Traid – reuse, recycle, recreate

Window display of Traid charity shop in BrixtonBrixton’s Traid has always been ahead of the trend, upcycling clothes since July 2013. Simone Richardson dropped in

fashionable woman
Traid manager Laura Casas

Traid, a charity with 11 shops in London dedicated to stopping people throwing away clothes, has given more than £3 million to projects improving social and environmental conditions in the textile industry – helping cotton farmers to reduce pesticide use, establishing cooperative textile businesses and developing eco-friendly textile production processes.

Laura Casas, originally from Spain, manages the Brixton store. “I have learned how to run a store, the value of clothes and how to give second-hand clothes a life,” she says. “Traid tries to educate younger people in the idea of reusing and recycling.”

Laura grew up with the love of her own creations after studying creative patterning in Spain followed by a tailoring course at Newham College in East London.

Her personal sense of style is amazing. She always tries to reuse, recycle and recreate her own clothes, saying: “When you get a hand on it, it is rewarding and you are inspired.

“I like to take something that no one wants any more and give it a second life. I try to do it for myself, to create new out of things that already exist. I never go out and buy fabrics.”

Francesco Colucci window dresser at the charity Traid
Francesco Colucci

Francesco Colucci (left) moved from Italy ten years ago after training in fine arts and has been doing the window dressing at Traid Brixton ever since.

“The part that I love most about my job is how I translate my ideas in the final result,” he says. “I make use of garments, accessories and objects that I found in the shop.”

Francesco says people’s approach to sustainability has changed. “Second hand no longer means scrap, but raises an awareness against consumerism and expectation.”

Traid, 2 Acre Lane
10am – 6pm Monday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm Sunday