Pop Up Fashion in the Merchant City

IF you see a shipping container in Hutcheson Street in the Merchant City, don't walk past:

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Victoria McQuillan of Think BoutiquePicture: Kirsty Anderson
Victoria McQuillan of Think BoutiquePicture: Kirsty Anderson

go in to the Drop Down Pop Up shop.

The brainchild of a group of five Glasgow-based ethical fashion retailers, it brings a whole new shopping experience to the city.

Victoria McQuillan, of Think Boutique, Claire Kennedy, of Rapa Nui Gallery, Niki Taylor, of the Top Project, Annalisa Simonella, of allenomis, and Aimee Kent formed eco design collective Refashion Glasgow last year to raise awareness of style-led ethical and sustainable design.

A million miles away from the tye-die and hemp hippy image of green fashion, they sell cutting edge stylish pieces that are much sought after. Many items on sale at the pop up shop, on during the Merchant City Festival, are exclusive and can't be bought anywhere else in Scotland.

"Ethical fashion can be stylish and design led and you can get things that are a bit different but are very wearable to have in your wardrobe or your house," explains Victoria, who set up Think Boutique four years ago.

"We want to make people think about what they're shopping for, so it's not a traditional shop with the usual shopping experience of walking in and browsing.

"Because we're going to be in a container on the street it will be a totally different experience. We're going to dress it with funky vinyls on the outside and decorate the inside with newsprint and make it feel like more of a gallery space, though obviously you'll be able to buy everything that's in it."

During the run of the pop up shop there will be events involving shoppers in the whole ethos of the project, including a living mannequin and kids upcycling art workshop on July 26, a clothes upcycling and repair cafe on July 27 and a fashion swap on August 3.

"The swap shops are always really popular, who doesn't like free clothes?" asks Victoria. "We make sure people bring high quality stuff, so it's things that people have once loved but are ready to pass on to someone else.

"It will be on all day, so if you come in the morning you can get your tokens and come back to see what gems people have brought in throughout the day."

Rapa Nui Gallery blends modern design with environmental responsibility and offers a collection of homeware, gifts and art, which is bright and eye catching with a quirky edge.

Enjoy a range of upcycled, fairtrade and organic clothing and accessories featuring bright pops of colour, vintage inspired shapes and one off designs from Think Boutique.

Top Project will be showcasing its own range of unique, eye-catching silk tops and covetable, luxurious silk vintage blouses as well as a range of work from emerging print designers and illustrators.

While allenomis creates a range of clothing in futuristic shapes and gorgeous fabrics which, uniquely, are both glamorous and practical - the pop up will host a range of reversible accessories.

And Kenyan-born Aimee Kent, a Glasgow School of Art graduate, makes a range of quirky, trendsetting, sustainable fashion and one-off limited edition upcycled pieces, all inspired by the African textiles she grew up with.

Drop Down Pop Up Shop, from July 24 until August 3 on corner of Hutcheson Street and Ingram Street, Glasgow. Visit facebook.com/RefashionGlasgow and twitter.com/ReFashionGla



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