Introduce us to you and your brand!
Remode Collective is an award-winning social enterprise set up to explore ways to repurpose textiles locally and build new skills, while celebrating multicultural diversity. We are based in Edinburgh and we offer a range of creative workshops, classes, community projects and events, as well as collect leftover and unwanted textiles to produce handmade and unique accessories. Our aim is to establish a multicultural community of crafters, designers, seamstress and tailors that come together to learn from each other, while promoting a sustainable and ethical use of skills and resources. As our same name says, we are a COLLECTIVE of people with different skills, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, that share the same passion for sewing, fashion and design.
How has your brand/work developed since you began?
When we first established in 2017 we had a strong vision of what we wanted to do, but we didn’t know exactly how to get there. It was an exciting, and at times very challenging, journey to arrive at what Remode is today. We had to find our own identity as a sustainable brand, while also learning what is marketable and what is not. We were lucky to have a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who are very passionate about the work we do and together we were able to refine our designs and create the product range we have today, which we are very proud of.
What are your main inspirations?
Our products are handmade using repurposed textiles. Our designs are inspired by the material we have access to and by the people we work with (that is why some of our products are named after the person who created the design). We want to create products that have a real practical purpose in our customers’ lives, but at the same time we want to celebrate individuality, diversity and differences playing around unique combinations of colors and texture of fabric.
What do you consider to be your most popular product? Why do you think it resonates with people?
The Monika tote bag and our rolltop backpack are two of our best sellers. They most certainly combine aesthetics and purpose in a way that people find interesting.
What piece are you the proudest of?
All our products have a story behind them and it always makes us proud to see them being used by someone in their daily lives.
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?
Wearing several hats is probably the most challenging aspect of being a designer. You are not only responsible for creating beautiful products, you also have to be able to keep your finances in place, market your products, establish good supporting working relationships etc. It can be very difficult. That is why we decided to come together as a collective, so that we can work together and learn from each other’s strengths.
Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?
A big accomplishment for us was receiving Cemvo’s Ethnic Minority Social Enterprise Award in 2018. This was a great recognition of our work with communities and our commitment to a circular economy system.
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
When we were looking for potential retailers, SDX stood out because of your commitment in promoting local businesses at a very competitive price point. Your shops are also very well curated and easily accessible which are important considerations for every business.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect to your business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020?
Like a lot of our small businesses working only with freelance workers, the constraints imposed by the lock-down had a direct impact on the livelihood of everyone involved in the business. Before the pandemic, all our income streams relied on face to face activities and we were not set up to move our services and products online. However, thanks to our committed team we were able to build resources and adapt our operations to the changing circumstances. For sure 2020 brought a lot of new challenges to our plans to scale up the business, but we are really proud of how we were able to find innovative alternatives to deliver our services and products. Today, we feel positive about the future and we are excited to explore new opportunities of growth for the business and the people who work within it.
What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?
We are happy to be part of SDX because of your vibrant community of makers who constantly inspire us to be better at what we do. We also hope to have more meaningful conversations with a wider audience who appreciate the effort local businesses put into their work. Last but not least, we hope to inspire people to opt for high quality eco-friendly products in an effort to promote positive consumer behaviors.
If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
Dream big but take small steps.
And finally, help share some motivation with your favourite inspirational advise or quote!
“When you have different ethnicities, different cultures, you’re not divided, you’re multiplied.” Christian Louboutin