What can only be described as Britain's best bobble hats
Near the Kingsland Road end of Balls Pond Road in London’s trendy Dalston lies Here Today Here Tomorrow, an inspirational shop-and-design studio specialising in fashion created through sustainable practices.
The shop – set up in 2010 by a group of London College of Fashion graduates including Katelyn Toth-Fejel, Anna-Maria Hesse, Emma Dulcie Rigby and Julia Crew – is the response to an urge to “take risks with new possibilities for products and the fashion business model,” says co-director Katelyn Toth-Fejel. “As designers, we are very concerned by the disposable and throw-away nature of fashion and society as a whole. The environmental and social impacts of thoughtless production and consumption is something we’ve wanted to take a stand against; the best way to do that with our skills seemed to be to seek alternative ways of living and making in our relationship with designed goods.”
As a combined studio and shop, Here Today Here Tomorrow’s owners practice as designers while simultaneously having a place to sell their own collections and other handpicked labels (current stock includes items from Antiform and Outsider). It is a successful concept, even though the shop opened in the middle of the recession. “We are very proud and encouraged, particularly when we can sense how appreciative people are for an alternative to the sterile feeding frenzy that buying things can be,” Katelyn says. Plus, she adds, “by using the shop as a studio and making the products we sell openly and transparently, we connect the customer and local passers-by to the processes involved in making the products. Showing people the materials, skills and time required to create unique products by hand encourages customer engagement and understanding.”
With an inclusive and expanding vision, Here Today Here Tomorrow’s design collective has also created its own fair-trade label in collaboration with artisans in Nepal. The signature style? “Bold geometric patterns, playful colour combinations and classic shapes to create striking and desirable fashion collections,” says Katelyn. That currently translates into beautiful knitted skirts and tops, and what can only be described as Britain’s best bobble hats.
These days, many of Here Today Here Tomorrow’s collections are available elsewhere (including online), but the Dalston shop remains a central hub connecting designers to customers and locals through regular sewing, knitting and natural-dye workshops. These ensure that the shop is “a local place of creative making for others,” Katelyn says. It is also her solution to sustainable-fashion-fatigue among those yet unconvinced of its merits. “What we find people respond to is the stories behind the products we make and sell; about where they come from, who made them and what they are made of. You will rarely hear those stories in conventional shops so we recommend people look around and visit local, independent retailers. Even if they aren’t specifically sustainable they are usually run by passionate, informed people who are more than happy to tell the story behind the products they sell.” Just like the HTHT collective, which makes a trip to 30a Balls Pond Road a must on any visit to London.
Words by Emma Lundin
Photos by Agnes Loyd-Platt
HERE TODAY HERE TOMORROW
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