Smart, focused and full of passion; meet Olivia Cunliffe, Huddersfield University student and founder of The Dress Box, as she prepares to bring her business offline and into the real world for a day – with her first-ever pop-up shop at The Craft Fair, within The Byram Arcade, Huddersfield, this Sunday (August 11th, 2019)
Spawning from Olivia’s desire to change the world, The Dress Box is a new online fashion distributor & media outlet. Although having only launched her business in April 2018, Olivia and The Dress Box are set for expansion with the upcoming launch of Green Garms – a new handpicked sustainable clothing range.
“I am a big fashion enthusiast, and I am an even bigger environmentalist,” Olivia explains. “Last year I turned my passion and dream into reality and set up The Dress Box, which originally and in all honesty, wasn’t created consciously to be eco-friendly, but It’s organically grown to be that way.
“At first The Dress Box was launched as a Depop shop and it was me selling my old clothes because I just had way too much. My university room was just mounting up with clothes so I knew that I had to do something.”
After identifying the need for a solution, Olivia took the plunge and quickly set up The Dress Box as a Depop shop, but it was not long after this that she thought “Why not make this into something bigger?”
“It dawned on me that what I was selling was my own clothes, my mum’s old clothes and bits and pieces that I’d sourced from local charity shops and that there was absolutely no reason as to why this thing couldn’t be grown and turned into a brand itself. The plan is to source unwanted garments, upcycle or refurbish them and get them back into peoples wardrobes.”
“I set up Green Garms, the sustainable clothing line, which is also our first collection. The aim of it is to diminish textile waste and to help stop fast fashion. With Green Garms, I want to try and help change consumer shopping habits and to attract them to shop from my stall instead of going to the fast-fashion giants like New look, Topshop and Primark, where things are just being thrown away so quickly.”
Each year in the UK, the amount of clothes sent to landfill is estimated to weigh as much as 350,000 tonnes, and it’s estimated that almost 700,000 tonnes of unwanted but usable textiles are sent to recycling centres, charity collections or clothing banks up and down the country.
“The Dress Box has two goals: firstly to minimise the need for new clothing production, and secondly to stop textile accumulation in landfill, and we are going to do that one sale at a time.
“I want to help get Huddersfield on the map as being an eco-friendly town because I don’t think it is at the moment,” Olivia says. “I also think that It’s important to support local businesses, and for those of us with the same eco- mindset to support each other and work together.
“The motto The Dress Box Is “Go Green, Shop Greener” and that’s what we are trying to reinforce and demonstrate with Green Garms. I want to try and show consumers a more sustainable path to looking and feeling good.”
Olivia is bringing her passion, energy and the launch of Green Garms to life for the first time at The Byram Arcade’s August Craft Fair. At the event, Olivia will be showcasing her first curated wardrobe which is made up of a mix of women’s and men’s clothing, although Olivia is keen to promote that the gender separation actually means nothing.
“The clothes are gendered in the sense of where they have come from, but at Green Garms, those clothes are for everybody, no matter their gender.
“If you like, get it and wear the shit out of it!”
Meet Olivia, support Huddersfield’s local business offering, and help change the world at The Craft Fair within the Byram Arcade, Huddersfield on Sunday 11th August from 10 am – 4 pm.