Couverture and the Garbstore is a refreshing antidote to fast fashion
Versatile, functional fashion made for building a capsule wardrobe and outlasting micro-trends
image Team Woo
words Sophie Lou Wilson
Quitting fast fashion is sometimes easier said than done. Whether you’re cutting down or changing your shopping habits for good, you might be wondering what alternatives are out there. One option is to invest in a capsule wardrobe of stylish slow fashion basics that you can wear time and time again.
Partners in work and life Ian Paley and Emily Dyson founded Notting Hill-based creative concept store and menswear brand Couverture and the Garbstore in 2008 to provide an antidote to throwaway fashion and micro-trends. In the age of trendcore, where there’s a new micro-trend to follow every week, we’re burnt out by the ever-increasing speed of the trend cycle, instead hunting for brands that reject trends and make clothing designed to last, in terms of both materials and aesthetics.
Quality, fit and function are some of the Garbstore’s key pillars. Blending functional, performance-led Japanese, British and French designs, these versatile utilitarian styles include fitted denim jackets, sumptuous fleeces and cosy puffers complemented by practical accessories made in limited-run quantities using premium materials. These heritage-inspired menswear staples are designed to never go out of fashion.
The Garbstore’s brick-and-mortar store in Notting Hill is one of London’s cult menswear destinations. Housed in a three-storey converted townhouse, the upstairs is dedicated to Couverture, a curation of womenswear, accessories, jewellery, homewares and beauty originally founded by Emily Dyson in 1999. Meanwhile, downstairs is reserved for Garbstore, a selection of emerging, independent brands, cult international labels and the eponymous menswear brand created and designed by Dyson’s husband, Ian Paley.
Paley applies the experience he gained working for prestigious heritage brands Burberry, Levi’s and Paul Smith, where he learned how to make quick decisions and oversaw the process from buying fabrics to merchandising. Having grown up in the North East, teenager Paley saw fashion as mainly revolving around what to wear to the pub to impress girls and watch the footie. Studying menswear at uni, he focused on hands-on skills like pattern-cutting and learning the properties of different fabrics.
The Garbstore draws inspiration from timeless and ageless workwear silhouettes. Paley doesn’t design with Instagram in mind, but instead focuses on the art of making clothes that look good up-close in real life. Fit and fabrication come first while the uniform aesthetic puts quality before hype and longevity before fleeting trends.
The inspiration comes from vintage pieces sourced by Paley that are restored and expanded upon using original fabrics, using old methods of construction to craft modern silhouettes. Original trimmings and old-fashioned Talon Zippers are used as opposed to mass production options, making these pieces true slow fashion staples.
“We aim to create familiar garments that have a foot in the past yet look to the future,” Paley said in an interview. The brand’s mantra is “The way things last, the way things fit and the way things feel,” he added. These are simple principles, but it’s easy to lose track of them when fast fashion brands are bombarding us with what’s new 24/7. But while fashions may change, style stays the same. Garbstore’s cotton shirts, workwear co-ords and waxed parkas are designed with timeless, independent style in mind because conscious fashion and quality never go out of style.
Shop our curation of the Garbstore’s down-to-earth capsule wardrobe staples here.
Shop Couverture and the Garbstore
All products are selected independently by our editors from the Woo online store, a carefully curated platform for feel good fashion, beauty, wellness and lifestyle. Discover more here.