It's a sad fact – but a fact, nonetheless – that the majority of images we will encounter and consume on a day-to-day basis, are airbrushed to within an inch of their (supposedly 'flawed') former glories. Such is the sorry state of affairs that, all too often, we're absorbing this filtered reality, blithely unaware of the havoc it's wreaking with our views on perfection and, consequently, 'imperfection'. 

Youngwon Kim of cult bag brand Danse Lente blames this status quo for society's increased desire for polish and newness, which has reached a degree that is neither healthy nor sustainable. With her Rehome Project pop-up initiative in London – a sale that aims to find owners for bags with small imperfections – she has decided that enough is enough. Rather than going to waste, each previously landfill-bound bag is being revamped in her London studio before being made available to snap up at veeeeeeeerrrrrrrry special prices. We quizzed the designer to find out more...

You’re paving the way for sustainability at Danse Lente. Is this something you’ve always been keen to explore with the brand?
I’ve always thought that sustainability was important, however due to the realities of running a small business in the fashion industry, I had yet to have the opportunity to be part of the sustainability movement in a meaningful way; the Rehome Project is our contribution towards creating a path to sustainability.

As a young brand, there is still so much more to learn about sustainability and, through projects like this one, I am gaining more knowledge whilst also trying to create a positive impact. 

Where did the concept to rehome supposedly 'imperfect' bags come from? What can people expect to find at the pop-up?
From design to production, there is so much that goes into making one single bag; I’ve noticed that, during this cycle, there are so many bags that can’t find a 'home' due to the smallest of imperfections. I’ve always wanted to come up with a better idea of how to handle these bags which have what would be considered as defects – so I came up with the concept of the Rehome Project. Most of these so-called 'defects' are only minor. Some of them, for example, are strap issues only, therefore we’ve substituted the original strap and made the style a one-of-a-kind colour combination that wasn’t part of the original collection.

So, those are the bags… In terms of the space itself, what should we look forward to seeing?
I always try to envision beautiful, refreshing and creative products and spaces. However, sometimes, we as an industry end up using temporary or disposable displays – especially for an event that is only three days long. Our London summer is, unfortunately, coming to an end… The days are getting colder and, as a result, I thought hot water bottles could be featured as part of our display, before then also being reused after the event. These will come with a very special Danse Lente embroidered cover, which is handmade by our design team from leftover fabric that we’ve sourced from factories in the UK; these will either be given away to customers via a raffle or donated to charities after the event.

The Danse Lente Rehome Project will be running from 31 August - 2 September at 16c Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP. Can't wait to browse? Take a peek at Danse Lente here:

In case you missed it, learn where you can meet Sophie Hulme in London this Fall.