Photographer & Founder of Bumbaby
Could you introduce yourself to our community?
I’m a freelance photographer based in south London.
Tell us about Bum baby?
Bum Baby is an online shop for vintage /dead stock swimwear and lingerie.
What was your motivation to start Bum Baby?
I’ve had the idea of starting up a vintage brand for about a year but I really set my mind to it when we got lockdown back in March. As a photographer I could no longer work so I used the time to put my mind to making Bum Baby become a reality.
How did you get into selling preloved swimwear & lingerie?
I’ve always had a slight obsession with pants; and I think that the way lingerie and swim used to be made is just so much more flattering and stylish so I’ve always been drawn to the styles from the 80s and 90s particularly. When I really thought about starting up Bum Baby, I realised that I have a good eye for finding items; I already had a good number of personal pieces, so it just went from there.
Do you have any advice to others wanted to launch a company?
I’m still so young in terms of the business, I only launched about a month ago but already I’ve learnt so much! I think the key is to be patient and be passionate. I think you have to be really in love with what your selling and understand that these things take time and a lot of work so you really need to believe in your business and want it to succeed.
What was important to you when deciding to launch Bum Baby?
Affordability. One thing I’ve really noticed is how expensive a lot of swimwear and lingerie brands are. Modern brands seem to emulate the styles and cuts of vintage but are still quite pricey. I wanted the items I was sourcing to be at a price point that was affordable to my audience. The other thing I really wanted was for the site to feel relatable for women. I really want to shoot with girls who are a range of sizes as swimwear can fit so different on different bodies.
What have you done to be more environmentally conscious with Bum Baby?
All of my stock is essentially second hand; weather it’s a vintage piece or a deadstock item. So nothing is being made new. Also I normally only have one (sometimes two) of each piece available. I’m currently working on making all my packaging and labelling all fully biodegradable.
Do you feel that there are positive changes happening in the fashion industry with sustainability and more conscious shopping?
Yes I think people are becoming more conscious and aware of the negative impact fast fashion can have on the environment, I think there is definitely a surge in sustainable and second hand brands which is great to see but I still think we have a long way to go with it being more readily available and accessible to everyone.
Have you made any big changes to be more environmentally conscious?
I think the key to becoming more environmentally conscious is actually by taking lots of small changes. I think its important not to put too much pressure on yourself to do everything all at once. Don’t buy plastic bottles, have a keep cup, walk to places when possible, get a metal straw, do what you can and build up to the bigger things over time.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Having a conscience about your impact on the environment around you. I think today it’s really hard to ignore the bigger picture and how much we are damaging our surroundings; I don’t think you need to perfect, you just need to make a conscious effort to do things like shop sustainably when and where you can. Often a little research goes a long way, there’s lots of great people and businesses out there who are making being sustainable that much easier to incorporate into everyday life.
Tips for people wanting to be more sustainable in the way they shop?
In terms of fashion; I think it’s really important that people think whether they really need an item. Try and invest in key pieces that you will wear over again. Often items that are cheaply made fall apart after a few wears; investing in better pieces is much more sustainable in the long run.
Are you a fan of vintage and antique pieces?
Yes, I love them. Most of my favourite items of clothing are Vintage. I really love vintage Levi’s they just fit so much better. I also am a big fan of vintage jackets. I have a red suede one that I found on ebay for only £10 which I adore.
Do you have a favourite vintage/antique piece?
Yes, I have an antique sideboard that I found in a shop in Norwich when I was sixteen. Its maroon and has beautiful hand painted birds on the doors. I love it! Also, it weirdly smells amazing… think it must be the wood it was made with.
What do antiques mean to you?
Antiques mean a lot to me; I was lucky enough to be brought up around them. Growing up my parents obsessively collected antique teapots and toothbrush holders and their house is full of them. I spent a lot of time being dragged to plenty of antique fairs with them just so they could go and try to find certain teapots. The collection is amazing, they have a teapot in the form of anything you can imagine. My favourite is a cloud with cherubs as the handle and spout.
Do you feel that the modern consumer struggles to know where to buy pre-loved pieces?
Yes I do; I think people are washed with so much fast consumerism that it becomes so easy to go with what’s right in front of you and can be brought with the click of a button online. Its really sad that people tend to spend more time online shopping than actually going out and sourcing items; but that’s also why I think it’s wonderful that more and more sustainable and vintage brands are popping up in the form of online shops.
Have you ever bought antique jewellery?
Yes; I have a beautiful antique gold necklace with my birthstone in the middle of. I never take it off.
Do you have a favourite piece of jewellery antique or new?
My favourite piece of jewellery is a beautiful bronze torc that was previously my Grandmas; she brought in France years ago and I always thought it was so pretty. When she passed away it was passed on to me and I treasure it dearly.
Which of our PI London pieces is your favourite and why?
I’m in love with the nineties gold hoops! I think a good pair of hoop earrings go a long way and I love the cut of these, they have a good ‘chunk’ to them!