Welcome to Buckets & Bums, I’m Steph and I’m passionate about tackling waste culture. This is why every bucket hat and bumbag I hand make is made from secondhand, vintage or repurposed fabric. There are so many gorgeous fabrics already in existence. This way it diverts fabric from landfill and gives them a new life and funky bucket hats and bumbags.
My journey started a few years ago when I made a real conscious effort to use less plastic – I’m sure we’re all in the same boat here; after watching Planet Earth documentaries. As time went on this progressed into reducing my fast fashion consumption and then giving that up entirely. Did you know;
- The fashion industry accounts for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions – which is estimated to be more than all air travel.
- It takes 5000 gallons of water to make just one t-shirt and one pair of jeans. That’s almost 100 bath tubs full.
- 43 million tonnes of chemicals are used to dye and treat clothing in the manufacturing process every single year
- 350,000 tonnes of clothing is sent to landfill every year in the UK alone
These fast fashion facts were astounding to me and I knew I could make a change through Buckets & Bums. I now get to upcycle clothing and recycle fabric and repurpose these into slow fashion bucket hats and bumbags.
I’ve always loved secondhand shopping – I got dragged round all the charity shops when I was a kid. I still love it now so it was a no brainer that I would upcycle secondhand textile and clothing into bucket hats and bumbags.
At school I studied textiles and I loved it! I once made a pair of shorts from bleach design denim but they got lost over the summer holidays and I was devastated. Needless to say this didn’t deter me and I picked textiles for my GCSEs. When we were taking our final textiles exam we had a power cut in the hall, everything went dark and we all started talking – luckily I was sat next to my bestie and we conferred on some answers before the lights came back on and guess who both got As!
Naturally I wasn’t interested in studying anything academic at college and enrolled on an Art & Design course, quickly followed by Fashion & Clothing where I met two of my best friends. For second year, surprisingly, I opted for the Fashion Promotion course over Fashion Design but over the coming years always found my way back to the sewing machine.
At university I studied Photography for Fashion and Advertising and it was the first year they ran the course – oh yeah you’d better believe there were teething issues! The best tutor and course leader we ever had left after the first term! Then I considered changing course and university, but I made it to graduation in the end. Whilst I was there I got a lot of sewing under my belt; my housemates and I use to love raiding the charity shops and oftentimes the treasure would get an upcycle.
I tried hard to get into creative role when leaving uni but to no avail. I had to take a job to pay the bills. Since then I’ve had a string of unfulfilling jobs. Between uni and starting Buckets & Bums I made and sold random clothes and accessories but I didn’t really take anything seriously. I was too busy going on nights out with my friends!
I’d already had the idea and had loosely started working on Buckets & Bums in 2019 but life clearly had other ideas for me then. Now, I tell most people that I started Buckets & Bums as a lockdown project. That is sort of true. I was put on furlough for 2 months in 2020. Then I started back at work in June and was still working from home at this point. After approximately one week I realised what I actually wanted to do in life. I knew I absolutely had to get the ball rolling with Buckets & Bums again. I knew I needed to do something fulfilling and something which brought me joy. I want to wake up and look forward to the work I do. I want to wake up and do something meaningful.
So I started taking things seriously. I made a lot of practice bucket hats and bum bags. Did some photo shoots and started an Instagram. I started selling on Depop but quickly decided a website would be better. Now I've even started this blog! Its hard work but I love it. Its great to be able to work alongside my boyfriend Shaun. He's a graphic designer but he helps in so many other ways too - mostly talking me down off a metaphorical ledge! I adore having stalls at makers markets and getting to meet and chat to you guys and spreading the slow fashion message.
Because Buckets & Bums now offers the funkiest selection of bucket hats & bumbags. All exclusively hand made in London from second hand fabric.
There’s ready to ship bucket hats & bumabgs – check out the current stock here
I also do custom bucket hats & bumbags – see FAQs for more info
I can also upcycle your items of clothing or textiles into bucket hats & bumbags too – send me a message here to discuss