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Now is the Time to Create your Own Brand

I’m confident that no one needs reminding of the fact that now is the perfect time to do something exceptional, be that find a hobby, develop a talent or discover a new skill.

I’m not here to pressure you into doing anything, because realistically we’re all approaching quarantine in our own way and not everyone is responding to this free time by being productive. But say you’re looking for some creative direction, or maybe your even just bored of your current quarantine uniform – you know the one I mean, that grey tracksuit you’ve donned every day since last weekend. Well this is a chance to solve both of those problems in one, it’s time to start thinking about your outfit choices again, but this time in a way that won’t have you scrolling relentlessly through Depop.

At the beginning of lockdown, I received a parcel in the post that contained a crochet needle and an array of different coloured wool. It was a kind gesture on the part of my parents to try and give me a project to work on, but at the time, the thought of crochet led me to 100 images of forever 21 bikinis and estranged Christmas presents from my grandparents. Nothing about the prospective hobby appealed to me.

For some reason the FBI agent in my laptop must not have realised that I’d already given up on the idea of putting my gifts to use, because I started seeing a stream of knit-wear related content appear on my Instagram explore page. In this instance the cunning power of subliminal advertising won and I started to see new potential in what I’d been so quick to dismiss. Over the course of a week I opened my eyes to a world of DIY, home crafts and most importantly self-made fashion.

Now before the thought of making my own clothes had even entered my head, I’d already become obsessed with the Instagram pages of independent labels like Paloma Wool and House of Sunny. They appealed to me not only for their sustainable approach to fashion and meticulously promoted aesthetic but for the way they’d reshaped the traditional knitted garment. My instant association with the itchy knitwear of my youth was replaced by the potential to create something entirely personalised and unique.

The level of effort that I’m proposing might already seem overwhelming, but hear me out. I love clothes. I may be scraping rent and on the verge of unemployment, but there’s not a chance I’m giving up the very fleeting surge of endorphins I get from buying new things. I’ll take momentary happiness over sustainable growth any day. But despite this reckless addiction, shopping sustainably has become of paramount importance to me. Gone are the days of rotating clothes on a one wear cycle and then discarding their cheap fraying seams to the bottom of my wardrobe. I don’t do that anymore, there’s nothing fun about fast fashion.

But that being said shopping sustainably is not cheap, you’ll be saving for some time just to buy a scrunchie off Reformations sale section. But you know what is cheap? Yarn and needles.

In case you haven’t already caught on to what I’m saying, consider this: As long as we’re stuck in quarantine there’s really no sense in buying new clothes. Why buy a whole new SS 2020 wardrobe to be trapped in the confines of your living room till October? In the current climate, as a population, we’ve been divided, we’re either all putting on weight or using Chloe Ting’s two-week ab challenge to get ripped, there’s no in-between. It’s very likely that any new piece you collate into your wardrobe now will not fit by the time we’re back out into the world, and you know what? That’s okay, accept it, we’re all changing.

So since we’ll all be walking back into reality as new people, now is the time to create your own brand. Don’t settle for fleeting trends and forcing yourself into sweaty perplex pieces you’re not even convinced suit you. Work out what you like and make it yourself, make it your brand.

Even if you struggle to know what you can do with the home craft crochet set you just ordered off Amazon prime, inspiration is out there. Once I started actively looking for my own design ideas I came to realise creativity is rife, it’s everywhere, on every platform, no matter what you like you’re bound to find it. From Rui Zhous, delicate and earthy knitted bodysuits, that have featured in Vogue, to Instagram influencer Lindsay Vrckovnik’s pastel, rouched designs, whatever style your dreaming of, you possess the capabilities to make it happen.

Learning the craft is part of the journey, it’s what’s going to shape the brand you create for yourself. Don’t give up at the first hurdle because perfection takes time, and what you have right now is a whole lot of time. Get inspired by the limitless potential that comes with the freedom of it, and disregard your preconceptions of what a knitted garment can be. Now is the time to rebrand your style, and you get to be the author of what comes next.

- Eleanor Hurley

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