Bud & Bean Preloved
Bud & Bean are our antidote to fastfashion here at the Eco Village. With their selection of preloved kids clothes, stocking clothing for newborn up to aged 5+, Bud & Bean show us that there is value in using old as new.
The history of Bud & Bean Preloved.
Actually, not only are Bud & Bean Preloved new to the Eco Village, but they're also a brand new business!
Forged at the start of lockdown, early 2020. Abby has combined a passion for secondhand clothing with 34 bin bags full of her own kid's clothing cluttering up her garage, to kickstart a new venture!
How and why Bud & Bean Preloved began.
As a mum to her little girl, Bean, (aged four at the time of starting the business), and her little boy, Bud, (aged one), it seemed fitting to tie in her children’s nicknames with her brand name.
Further inspired by the fact that a bud, with nurture, turns into a bean, and this cyclic system is representative of the life-cycle of a garment. It can also be related to most aspects of sustainable living.
Abby started Bud & Bean for a multitude of reasons. After buying secondhand for both of her children, she then faced 34 bags of perfectly good children’s clothing stored in her (admittedly huge) garage. Goodness.
When they needed the space back, said garage was due to be demolished and the 34 bags needed a new home. Quickly.
The thought of recycling this clothing, most of which was barely worn, really tugged at her conscience. Abby is a firm believer that recycling, particularly textiles, should be a very last resort.
Along with many others, Covid and furlough initiatives played a part in affecting the family's finances slightly too. So it made sense to start a small business selling those lovely things. Abby was keen to give those items an extended life and offer quality items at purse-friendly prices to other families that were perhaps reviewing their financial spending too.
Abby was aiming to sell to like-minded families, and people who have a vested interest in sustainability.
Why choose the Eco Village?
Those very sustainability values that Abby holds close, meant that she chose to approach the Eco Village. By her own admission, she'd been a fangirl from afar, and is always trying to reduce her own impact on the planet.
Abby felt it would be a good fit, and was attracted by the Village's welcoming and like-minded community people. Awww.
Sustainability factors - how can Bud & Bean help reduce our impact?
Bud & Bean has taken Abby on her own educational journey in sustainable fashion. Having undertaken some research when first starting Bud & Bean, Abby discovered that in terms of resources, the fashion industry is one of the most draining industries.
In an age of throwaway fashion, the fickle & disposable price for wanting to look good comes at a huge detriment to our planet.
When producing and purchasing clothing, we must ask ourselves what has gone into this process? For example, acrylic is made from petroleum (oil) which is a finite fossil fuel, and processed into a form of plastic. This process uses an incredible amount of energy in the forms of electricity and burning fossil fuels, in addition to the vast amounts of water required to create the finished garment.
Once complete, it is likely to be wrapped in, or hung on, more plastic and transported to its destination using further fossil fuels. All of this contributes to a pretty hefty carbon footprint.
Of course, there are more sustainable fabrics such as bamboo, Lyocell and hemp. However, these are not without their limitations. Bamboo, for example, is grown mainly in China. Keeping control of damaging pesticide use in production isn't easy, plus the further carbon footprint implications with transporting these garments around the world aren't to be ignored.
Ethics are also a further, and serious, consideration. It is common for even the most well-known fashion houses to have a reliance on cheap (or even child) labour, usually based in Asian countries. Many are still operating ‘Sweat Shop’ factories that were exposed in the early Noughties, or not fully in control of their extended supply chain for fabrics or trims, particularly when certain elements are outsourced.
There can be implications on the education, living & working conditions of the workers and their families, with the extended impact on health and well-being that this entails too. Chances are if a new item is too reasonably priced, it’s probably due to an exploitation cost further down the line.
Quite simply, the best thing you can do is buy secondhand or preloved. The item already exists and is ready to be enjoyed again. Once, and only when, it has truly reached the end of its life cycle, it can then be recycled into something else. The more creative the better!
Continuous improvements for Bud & Bean Preloved.
By Abby's own admission, her business is pretty sustainable by its very nature, but there is always room to improve. She is continually reviewing her practice, re-evaluating wash settings and drying processes etc, for the clothing she sells.
In addition, Abby is actively trying to source items from the locality as much as possible, in so reducing carbon emissions used by transporting goods. She has also been inspired by fellow Villager, Nothing New by Ruthie Ru, and is considering using recycled cardboard for tags, something for future progressions.
Like many parents, Abby admits to losing her identity during her maternity leave, struggling to remember who she was in her pre-mum days (something most of us can resonate with, right?). However her business has pushed her out of her comfort zone in ways she wasn’t prepared for, yet at the same time, allowed her to develop new skills and confidence. Which we absolutely love.
Future goals for the business.
As with all business owners, Abby would like to see her business expand and extend her range.
If you have specific item requests Abby thrives on sourcing these, whether from her own stored stock or local network connections. Although she's not actively looking for stock to sell presently (she's still getting through those 34 bags, you know!), you can still get in touch with any particular items you think may be of interest (particularly toddler boys clothes).
Abby has created her handy summary of reasons to buy preloved, which is pretty handy. Here's what -
- It's much more cost-effective, Bud & Bean items always offer good value (most items are under £10).
- It’s so much better for the environment. These items already exist rather than using precious resources to create new ones.
- It’s a really fun way to shop; you never know what items you’ll find, and it actually allows you & your little one to discover your true style, rather than being governed by trends.
- More often than not, it’s benefiting someone else, whether that's a charity or an individual.
Abby says, "I’ve been really pleased with the response to my little concession so far. Thank you! Starting Bud & Bean has been a huge learning curve, but I’ve received a lot of lovely feedback. When I read this, it makes me super proud of what I’ve achieved in such a short space of time."
And we couldn't agree more.
Five things you probably didn't know about Abby...
- Abby has double-jointed thumbs. This holds no special power that we know of. Shame.
- She has a mole on the palm of her hand, which is very uncommon. Maybe this holds special powers though?
- She has a phobia of frogs. And is acutely aware of how ridiculous that is.
- She is a cat person. It’s 100% a cat’s life. Her words.
- Abby has a rare blood type, which brings along some difficulties in life. Namely that it makes her irresistible to mosquitoes. Arghhh.
Where to find Bud & Bean Preloved.
Bud & Bean are tucked snuggly next to the entrance of our Main Room here at the Village, just turn your head immediately right on entering the building and hey presto! You're there.