Beyond Remade: ”The next industrial revolution is the circular one”
We speak to the British vintage empire Beyond Retro on how it’s new sister venture wants to reinvent second-hand shopping.
By MEGHA PRAKASH
October 10, 2022
The founders of the UK’s largest vintage retailer Beyond Retro, Steven and Helene Carter-Bethell, just launched Beyond Remade, a new concept of using recycled clothing and turning them into new garments. In order to salvage and use leftover textiles from when people donate their old clothes, Beyond Remade’s aim is to offer reworked pieces created solely from leftover donated fabrics.
— We take recycled materials such as denim, duck canvas and suede and upcycle them into brand new pieces inspired by vintage classics, using both the intricate details of a product and raw material that can no longer be resold but can be given new life, Steven Bethell tells us.
The products are sourced in the same way they source products for Beyond Retro. It’s garments that have not reached their expiry date, that have made their way through the regular thrift and are now destined for third-world markets, fibre, or landfill. Started in the early 90s by Steven and Helene in the basement of their home to help provide a service to the Salvation Army, Beyond Retro’s partner company BVH Services has grown to become a unique player in the second hand goods market globally. They combine knowledge and experience in wholesale, retail, circular design, recycling, upcycling, and manufacturing and provide creative ideas and solutions to help deal with the overwhelming amount of stuff that we all consume. The goal is to play a meaningful role in defining, contributing to, and building a closed loop economy. Together with one of the largest traders in used goods in North America, Bank&Vogue, BVH Services is the operator of the largest commercial re-manufacturing facility in the world in India. Using their in-house processes and analytical capabilities, they are currently processing and digitizing thousands of garments per month for e-commerce. This also puts them in a prime position to support global brands by offering opportunities and solutions at an industrial scale to create a circular economy for their own product.
The textile quality in vintage garments is not necessarily easily found in newly produced pieces of clothing today, which is why the brand aims to prolong the longevity of second-hand garments — while also giving them a new meaning by reworking them into something else.
— The garments were all donated, to begin with. They are given to charities and whatever they can’t sell, we buy back and place them into our ecosystem. It is critical that those charities get that money so they can continue to do good as well and this process is an important part of our business. For the reworked pieces, we have a collaborative approach led by both myself and Helene, alongside our in-house team. For each collection we work with an external designer who can complement our vision, says Bethell. He adds:
— Recycling and buying second-hand is the foundation and purpose of why our business exists. We want to demonstrate to brands that it is possible and that the next industrial revolution is the circular one.