Here we combine the storytelling with sustainability, we will fill this space with stories from around the world, celebrating the connection we have to these wonderful material things around us.

This piece was written by our talented writer Hana Al-Momani.

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Natasha Tonic


the short: biodegradable hemp swimwear! made by hand in los angeles.

the story:

serbian/croatian natasha always wanted to be a designer, but growing up in belgrade this

wasn’t considered a viable career path for her. she lost confidence in her passion but was inspired

by her father’s entrepreneurial spirit to do as her heart directed. whilst pregnant in la, natasha

thought back to the hemp ropes her croatian family used out at sea. “if hemp can survive the ocean

waves”, she thought, “why not make swimwear from the natural fabric?”. She began sewing and

swimming in her own pieces, made from a blend of organic cotton, hemp and 4% lycra. she swam

in the sea, the pool, in chlorine, to product test. she hung her swimwear to dry in the sun and went

on to yoga in the suit. natasha spent a long time on development to ensure a swimsuit that

delivered, and what she found was that her new designs were outperforming traditional polyester

versions. and so the brand was born.

the sustainability:

natasha tonic have made it their mission to build better swimwear. here are some of the things they’re doing for sustainability:

- using natural hemp fibre that’s anti-microbial, uv resistant, durable and a healthier choice for

your skin.

- designing seasonless swimwear that doubles as lingerie, bodysuits and activewear

- printing by hand to pass good energy from maker to wearer

- sewing, dying and designing locally in los angeles to reduce carbon footprint

- donating 5% of every swimsuit to combat plastic pollution in our oceans

Like what you’ve read? Shop, follow and learn more about Natasha Tonic’s mission:


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the short: linen ‘easy-wear’ created from off-cuts. designed and made in hackney as consciously as


the story:

amy ward designs clothes for comfort and purpose. she started bug to “create garments that

reflect the ideology that we should all buy less and admire quality and consideration over quantity”.

her materials are locally sourced, end of rolls in all natural fibres (cotton or linen blends). her

pieces are only made by hand and on a very small scale. they’re made to last and finished to a very

high standard, with french seams, overlocking and double stitching on weak points. amy’s hope is

that her customers will cherish and repair their garments over the years, because the things we

surround ourselves with matter.

the sustainability:

bug clothing have made it their mission to create garments that allow us to admire

quality and consideration over quantity. Here are some of the things they’re doing for sustainability:

- manufacturing exclusive with end of roll and dead-stock fabrics, to prevent waste and over-


- prioritising natural fibres to avoid plastic and chemical pollution

- providing comprehensive sizing details online and over the phone to prevent exchanges and

returns, reducing their carbon footprint

- making to order, rather than holding stock, prevents waste from over-production.

like what you’ve read? Shop, follow and learn more about bug clothing’s journey:


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the short: a clothes switching event to redefine newness and grow the sharing economy.

the story:

at the end of 2017 jemma and ella of stories behind things understood something we’re all

coming to know: we have too many clothes in our wardrobes. we buy from high-streets, the

lifecycle is short, and we’re constantly buying more and more to keep our style fresh. but what if

we could get that dopamine hit of newness from someone else’s pre-loved pieces? jemma and ella

wanted to create a positive, luxury space where people could come together, share their clothes and

streamline the stuff in their lives.

they took to instagram, shared the idea with their community (around 4,000 followers back then)

and set up a switch in hackney wick. back then, jemma and ella weren’t sure if their online

following translated to an irl community; they accepted the possibility that no one may come and

viewed the experience as an exercise for learning. but to their great and pleasant surprise, 150

people turned up, and with suitcases of clothes. the curated event jemma and ella had imagined

quickly turned into a jumble sale, which wasn’t what they wanted. It was a challenge to fine tune

the event to represent the brand’s values, of promoting the sharing economy and reframing how we

view our clothes as items worthy of respect.

to tackle this, the next switch was in holborn’s hoxton hotel. jemma and ella wanted to speak to

people who care about their possessions, and may want to swap just a few for a few, high quality

pieces. the good hotel saw the return of the big clothes switch marketplace. through this jemma

and ella wanted to provide london’s wealth of sustainable startups a platform to connect with

people and promote the great work they’re doing too. 18 months on, stories behind things have run

six switches, over 1,000 people have visited, more than 5,000 items of clothing have been saved

from landfill and 26 emerging sustainable brands have connected with new customers.

the sustainability:

The Big Clothes Switch have made it their mission to empower people with

conscious consumption. Here are some of the things they’re doing for sustainability:

- Use the same recycled cardboard hangers at every event

- Save and re-use one set of rails and kit

- No throwaway packaging. Switchers bring their own and take it home

- Host events at socially and environmentally conscious venues

- Save any surplus clothes for the next switch, or donate to Trade in London.

- Really spread the good, sustainable word on socials

Like what you’ve read?

Follow @storiesbehindthings for news on the next switch near you.

Ella Grace Denton