If lockdown has given us anything, it's the excuse to get crafty! During the last month, the Because team have learned how to create a flower bouquet, and how to brow pinch at home, and we're on an endeavour to learn more. 

This week, we're looking to founders of 1/OFF Paris – the up-cycling brand that reworks vintage gems into contemporary classics – Xuan-Thu Nguyen and Renée van Wijngaarden. Thu gives us the lowdown on how to make a face mask for yourself and your household (these aren't surgical masks and aren't suitable for healthcare workers), while Renée educates us on the backstory of the brand. 

How did the 1/OFF Paris start?
We started 1/OFF with a love for fashion, vintage and design and wanted to bring back an emotional value and meaning to clothes again. We both have a background in fashion and the second-hand market, and from seeing the huge amount of waste and pieces that are thrown away but are still in perfectly good condition, we wanted to find a way to re-using these items and make it contemporary again. 
How has the business been affected since the pandemic started?
Buyers and clients were careful, it took a few weeks for the whole situation to sink it and rethink about fashion, but it is starting to pick up again.

Do you think the pandemic will change the type of fashion the customer will want to buy?  
Yes, I think it will change the way people view fashion and consumption. But we still think it is on us, the companies and governments to make sure the customer can buy more sustainable and better without paying a higher price.

Thu's face mask tutorial – the patterns comply with AFNOR guidelines and can be downloaded here.

Do you think they'll want to be more sustainably minded because of this?
A certain group of consumers will be more aware of it; people in fashion for sure. But this was already growing before the crisis and I do think this gives companies a bit of time to adjust their systems, therefore sustainability in our industry will grow.

Why do you think this is a good time to get crafting at home?
People are now forced to spend their time differently. Their imagination/ creativity is being challenged and pushed. 

Why do you think it's uplifting to make something?
Because you created yourself, you will appreciate it more and view the things that are created by hand much more appreciatively.

Shop 1/OFF Paris below:

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