Vintage fashion with a twist: renting your next look

Vintage fashion is booming in south London, with an environmentally friendly approach.

Sam Hayward and Alice Brown, both actors, opened Clobber & Sprout three years ago.

The couple wanted to offer an alternative to fast fashion and make vintage clothes more accessible.

Hayward said: “Just trying to try to give people an option to dress a bit more sustainably, rather than looking for new fashion, relying on new clothes being made, obviously that’s very harmful and detrimental to the planet.

“Also, rental gives people an option to experiment and try new styles and just have fun with what they’re wearing and explore.”

Clobber & Sprout Pop-up at Deptford Market Yard

Fashion history

Brown’s grandparents were seamstresses in the 1970s.

They had accumulated a great inventory of pieces that they had either made themselves or collected over the decades. 

This is how they started running a vintage clothing rental pop-up at markets across London.

They are currently open in Deptford Market Yard Arch 1 until this Sunday. 

Old clothes, new style

However, since early 2020, Clobber & Sprout has also been available online all year round. 

Customers fill in a short survey asking general questions about their fashion style, measurements, style icons, the type of clothes they are looking for, colours, patterns, and what occasions they have in mind to wear the clothes. 

A bespoke rental box arrives by post filled with surprises: hand-picked items selected specially to style the customer. 

Customers can then use the clothes and return them after a month or buy any items they want to keep.

As Christmas is approaching fast, Hayward understands people want to try new looks, especially after a difficult couple of years.  

However, he would like to see people turn to fashion that already exists. 

Hayward said: “We’re basically trying to offer people an opportunity to still experiment, still have loads of fun, still dress up and look fantastic, but it’s just an opportunity to be a bit more considerate and conscious of where you’re where your clothes are coming from.”

So far, people have responded very positively when they learn about the sustainability focus behind Clobber & Sprout. 

Alice Brown, Clobber & Sprout co-founder

A vintage look forward

Hayward is excited because they are currently working on a project to put all their stock online. 

People will be able to pick what goes in their own boxes.

The website will allow customers to scroll through all the stock and choose exactly which pieces they want to rent for the month. 

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