Sunday, December 21, 2014

INTERVIEW: Sophie Postma, Founder of Reclaim Bags

RECLAIM BAGS is a brand that was born in 2012 by British based designer, Sophie Postma whilst studying Fashion and Innovation at Leeds College of Art. The concept behind the brand is to produce a sustainable range of handbags and accessories that will change people’s perceptions of recycled products and test the limits of re-use.
By emerging ourselves within the fashion industry and through the use of innovative and contemporary design, RECLAIM BAGS hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding recycled products, with emphasis being that something beautiful can be produced out of something that would have otherwise been waste.
I’ve followed the progress of Reclaim since Day 1, but for those reading this who are unsure who you are, or what you’re about, please sum up the brand..
The idea for the brand was born whilst I was studying Fashion at university. The project I was working on at that time was based around innovation. After exploring many unusual materials I found the rubber material and knew immediately that it was something I wanted to work with and I then continued working with it throughout university. I got some great feedback and saw potential in the idea, encouraging me to continue after I had graduated and explore it further. 

What was the inspiration behind the brand - why did you decide to create pieces which do not require stitching and simply slot together?

The project was based around innovation and also creative and unique practices. It was exploring different methods that led me to the original way in which Reclaims Bags are held together - a method I decided to call the  'interlocking' method.
Which is your favourite product and why?
Picking a favourite is a really tough one I think. From the A/W 14 collection I really love the Small Backpacks and the Woven Tote as they are our most advanced bags yet. However a bag I always go back to is the classic, original Slip Clutch Large.
How are the pieces made?!
The process of making involves various different steps. Collecting the rubber tubes, a long cleaning process, drawing and cutting out the patterns, pressing out the brand name, assembling the pieces, finishing touches and lastly another clean.
What has been the Reclaim highlight for 2014? 
The highlight this year has been our pop-up concession in Topshop on Oxford Street. It was a very stressful time, but great in terms of raising the awareness and the profile of the brand. Other highlights have been securing various stockists and generally watching the brand grow.
Where do you hope to take the brand in 2015?
We have just recently brought out a range of men’s small accessories, which have been very popular. Lots of people have also been asking for a men’s range of bags so that’s in the pipeline for next year. 
For the coming women’s range we are experimenting with texture so expect some interesting, new materials. We would also love to have a pop-up concept store at some point.

Lots of love,
Katie x

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