Trader of the Week: Ulverston pair bring splash of sustainably-sourced vibrancy and colour

TWO friends have brought their own little slice of sustainably-sourced vibrancy and colour to a South Lakeland town during the Coronavirus pandemic by opening up a store selling clothes, homeware and more.

WERK Emporium on Market Street in Ulverston was opened less than two weeks ago by Becki Fishwick and Hannah Houghton.

The shop sells a wide array of items, from crafts and jewellery through to new and vintage clothing, with an emphasis placed on Fairtrade and sustainably-sourced products.

“I feel like in an era of fast fashion, one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis is the fashion industry,” said Miss Houghton, 31.

“What we can do is revolutionise that world by ensuring that everything is sustainably-sourced, and also not being part of the slave trade. Not being part of sweatshop culture.

“Half of (the clothing) is retro and vintage, which is obviously reused and recycled, and I upcycle clothes as well.

“But the other half, which I specialise in, is ethically-traded, brand-new clothing.”

The store also focuses on sustainability.

“I get scarves which are made from recycled plastic bottles,” said Miss Houghton.

“I had some paper notebooks which were made out of recycled cotton. So all of it trying to reduce going to landfill.”

Miss Houghton, who previously owned Incense and Peppermints in Ulverston, a shop with a similar ethos which closed around two years ago, said the business wanted to encourage expression, unity and pride.

In future, she and Miss Fishwick, 37, hope to be able to run creative workshops in the community which would include work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Miss Fishwick said she and Miss Houghton, who both live in Ulverston, wanted to ‘bring something exciting and positive to the town in a bit of a tricky time for everybody’.

“We just saw an opportunity, and went for it and hoped for the best,” she said.

“We wanted people to feel good about themselves

“We didn’t want to just sit around and wait for life to go back to normal. We wanted to make something happen.”

She described the local response to the fledgling shop as ‘amazing’.

“The actual shops and companies in the town have verbally wished us well, and some of them have brought gifts and flowers,” she said.

“A lot of people have come in to wish us well and look around.”

The Westmorland Gazette | News