Here Today Here Tomorrow is a collaborative studio shop founded and run by dedicated designers Katelyn Toth-Fejel, Julia Crew and Anna-Maria Hesse. Based in busy Dalston, the store and studio sees all kinds of people come through on a daily basis and its proprietors work tirelessly to share, showcase and sell sustainable and ethical fashion and accessories, connecting customers and local passers-by to the materials, skills and processes involved in producing HTHT’s wares.
The designer/maker trio’s work focuses on supporting many elements of sustainability including high-quality handmade craftsmanship, fair trade, durability, locality, recycling, the use of natural dyes and organic materials, individuality, and transparency of production. It’s Katelyn, Julia and Anna’s hope that their beautiful shop will reinforce and promote a strong set of values, encouraging a change in the way we consume and turning us on to superb hand-made garments and brands.
The east London emporium is wonderfully unique in its dual purpose as both studio and shop. It’s one thing being able to pop in and browse a great collection of consciously-made products but another entirely to be able to take a peek at the work that goes into their creation. Anna believes that the HTHT studio is a vital element of the store. She tells us that, ‘Transparency and showing people the materials, skills and time required to create unique products by hand is something that is not frequently communicated to the average high street consumer, and encourages engagement and understanding of issues relating to sustainability. It also means we have direct contact with our customers, allowing us to receive feedback on a personal level, breaking the barrier that usually exists between designer and consumer. This connection is unique and allows us to make products that are meaningful, personal and most importantly items that will be cherished.’
No two days are ever the same at Here Today Here Tomorrow. The team can get up to a million and one things in a single afternoon. Because HTHT designs collectively for their own fair trade label while running a shop filled with work by other designers and also run workshops and events, every day requires a huge amount of flexibility and creativity. Anna explains that the team are on duty for all sorts of tasks every day, ‘from teaching a knitting class in the morning, or having a meeting in town, to doing admin then over to an interview, we might also be in the middle of developing new design ideas and working on specs for the next season, chatting with customers, organising campaigns, sending out orders, making new products ourselves and working on various other projects in the community.’
In addition to stocking awesome handmade and ethical fashion brands such as Antiform, Agnessaga and The Pattern Guild, Here Today Here Tomorrow is now producing its fifth season of own-brand fairtrade goods created in collaboration with artisans from the Association for Craft Producers (ACP) in Kathmandu. ACP provides opportunities for low income, primarily female artisans in 15 different districts of Nepal. Each product in the HTHT collections is handmade and provides the artisan who made it with economic and social support and champions environmentally and animal-friendly practises.
From geometric jewellery to dyeing workshops and jazzy mittens or even a live set by the likes of Alessi’s Ark and other brilliant musical acts and performance artists, Here Today Here Tomorrow is a purveyor of hope and happiness. Heavily involved with Fashion Revolution Day on 24th April, the shop and studio hosted inspirational discussions about setting a new ethical track for the fashion industry and ran a fantastic programme of free workshops and demonstrations to get people inspired by and engaged in what goes into the making of their clothes.
Currently the shop and studio’s attention is fully focused on continuing work with their fair trade producer group in Nepal. After the effects of the devastating earthquakes that have recently struck Nepal it’s of the utmost importance to the team to ensure that the country can begin to recover, rebuild and sustain its people’s livelihoods and work. Together with many other ethical brands and retailers Here Today Here Tomorrow is part of a campaign called Brand Aid which supports and raises money for those who desperately need help to recover from the earthquake’s aftermath.
With fierce determination, enviable product curation and design talents and a great partners in artisanal and crafting communities all over the world, Dalston’s Here Today Here Tomorrow is an example of the kind of place we’d love to visit every day. Why not stop by for a chat and a browse, discover an awesome set of sustainable and ethical brands with great aesthetics at their core, book a workshop, support the Brand Aid campaign, and shop the studio’s own fair trade label. Support putting an end to the harmful practises of fast fashion, big-up your local independent shops and designers, and give these guys your undivided love; they absolutely deserve it.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth