Sewing machine: ~ £600 one off payment
Internet: £25 pcm
Rent for your studio (which is actually your bedroom): £750 pcm
Supplies and materials: £100 pcm
Electricity and water: ~ £90 pcm
Food: packet of crisps + cigarettes = £7 per day
Total cost of becoming a new designer: give or take £1,572 pcm and in other words, virtually impossible to do on your own.
The solution to these costs is the Trampery in London Fields: a chance for designers to network, build their brand, and have access to affordable studio space, Internet, lighting, electricity, and an events space for fashion shows or exhibitions. The Trampery was set up in coalition with Hackney Community College and London College of Fashion as a way to help young designers advance their brands.
A shared studio where tenants pay £30 per sq ft per month, the Trampery gave hope for emerging talent and for designers that both fuel the industry, and also take part in London Fashion Week.
Inside the Trampery
The idea for shared studio or work spaces originated in Silicon Valley in collaborative tech offices. It was a great way for businesses to exchange ideas and split expenses. The idea grew in popularity and made its way across America and eventually to London. Again spreading first through tech and IT companies, it eventually filtered its way through into fashion.
Other buildings, such as the Netil House by Creative Network Solutions, promoted this idea first; but referring back to the bare minimum costs for designers (above), just studio space wasn't enough to make a difference.
Inside the Trampery
It was only with the creation of the Trampery did we see the real benefit of shared studio space in Fashion. In one article from 2012, the Business of Fashion discussed whether or not the Trampery would work, and look where the initial tenants are now (such as Holly Fulton, Jonathan Saunders, and Lou Dalton).
Founder of The Trampery, Charles Armstrong, suggests that “You can make the greatest impact by helping the businesses that are already on the growth path and help them grow faster and make it to the level where they are established as a global brand”; and that is what the Trampery has done since its opening in 2013.
But now the beloved institution is facing a serious crisis: the landlord has indicated the rent will increase by 400%, driving the Trampery out of the facility as this is quite unaffordable. Talked about by the entirety of the fashion industry, a Save the Trampery campaign has been launched and has received positive feedback from many people and organisations looking to help; however, this doesn't stop the ultimate problem at hand: London is driving all the creatives away.
In the light of our article 'Gentrify THIS' that was published a couple weeks ago, we mentioned that gentrification was driving the creatives out of their homes and stripping London of its historical social hotspots. Well, another major factor is the increase in rent and the unaffordable prices of studios, workspaces, and living quarters. http://data.london.gov.uk/housingmarket/
When speaking to a few shop owners on Brick Lane and Cheshire Street, the cost of living and renting was mentioned heavily in the cause of the disintegration of markets.
Also mentioned was the new massive high rise flat blocks that were popping up all over these 'newly trendy' areas (which have always been the spots where creative entrepreneurs congregate to avoid expensive rent prices).
Elena Corchero at her company Lost Values Picture: Joshua Tucker
This disastrous eviction has caught eyes of publications, tech sites, and fashion icons everywhere, trying to help relocate the “fashion incubator.” Armstrong is devastated about the situation: “The property market in east London is changing and we weren’t naive about it, we expected an 87 per cent rise. The landlord stalled and then eventually told us somebody had offered £500,000 a year for the building.”
It’s such a shame to see London’s property market turning a blind eye to its demolition of an industry. The Trampery and creative industries need your help and engagement to promote these unfortunate events.
A campaign #Savetramperyfashion has launched in full force in attempt to save this brilliant platform for young designers. The campaign asks if designers have any spare space in their studios to rent out to young designers to keep the principle going. The campaign needs your help to relocate such an ingenious idea. Tweet using the hashtag #savetramperyfashion and spread the word to keep the creatives in London. If you have space in your studio, help the Trampery foster young designers by simply giving up a few square feet.