing I used to own. Looking after clothes you love should feel like an act of self care, it’s a magic thing. We encourage people to re-inject love back into old pieces of clothing by embroidering into them and giving them a new lease of life. We couldn’t find communities that were celebrating this in London, so we started our own workshops and often host these in London! 

How will you be wearing RIXO this summer?
The slip of DREAMS. I’ll be wearing the green polka dot slip during the day with a jumper and trainers and into the evening without the jumper and a little denim jacket. Ella will be rocking the Jagger scarf on her head pretty much daily over in Cape Town. 

What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability simply means connection for us, to be connected to your own internal world, externally to what we buy and to what we consume on a daily basis. Once we are in tune with those I think thats where the curiosity comes, when you start to consider the story behind the things we choose to surround ourselves with.  

What book/podcast are you reading or listening to at the moment?
We are HUGE podcast listeners, I (Jemma) get through at least 3 a day. Here are my top selects at the moment.

Claire Press – Wardrobe Crisis
Ella Grace Denton – ReWilding
Conscious Chatter
Gurls Talk
Monocle Design 

The list is endless!! 

Stories Behind Things . @storiesbehindthings

Jemma Finch . @jemma_finch
Ella Grace Denton . @ellagracedenton