An Ipswich fashion designer who works from her small shack in a corner of a muddy field is turning fast fashion waste into affordable clothing.
Julia Markovic, the owner of Julia Peculiaa, has taken her first steps in a new business of reinventing clothes from charity shops.
Ms. Markovic found her passion reinventing clothes during the pandemic.
She said: “I needed to improve my wellbeing and got a call from a vintage clothing company based in Colchester so decided to do some tailoring for them.
“I reworked a lot of the items they gave me and had some really tough design challenges, but I enjoyed it.
“Reinventing clothes is really engaging and makes me feel really good. It’s my ‘safe place’.
The Ipswich resident said her new hobby is linked to her previous jobs as a charity saleswoman.
All the clothes she reinvents come from charity shops and they are usually items that no one wanted to buy.
She said: “When I started my career in charity retail about 10 years ago, I was shocked by the ridiculous amount of clothing waste sold to textile companies.
“Unfortunately, that volume has grown exponentially, as fast fashion gets faster.
“I found a way to reuse these clothes in a sustainable and eco-friendly way, making them unique, beautiful and affordable.”
Ms Markovic, who works from her small trailer, said she plans to expand her micro-business this year and attend more festivals.
She recently showcased her items at a makers market where she received many positive reviews.
“Most people are amazed that I took clothes no one wanted anymore and reinvented them into something new.
“I sold my items to people between the ages of 8 and 80.
“Everything is handmade here in Ipswich. One client even compared me to Vivienne Westwood. I will take this!
“Slow fashion is usually high-end designer items at high prices, so I also want to change that and make my clothes affordable for everyone.”
Ms. Markovic built her website and now sells her designs online.
Julia Peculiaa’s offer includes t-shirts, blouses, crop tops, jackets, jeans and much more.
Most of the designs can see influences from the 90s, street-wear and a hint of punk style.
Ms. Markovic added: “The clothes I make are very simple. I don’t over-design things. I try to keep them as simple and attractive as possible.
“It helps me keep my costs down and sell them at affordable prices because that’s really the key thing for me.”