Our story began in England, Bournemouth on the south west coast (where I was studying at the time) in early 2017. I was fed up of how university was going and knew that what I’d learnt myself and the course already was enough to just drop out. I debated back and forth with friends and family about my decision whether to stay or drop out, and I ended up deciding to finish the year and see where I’d go from there. In the meanwhile myself and a room mate at university hall were talking in our communal kitchen where I opened up to him about how I was feeling about university, only to go on to talk about a few ideas I’d began to fathom in my boredom. I told him that I felt that I had a new energy in me that was pushing me away from university and towards doing my own thing. I was working at Subway at the time which I learnt a lot from, like not wanting to be there. No but seriously I'd learnt a lot from my previous working and schooling experiences and it was time to put them together for my own adventure.
University had definitely shown me about diversity and to respect differences within personalities and beliefs. I went to a secondary school that was quite judgemental, or at least felt like it once I'd been to university (this is probably the case at all universities, but to me this was a big surprise).
My idea was originally to open a store that would be able to resell hype clothing. I believed there was no store on the high streets or even online that you could attend to purchase garments from a variety of hype clothing brands.
Within this shop idea we would sell our own clothing brand. Putting our own clothing along with big brands would reflect to customers that we were a hype clothing brand that was no different from those they already knew. Being a product designer I wanted to produce my own art and designs into the world and this would be a great way of doing so. Vince, who began the brand with me was studying animation and had a real eye for art and fashion, having grown up in London. He’d lived a different life from me and this portrayed in the garments he wore.
Not long after our initial discussion in the communal kitchen me and Vince sat up in my room; we went through ideas of what name we wanted for this brand. To help us we began to discuss what it was that we wanted from our brand and what we wanted to represent as a corporation. Discussing our vision and impact we wanted to make not only in the fashion industry but also the world. It was here that we learnt we wanted to tell a million stories through our products. No brand (that I knew of anyway) had tried to tell stories and thoughts through clothing. We wanted to spread messages, not just release garments for the sake of it, we wanted it to mean something to both us and our customers. We ended up evolving the word stories to Novel. After saying to each other numerous times and looking at each other in an absurd way it began to roll off our tongues sticking with us from that point forward.
Since starting the company and making it official, we’ve learnt a lot and have been a part of our own story that we want to share through our products. Reaching out to millions of people around the world and impacting their lives in positive ways and inspiring them all to be a part of our vision, is our goal with Novel.
We've always wanted Novel to be an ethical brand, we believe it results in a closer relationship with our customers. Creating a platform that we are able to see the impact that we have on our customers therefore bettering ourselves with the experience gathered along the way.
Since I dropped out of university after my first year in 2017, the company has had a few up and downs, we had to part way with Vince, who remained at university because of an influx in dissertations and coursework.
Getting the right companies to work with is a big deal to us as we believe it reflects who we are as a brand. From the beginning we wanted to support brands that were British, that way we can not only form a new British brand but also help others grow. If we aren’t supporting other companies in the UK we feel that we'd have failed our original plan to stay ethical and transparent with our customers.
Over the year and a half I personally have learnt that the ideology we've been told to believe by media of starting a brand is a puzzling and taunting reality which is just bullshit, and in fact its just a case of starting these ideas you have. We want to spread plenty of messages through our brand but one vital one for us is to motivate younger generations that anything is possible. Regardless if you fail or not, you would have definitely learned something. Utilising what you have learnt will benefit your future in whatever your next move is.
There we have it, you're in the present day with Novel and the story is only just beginning, so why not be part of it with us, lets shape the future, now, together.
Thank you for reading
Founder, Novel Clothing