We are called WONKY. We rework sustainably sourced, damaged vintage clothing that would usually go to landfill. For our custom designs, we create giant patchworks out of this stock which we use to make new items, accessories and outfits.
We're currently a team of just two: A and Mabel.
Mabel (she/they) is a Fashion Creative with a degree in Fashion Design. A (they/them) is a Creative Consultant with a degree in Digital Media Production.
We started WONKY as a way to survive after being terminated from our jobs for being disabled and transgender during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are Plus Size friendly because we cater to ALL sizes by creating garments up to whichever size our customers need, from XXS-12XL.
We are Trans friendly because we cater to ALL genders by altering all of our clothes to custom measurements if a customer needs it, at no extra charge.
After working in vintage businesses around Leeds, we know who runs the most popular stores, we know their values, and how they run their businesses. We know that the biggest brands in and around Leeds lie about their sustainability, how ethical they are & what they do with your money.
We want to conduct our business in a radically different way. We want to show that it is possible to run a business and be kind, ethical, fair and responsible.
We want to show other businesses that you can source raw stock sustainably rather than claiming you do. You can price items fairly because you don't need to expand endlessly and hoard the profits by yourself. You can pay and treat your staff with respect, fairness and dignity.
We also want to show other clothes businesses that the world won't implode if they start stocking clothes above 2XL or cater to trans people. We want to encourage other brands to start doing the same.
Our Core Values:
1. Openness, honesty and fairness - in all things, including with our pricing.
2. Accountability and responsibility - We will never place ourselves above criticism. We promise that we will always use ethical work practices. We promise to treat staff, artists, customers & the planet with kindness, dignity and respect. We promise to only ever pay the True Living Wage or above it to everyone that works for us or that we work alongside.
3. Sustainability - only ever to use sustainably sourced second-hand stock to make our clothes.
4. Equity - We promise to divert at least 20% of profits to a cash pot that we use to pay out monthly lump sum giveaways to black trans & queer individuals.
Who will benefit?
- People who need or want to buy vintage clothing at sizes above 2XL
- Trans people who may need or want items altering before dispatch so that clothes fit their bodies perfectly
- Disabled people who may require alterations to our outfits, such as fiddly buttons replaced with zips or clasps
- The planet!
How will the funds be used?
- Raw and damaged stock from a wholesaler that we will upcycle into new garments and outfits (£800)
- To pay the graphic designers, artists & creators that help us market WONKY (£200)
How soon we need the funds
As soon as possible, we couldn't wait any longer to start the business, but we don't have much raw stock to work with and no income to buy more.
What the support will mean to us
Your support means that we can survive without relying on hateful, transphobic, queerphobic, and ableist managers. A paycheck that is a fraction of our labour's value, with no compensation or legal recourse for having to work with verbally abusive colleagues and managers.
Your support will mean that we can begin our business in earnest - we could buy bulk raw stock rather than working on unwanted items from our wardrobes.
How grateful will we be for help?
Even if we receive only one donation through this, we will count it as a blessing. Times are hard, they've always been hard for people like us, but even a little bit of support could mean the difference between failure and success for us.
Anything you can give is immeasurably appreciated.
A & Mabel