Preston designer Eleanor Bradley is on a mission to inspire people to make more sustainable fashion choices.Advertisement
Eleanor is the owner of Wild Strings, a slow fashion clothing range that features unique pieces made from second-hand materials. She runs the brand from her attic at her home in central Preston.
Growing up with a passion for textiles, Eleanor moved to Preston from West Yorkshire in 2014 to follow her dreams and study Fashion at UCLan. However a year working at a fast fashion company as part of her degree led Eleanor to view the industry in a different light.
“It was an incredible experience and I learned a lot about how the fashion industry worked, in ways that were bad as well as good,” said Eleanor.
“My time at the fast fashion company opened my eyes to the issues within the industry; unrealistic turnaround times, a heavy reliance on plastic-based materials and virgin materials, and a ridiculously low cost price for garments.
“I really didn’t want to jump back into this side of the industry, and decided instead to dive head-in to creating my own brand, which focussed on embracing slow fashion and slowing down our consumption of clothing.”
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Eleanor officially launched Wild Strings in June 2019, although she had been working on the brand since graduating in the summer of 2018.
She said: “It was always my long-term plan to run my own business and once I graduated I decided that it was as good a time as any to give it a go.
“I also love sewing and designing in equal measure, and there isn’t a lot of opportunity to do both roles within the fashion industry.”
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Eleanor creates her Wild Strings clothing and accessories using second-hand materials including curtains, duvet covers and unwanted jeans, meaning each piece is unique.
“My ethos is to create clothing we can connect with,” said Eleanor. “I create beautiful clothing from second-hand materials so that women can confidently show off their personality while caring for the planet.
“I am inspired by the second-hand fabrics I source; each piece has so much history, and I love creating new pieces from these to continue the story. I love getting out in nature too, and Mother Nature is an inspiration for me to continue to do better and create better to protect her.”
Eleanor is hoping she can encourage others to make the change from fast fashion, and says she is already seeing a difference in shopping habits.
“I believe that we should all be doing a little bit more to improve the planet, and I definitely think lockdown has made people more considerate about what they purchase and how much.
“My aim is to ensure that Wild Strings can continue to be a destination for upcycled fashion, and I would love to continue to welcome new customers to the slow fashion community.
“I want the business to be an inspiration to others to show that fast fashion isn’t the only option.”
To find out more, visit the Wild Strings website or follow @wearwildstrings on Instagram.
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What do you think of Eleanor’s work? Let us know in the comments.