15 49.0138 8.38624 1 1 4000 1 https://thestoryofclothes.com 300 1

For the love of vintage: Interview with Brenda Dennison, founder of BMUSE online vintage boutique

Want to be featured on TheStoryofClothes.com? Fill out the Founder Interview Application form here.

For this week’s blog post I interviewed Brenda Dennison, founder and bossbabe behind BMUSE, an online vintage women’s fashion boutique based in London, England. BMUSE specializes in slow fashion and offers reclaimed vintage pieces for the modern fashionista. I caught up with Brenda to chat about her new venture and what she wants to do to help shift the narrative of fashion to a more sustainable one. Here is a summary of our conversation:

Hi Brenda! Great to virtually meet you! Tell me a bit about your fashion journey and how you got to starting BMUSE.

I used to be a serious fashion addict – a perfect consumer for the fashion industry. At one point I had about 2000 pairs of shoes! One day, I got so frustrated looking for something in my closet that I said, ENOUGH, how much of this do I actually wear? Then, I watched The True Cost documentary and that completely changed my belief system around clothes. Before this, I had no idea there was a relationship between my wasteful consumptive shopping behaviour and the harmful eco-social impact of my clothes. I made a moral decision to no longer buy fast fashion and turned to preloved as an outlet. I did not want my fashion choices to cause any more harm to people, animals or the environment. That’s when I discovered my love for vintage, which eventually led me to launching my boutique.

Tell me more about your passion for vintage.

To me a beautiful piece of vintage is like a tantalizing piece of food! I feel a similar happiness when I find fabulous vintage as when I have amazing vegan food. There’s this misconception that sustainable fashion is all beige, boring and unstylish, but I want to show how amazing sustainable style can be. I love the uniqueness and confidence of wearing vintage and not having to worry about another person wearing the same clothes as me! I feel that this is where we are best able to truly express ourselves. And it just makes logical sense – why buy new when so much is already in existence? To me it’s about celebrating the hard work that went into the pieces and voting for a cleaner, more ethical future, all while supporting circular fashion. It’s the ultimate benchmark we all should be striving for.

How do you go about selecting your pieces?

I go on feeling; it’s a personal, slow and very carefully considered process. I love to support local businesses and I discover pieces when I’m out and about in vintage or charity shops, by going to auctions and acquiring from private sellers. My collections are consciously curated and have been in the making for over a year and a half. I’m excited to roll out the other pieces that I have lovingly sourced.

How has the pandemic affected your launch?

I was supposed to launch in person, at a pop-up shop event in April. I even had my very first speaking engagement planned there too. With all of that being cancelled, I said to myself, well, we’re still going to have a global sustainability issue before, during, and after the pandemic, so why not keep the momentum going? I launched on Earth Day during Fashion Revolution Week, with “Blank Canvas in Nature”– an inspired collection of ivory and cream-toned vintage blouses; individually unique, all effortless to style and easy for anyone to assimilate into their existing wardrobes. It’s my homage to Mother Earth. The conceptual thinking behind the collection is about authentic creativity and is intended to encourage the wearer to tell her own story and express her style personality with the blouse.

Congratulations! The pieces look beautiful. What’s next for BMUSE?

I want BMUSE to be a source of inspiration. It’s infused into the name – BMUSE is MUSE paired with my initial, B. I’m hoping that these beautiful vintage pieces will inspire people to consider – just consider – embracing sustainable style. There are people in London who won’t even think of buying preloved or vintage – I want to change that and also be impactful in the global sustainable fashion movement.

BMUSE is founded on two key principles reflected in our mantra: REUSE and BE YOU. Reusing fashion, thus closing the loop on waste and keeping fashion circular is the bedrock of our ethos and BE YOU is our way of empowering you to express yourself in our timeless vintage – to be your own muse and a muse for sustainable change.

BMUSE is also a bit of a personal protest. I want it to be a statement, a talking point – fashion on a mission. Style doesn’t stop because it’s from the 1970s or 1980s, and fashion isn’t new. Our clothes are based on the forms and silhouettes of yesteryear, and casting vintage aside is doing a huge disservice to the history of fashion, to the environment and to the craftsmanship that went into making these clothes. The vision is for BMUSE to be instrumental in disrupting the fashion industry and help educate a more conscious mindset. I want BMUSE to be a changemaker in the future of the fashion revolution.

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with Brenda’s journey or check out her boutique, visit www.shopbmuse.com (on desktop for the complete BMUSE experience if you can!) or follow her on Instagram (@shopbmuse).

Want to be featured on TheStoryofClothes.com? Fill out the Founder Interview Application form here.

Previous Post
Special edition – COVID-19: Garment workers among most affected
Next Post
Q & A: Is sustainable fashion the same as eco, ethical, & slow fashion?

1 Comment

  • May 8, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    I am so grateful to have been invited to share my story. This has been a positive release of all my thoughts and emotions. Sustainable fashion, vintage fashion is not just a passion but my lifestyle and seeing my journey captured in Kristina’s talented words is a dream come true. I hope others enjoy reading my story as much as I’ve loved sharing it.