Polish high-end fashion pop-up for ‘pre-loved’ clothes becomes first-of-its-kind to open on London’s fancy Oxford Street
A high-end pop-up shop for “pre-loved” clothes set up by a pair of London-based Polish friends has become the first store of its kind to trade on the UK capital’s renowned Oxford Street.
Founded by contemporary artist Piotr Krzymowski and art historian and art and fashion writer Ewa Kozieja, Loop Generation promotes sustainability and contributes to the circular fashion economy “by keeping fashion items in a constant loop” encouraging the resale and reuse of clothes.
Krzymowski told TFN: “We were incredibly happy that Westminster Council gave us permission to be the first second-hand on Oxford Street and we were in a space once occupied by a big fast-fashion brand.
“I think this shows that things are changing and people are moving away from fast-fashion a little bit, towards more sustainable forms.”
One of Loop Generation’s aims is to raise awareness of the environmental impact of fast-fashion.
Their research has revealed that only 20 percent of clothes are recycled, that buying second-hand reduces the carbon footprint by 83 percent and that every week 13 million fashion items are thrown away in the UK, amounting to 300,000 tonnes a year, the weight of the Empire State building.
They have also found estimates suggesting that by 2033, one third of all wardrobes will be made up of “pre-loved” clothes, a term favoured by Loop Generation over the equivalent ‘used or second-hand clothes’.
Krzymowski said: “I definitely feel that buying second-hand is no longer a taboo for many of today’s generations and we have received many compliments and words of support for our initiative, for example people have tagged us on Instagram after buying clothes from us.
“Some people have also bought from us and then brought the clothes back again to resell them, this is exactly our idea of the loop”.
Starting out from two boxes of clothes, since launching in July 2019 Loop Generation has grown to an outlet and storage of 5,000 items operating from an office in London’s Soho district.
Used items from sellers are listed by the pair on the company’s online platform and then shipped to buyers when sold, while some are used to stock the regular pop-ups, held every 1-2 months all over London, with a one-off also once held in Paris.
The idea, like with other fashion sites for the sale of used clothes, enables people to sell their used clothing items through the platform, however the founders are keen to emphasise the ways in which their platform is different, which includes the type of items sold.
Krzymowski told TFN: “The difference between us and other platforms is that we have all the items we sell at hand, which means that as soon as someone buys it online, we are able to send it out, whilst with other used clothing platforms, the item first has to be sent to the platform by the seller, before being inspected and sent by them to the buyer, so there is a delay.
“Apart from that, our platform is tailored towards a certain aesthetic, we mainly take and list clothes which we would both wear.
“If I had to define it, I would describe it as a cool, fashionable and desirable edit offering unique pieces elevating the everyday. The clothes are also mainly from high-end brands and we sell them at 80 percent of the recommended retail price.
“Another innovation is that we sell beauty items, which very few platforms do.
“The vast majority of these have never been opened or are perfumes which have been sprayed a few times only, but we mark that clearly if it is the case.
“Often people receive unwanted beauty items as presents and they are completely unopened, so we thought, why should they go to waste”.
Krzymowski and Koziela are now working towards finding a suitable location to set up a permanent London store for Loop Generation, with the pair not ruling out future potential plans of expansion into other countries, including bringing Loop Generation to their homeland of Poland.