Sudocrem, the multi-tasking skincare brand, are launching the first ever awards dedicated to celebrating the love of pre-loved! They have enlisted the help of Chris Renwick, Founder of sustainable fashion brand Lucy & Yak, to judge the Sudocrem Pre-Loved Awards.
Sudocrem are searching for individuals and retailers who champion the win-win merits of thrifting. There are several categories to enter. Everyone who enters goes into a prize draw to win a £1,000 Airbnb voucher and Airbnb vouchers worth £200 will be presented to the category winners.
The competition launched on 5th June 2023 and remains open until 31st August 2023.
We had the opportunity to speak to Chris about the awards, and his love of sustainable fashion.
Firstly, you will be a judge on the panel of Sudocrem’s Great British Pre-Loved Awards. Sudocrem are searching for the individuals and retailers who champion the win-win merits of thrifting. What sort of things will you be looking out for in the judging process?
I’ll be looking out for someone offering something unique in the pre-loved space. Also for those who are actively trying to pursue something that speaks to and benefits their community.
There are six categories in the competition. Which do you think is most interesting?
As a brand that is committed to reinvesting for good, and which often partners with charities, I think the Charity category is a great one for platforming some of the wonderful work that’s being done in that area.
You are the co-founder of Lucy&Yak, a well loved and sustainable clothing brand. What motivated you to create this business? Have you always loved clothes and fashion?
We’ve always had a good eye for vintage pieces. But I don’t think we ever thought we’d end up as a fashion brand. Early on, we were travelling and needed to earn a living to continue our travels so started upcycling pre-loved pieces into handmade pouches. Once back in the UK, we were selling vintage clothes online and saw that dungarees were always a massive hit. On our next trip we started searching for a manufacturer to make our now iconic Original Dungarees. That’s when the brand really took off!
Pre-loved fashion can consist of so many different things from thrifting second-hand clothes, to repurposing old garments. What excites you about the possibilities and creativity in sustainable fashion?
We love seeing people using their clothes to share a more authentic version of themselves. By choosing clothes which are made to last. Or.,make them last longer with creative upcycling; you end up with pieces with a story to tell and that are more valued- that’s where the magic really happens. We’ve seen how circularity can foster creativity in people to make the most of their clothes – the possibilities really are endless here.
What is an item of clothing you either can’t live without, or think everyone should have in their wardrobe?
A good sturdy pair of Birkenstocks.
How can shoppers be more ethically conscious when they are buying clothes?
Looking for quality is a big one here; well-made clothes can last you a lifetime. Looking for fabrics that are durable and versatile whilst also having good sustainability credentials.
And what things can retailers be doing to be more sustainable?
We like to think of ourselves as a square label with a circular soul – we want to keep clothes on people and out of landfill and taking responsibility for the entire life cycle of products is something other retailers could be doing to help both people and planet. Moreover, initiatives like Sudocrem’s Pre-loved Awards, which encourages people to take more sustainable steps in their everyday lives, are really important in promoting a sustainable future.
Throughout the month of June, Lucy&Yak will be donating a portion of profits from rainbow products to charities supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. This is a wonderful initiative. How can clothes empower or encourage communities?
Part of Lucy & Yak’s mission has always been to create clothes that are comfortable for every body – this comfort can take different forms, including wearing clothes that make a literal statement about our identities. We think that using our platform to raise the voices of people from different communities has been a powerful way to raise awareness and start important discussions.
The Lucy&Yak Brighton store also hosts lots of events. Do you have anything coming up that you would like to tell us about?
We have regular Re:Yak upcycling workshops which are just one part of several circularity initiatives under the Re:Yak umbrella including Imperfect Sales and Buyback scheme. The workshops help customers to extend the lifespan of their clothes through things like embroidery, painting, mending and more, giving them the skills to continue to do so! We also have regular Makers Markets where other independent retailers can come together to sell their products all from our store and allows their communities to come together with ours which we love.
What other sustainable brands in Brighton do you love?
We recently collaborated with our Brighton neighbour, ethical and sustainable eyewear brand, Pala Eyewear, to create a range of sunglasses. We’re both independent brands with the same commitment to ethical practices, so they were a great partner for us. The collection includes two different styles, with one being created exclusively for the collaboration, each in three colourways and you can buy online.