So you shop at the usual high street stores. You like some of the stuff, but have never felt overly inspired by rose patterned tights or oversized blazers. There is often little room for originality in the changing rooms of Buchanan Street, and we’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when we see someone wearing the same coat that we bought last week — even worse when they’re wearing it better. If you feel like high street shops are dictating what you wear, then Glasgow Craft Mafia could be the answer.
Centred around a love of all things crafty, Glasgow Craft Mafia are a collective of different businesses, each specialising in different areas of homemade design including clothing, accessories, stationary and homeware. They have thrived on the recently renewed interest in crafts and homemade clothes — often amongst students. Whether this is due to the credit crunch or just what’s fashionable, the buzz around craft can’t be ignored — and if you’ve always wanted to discover it for yourself, Glasgow Craft Mafia offers unique products direct from independent designers at prices that won’t run the rivers of your loan dry (that’s if the SLC have sorted it out yet). While there's really no need to fret about expense — the prices barely exceed Primark’s — the old cliché of quality over quantity still reigns true here. It may not even be that you’re overly worried about what you wear — and perhaps rightly so — but that you just want that brooch or purse that is uniquely made for you.
Glasgow Craft Mafia has gone from strength to strength since its inception here in the West End where, taking inspiration from similar Craft Mafia organisations in the USA, they decided to bring together their businesses. Since then, Miso Funky has been featured in the Sunday Times, Showpony's wares have been seen in Vogue and Pumpkinsputnik is even featured as part of the upcoming ‘Gifted’ exhibition at The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. But this doesn’t take away from the homegrown appeal, and with so much to choose from you’re still guaranteed to find something personal. Each company has its own individual inspiration and style — it is hard not to be charmed, for example, by the Japanese-inspired accessories and stationary of Asking for Trouble. Similarly, the recycled fashion of Pistol Whip Vintage would make even your mum proud.
Most of the Craft Mafia businesses sell their items on the Internet (see glasgowcraftmafia.co.uk), but come together at special markets and events to sell to the craft enthusiasts of Glasgow. If that includes you, the next ‘Handmade Haven’ events are due to take place at Mono, Kings Court, Kings Street on October 25 and 29 from 1-6pm (so even if you went out the night before, you can still make it along). Keep your eye out for events coming up this Christmas too, which include another market.
Whether you’re the king or queen of craft, or a vintage virgin, you really won’t want to miss this.