When it comes to super chic handbags, I’m always on the lookout for boutique brands creating unique and adorable arm candy that won’t break the bank.
Which is why I was delighted to stumble upon London-based, black-owned, eco-conscious label Roop.
Made by hand at home by Natasha Fernandes Anjo using leftover and discarded fabrics, Roop’s delectable jewel-toned scrunchie-like satin delights are inspired by furoshiki, the traditional Japanese cloth wrapping technique.
Anjo releases the bags in limited runs, ensuring there is no waste, and the bags tend to sell out within hours (look out for her next drop at 7pm on June 24).
I caught up with Anjo to hear more about how she crafts her uber cute creations.
What inspired you to start your brand?
I wanted to work for myself and start making things again. It took me nearly two years of messing around on my sewing machine to make the first furoshiki bag, but there was no time to develop anything. I hurt my back and was off work for a month, I had nothing to do but sew and plan and be bored, so Roop was finally born!
Why did you choose to make that style of bag?
The reason I started making furoshiki bags was because I had a small piece of fabric I didn’t know what to do with and after a quick Google search I found the beautiful world of furoshiki. I have adapted the style, my bags are lined and have my scrunchie strap so maybe they’re not as useful as traditional bags- I hope everyone in Japan doesn’t think I ruined the furoshiki bag!
What were you doing before Roop?
I was working in a fabric shop and as a nanny before and during the beginning of Roop. I’m so lucky to be doing this all the time now!
Tell me about the difficulties you encounter sourcing your fabrics?
I used to work in a fabric shop where we sold leftover fabrics, that’s how the brand came to be sustainable, a very happy accident. All my fabrics are vintage or left over from something else so I have become the queen of Ebay. It’s a challenge I enjoy and when I find large pieces or really incredible prints and colours it’s a massive high – I’m easily pleased!
Are you worried about fashion’s impact on the planet? What do you think the answer is?
Yes. The industry is basically built on pollution and our relationship with fashion has become so warped, but I see so much positive change coming through in the industry. Brands like myself using surplus fabrics, stores like 50m in London championing innovative and sustainable designers changing the perspective on what sustainable design is, rental platforms making it acceptable to not outfit repeat, and generally just a change in people’s opinions and the boom in support of small businesses. I think we’re heading in the right direction.
What made you decide to go for a weekly drop model?
It was the only way I could do it in the beginning and it’s just stayed that way. It gives me the freedom to make what people are asking for, not waste any fabrics or have stock lying around. I fell into such a lovely community on instagram and every time I do a drop everyone’s excited about what colours are coming up it’s lovely.
Other than the bags and scrunchies, do you think you might expand into other accessories?
Watch this space! New babes are coming very soon.
What are your plans for the future?
To officially become The Queen of the Scrunchie.