• Idle Hands Collective

Market Place: Soul and Flare

Upcycled and Vintage clothing + Alterations by Gayle Bennett (@gaybenne).

Gayle is passionate about creating a sustainable wardrobe that doesn’t compromise style. She uses her skills as a seamstress to create timeless pieces out of garments that would otherwise be thrown away. This coincides with a thriving vintage store on Depop and an alterations service in Nottingham.

What is Soul and Flare and why do you do it?

“Soul and Flare is a restyled and vintage clothing brand selling feminine clothing. I started it a few years ago after running vintage clothing shops and I’ve been a seamstress forever. I saw the vast amount of second hand clothes being wasted in the country and wanted to combine it with my skill. So I started restyling clothing that were technically going to waste. I started with small designs, I have about five staple designs that I keep on bringing out and I like to think they are timeless so don’t go out of style.”

What is the importance of makers and vintage markets?

“There getting bigger. More people are wanting to shop independent rather than going to the big high street chains. They are also starting to thing about shopping sustainably, rather than spending their money at big brands people are thinking a lot closer to home. Either through people they know or going to local markets and supporting the communities there.”

How can we be more sustainable as consumers?

“STOP BUYING NEW! It is difficult sometimes I know. Women are the gender we need to be tackling as men are often sustainable without realising it, they often will keep a pair of jeans for thirty years. My boyfriend has clothes he’s had since he was 16 that he still wears.

I always say if your going to buy secondhand, don’t go in with any expectations. Don’t go in thinking “I want a jacket or pair of jeans that fit me perfectly”, you won’t find exactly what you want in one shop. Spend half an hour once a week doing a few charity shop runs and if you see something that will fit into your wardrobe, buy it there and then. Don’t plan to go and find something specific because you’ll get frustrated and give up. That’s when you can be tempted into fast fashion. Always question if you really need that item- that’s the main thing.”

Find Gayle:

Instagram @gaybenne and @soulandflare