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“Vintage is as close as it gets to being sustainable when it comes to fashion”

Each week at the Sustainable Shopper, Stylist talks to the people focused on creating a more conscious shopping space for all. This time, Natasha Fernandes Anjo – founder of accessories label Roop – talks to fashion editor Harriet Davey about the joys of vintage. 

After becoming an Instagram hit, Roop – founded in 2019 by Natasha Fernandes Anjo – quickly became a cult label with its bags made from remnant and vintage fabrics being a fashion insider favourite. Putting the fun into sustainable fashion, and paving the way for upcyled pieces to feel like new, the Manchester brand is now also sold at Selfridges.

Fast moving, without the fast fashion element, Roop’s signature Furoshiki bag created using cleverly tied knots has now been joined by the latest Monica shoulder bag style; along with scrunchies, headscarves and face masks. 

Each item is one-of-a-kind, handmade by the creator herself with no material going unused. When you buy from Roop, you’re supporting a small brand that is packed full of talent and overflowing with love for the world we live in. Here, Natasha reveals her eco-consious shopping hacks to the Sustainable Shopper.

Natasha Fernandes Anjo founder of Roop
Natasha Fernandes Anjo founder of Roop

What is your earliest memory of sustainability?

Natasha: Living on my own really opened my eyes to how wasteful one person can be. When you’ve got to take out your own rubbish, you end up realising how much you create and I ended up wanting to do my bit for the planet (and do less trips to the bins).

I’ve always loved vintage and rummaging in charity shops – much to my mum’s despair when I was younger – my style was, erm, interesting. But I think my love for the unique and second hand pieces has held me in good stead with creating ROOP.

Is there such a thing as truly sustainable fashion?   

I think vintage is as close as it gets to being truly sustainable when it comes to fashion. We’ve already got enough clothing to last us forever. So creating new, whether it’s sustainable or not, the fashion industry is a wasteful one. 

Roop accessories
Roop accessories

What makes Roop stand out in the industry and how do you aim to be even more sustainable in the future?

Me! I’m the heart of ROOP it all comes from my brain and my mission is to make everyone’s arms and hair as cute as possible. 

I used to work in a shop that sold remnant fabrics and I couldn’t believe how much waste there was at all times. It led me down the path I’m on now to help reuse all of these unwanted textiles to create new pieces. 

Investment pieces vs fast fashion: how do you get customers to care?

It’s not easy to change peoples mindset, but as the conversation around fashion changes people are slowly coming around to supporting small and more sustainable businesses. Spending more on quality pieces instead of quantity and waiting items to be better and last longer. 

I think what people love is the story behind the things they buy. By giving items a personality you give them a meaning. It’s important to get these messages across to love what you buy. 

Green satin Roop bags
Green satin Roop bags

What changes would you like to see happen in the fashion industry? 

I’d love to see more responsibility on social media, less hauls and more transparency. Transparency everywhere in fact, and a shake up in the traditional fashion calendar and expectations. 

I don’t think we need endless collections with hundreds of items in them, but maybe that’s just me?

    Three sustainable shopping hacks 

    1. Do you love it? Like really love it? Wait. Wait to see if you can’t stop thinking about it, and then go for it.
    2. Do you know who made it and how it has been made?
    3. Can you find it second hand?

    Sustainable Shopper edit by Natasha:

    Images: courtesy of Roop

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