OXFORDSHIRE — As one of the most visited shopping destinations for international visitors, the Bicester Village knows a trick or two to keep them coming back for more.
The Maiyet Collective, a pop-up focused on conscious luxury and experiences, opened in a corner location on Friday, just in time for the holiday season, running until Dec. 23.
It’s the first full-price shop inside the outlet destination. Anne Marie Verdin-Mulot, director of digital marketing and communications at Bicester Village, said it’s a support gesture so that eco businesses can grow. “We can really and stand behind them. We are bringing a big audience to them, and we are also letting out guests (discover) a world of new luxury, conscious luxury.”
Paul Van Zyl, founder of the Maiyet Collective and a former human right lawyer, said: “Bicester has such a gigantic footprint, and to expose their customers to ethical and sustainable brands is a very powerful thing to do. Their 50 million customers across the globe, through their purchasing, can support ethical and sustainable brands and change the world.”
“The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally harmful ones in the world, and we have a huge opportunity to move it away from unsustainable practices. Fashion is also linked to people’s identities, and if you can identify with trying to make the world sustainable, just, fair and peaceful, and express that through fashion that is a powerful self-reinforcing circle,” he added.
The pop-up features more than 40 sustainable fashion, fine jewelry, beauty and accessories brands sourced from places such as the U.K., India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mongolia and Peru.
Valentina Karellas, a knitwear designer of Greek descent, calls her label “an antidote to fast-fashion.” She sources discarded yarn from a family-run supplier in the Midlands and everything is produced by hand. Stylist Bay Garnett, who pioneered the idea of “thrifting,” was trying on a few things the opening reception. A cashmere sweater is costs 320 pounds while a cotton piece is priced at 180 pounds.
Justine Rouch, a frequent gym-goer and the president of Roland Mouret, was there to promote La Pochette, which she founded this February after struggling to find a nice, simple gym bag to tote her stuff to spinning class. Her bestseller so far is a gray bag made of antiodor and antibacteria fabric, and she just added travel-size vanity bags made of vegan leather and biodegradable thermoplastic. Retailing for 35 pounds, her bags are also available in Selfridges and Third Space.
Talks and workshops will also take place during the pop-up. Founders of brands such as Johanna Ho of Phvlo, which develops seasonless fashion using materials such as crab-shell-blended cotton for antibacteria purposes, will discuss how she is creating a more sustainable system of producing clothes from the way the pieces are designed through to the supply chain.
Angelika Davenport, founder of Tincture, is hosting a workshop on how to create a healthy home and eliminate hidden chemicals. Meanwhile Mallika Chaudhuri of the brand Indoi will demonstrate how to crush silks, and upcycle and renew unworn or stained garments.
After the London pop-up, the Maiyet Collective may travel to other Value Retail shopping villages in cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Dublin and Shanghai.