Sustainability can be as basic or as bold as you like, at least that seems to be the message at Pepper St, the Market’s latest pop-up. The store brings together two brands: Naked, a range of basic bamboo T-shirts by Mitch Scott, and Tinka the Label, a collection of unique handmade and upcycled jewellery by Erin Browne. Mitch and Erin both had stalls in SO:ME Space earlier this year and, as Erin explains, “just clicked”. The pair jumped at the opportunity to show their two brands in the one shop space at the Market and are enjoying running Pepper St together. We asked them to tell us a bit more about their brands.
Tinka the Label/ Erin Browne:
I started Tinka when I wanted some jewellery to match my high school formal dress but couldn’t find anything so decided to make something instead. I hate wearing the same thing as other people so wanted something different! I make everything for Tinka the Label myself; some pieces are limited edition and others are completely unique, made from accessories and jewellery that I find in opshops and antique stores or have been given by relatives.
Since starting the brand, I’ve had pop-ups in the inner CBD and Fitzroy as well as Eastland and Collins Place, and of course SO:ME Space which is where I met Mitch, although we knew each other from the Rose Street Market too.
The pieces I make are not trend-driven or mainstream; I’d describe them as timeless and unique, with colour and sparkle. Some of them use gemstones, some were originally parts from chandeliers, some were chains or decorations from bags – basically, if I like something, then I’ll use it. My designs can be worn any time but they’re particularly popular for weddings and spring racing, I think people like to have something you can’t find just anywhere.
Naked/ Mitch Scott:
I was in a store one day and saw a shirt that was made out of bamboo and it had me intrigued… It was $90 and I’m definitely not the kind of guy that spends $90 on a T-shirt but for some reason I was drawn to it. It soon became my favourite T-shirt just for the feel of it and then I learnt more about how good bamboo is for the environment compared to cotton production. So I went out to buy another bamboo T-shirt, but the trouble was I couldn’t find one anywhere and it was then I thought that if no one else is going to do it, I’ll have to do it myself. My mum is a dress maker so she was able to help me get started with the design aspect of it all.
Bamboo is soft, breathable, free-flowing and lightweight, there’s barely any reason to wear anything else. It’s also inherently antibacterial, anti-static and loves sensitive skin. Bamboo is also a sustainably sourced product, its rapid and low maintenance regrowth means a full and eco-friendly lifecycle. Nothing is being taken away from our Earth that can’t be given back.
As for what’s coming up for the brand, we have a summer range coming out for women which will include some awesome short sleeve shirts as well as two new colours in the men’s basic. We’re also introducing bamboo dress socks for men and women in the coming weeks. It’s all very exciting for us!