Butt Dialled: Butt Vintage
Columnist Siobhan Maroney brings online Kent retailers Butt Vintage to ‘cene in her blogger style
Well Hello there you lovely lot,
Let’s get straight into things shall we? I’m so so excited to introduce to you to Butt Vintage. After lusting after their vintage garms online for a couple of years now, I couldn't wait to meet the faces behind the brand. After a quick Insta chat we all decided to meet in the heart of the the Kent countryside, it was a perfect summers day and Kent was looking mighty fine. Zak and Forest, the creators of Butt Vintage, are what I like to call radiators, they greeted me with the warmest welcome which was then swiftly followed by the appearance of Marlo (aka the most adorable dog ever). Within 5 minutes, we were jumping off straw bales together and I felt like I had know them forever.
Tell us a bit about yourselves?
We’re Zak and Forest, from Kent. We are in our early 20s, 22 and 21 to be precise, and have been together since we were 15, and recently engaged (whoop whoop!)! This is Marlo our pup, he’s just 1. He’s also a very valid member of Butt Vintage!
Z- I’m a musician and am the bassist for Ed The Dog but I have played bass with bands such as Fish Tank, Trev, Hydromag, SKIES, Phoebe Warden and Tin Foil Astronaut. I grew up outside Ashford but now live outside Canterbury with Foss.
F- I haven’t always lived in the ‘Garden of England’, I was born in London and moved to Brighton when I was 3 then moved to Kent at 5. Kent has and always will be my true home. I feel very lucky to have grown up surrounded by fields and nature and have always loved the company of animals. Last November I was looking to adopt a dog and found Marlo in Colchester he was about 14 weeks old and needed a home. He’s pretty awesome and We’re very lucky to have found him! I love photography, especially film and have a rather extensive collection of cameras!
I have always worn my mums 70s-80s clothing growing up, raiding her wardrobe for the next garment that I can claim as mine! Vintage and preloved has always been in my blood I guess you could say! I never enjoyed the feeling of buying new clothing, but the feeling of raiding a charity shop or getting some awesome hand-me-downs is the best!
We both were planning on going to university, Zak in London and Forest in Winchester a few years ago but after umming and ahhing and deferring for a year.. or two.. we decided independently to not go and consequently started our own business instead!
Tell me about Butt Vintage?
So, Butt Vintage started as Reclaim Clothing in 2016, with a little rail in Petticoat Lane Emporium in Ramsgate, selling Forest’s old (vintage) clothes. We expanded to a 6X6ft pitch. After selling out of the clothing pretty quickly, we decided to buy a few more bits and became a regular fixture at The Courtyard Bazaar in Canterbury. Meeting some inspirational people who would go on to influence our future developments. (Thanks Kate!). We then started branching out to other locations to see where it would take us. As things naturally accelerated we decided to build our online presence and develop our brand, opening a boutique on Depop. This was a huge step for us and we learnt a lot from it, this was also when we decided to take it more seriously as a business rather than a hobby. Building our presence online on Depop helped us to refine our style and what we wanted to sell to our clientele. In doing this we became discontent with our branding and after being scouted by Asos Marketplace we felt that it was necessary for us to rebrand completely to up our game! This was the push we needed. So, with a deadline in sight we started drafting up new name ideas.
Driving back from a stock trip up North we were looking for inspiration to add to our list of potential names. Foss had been watching the series ‘Girl Boss’, which gave her the idea to look out for road names. Driving past a road called ‘Butt Road’, we ‘maturely’ giggled together. After a few moments of hysteria and time to calm down, a Hollywood moment happened, we both looked at each other and said, practically at the same time, ‘Butt...Vintage...?’. Trying not to get too over excited we jotted it down on our list of potential names and vowed to take some time to sit on it (pun not intended).
After a few days passed and many discussions we both agreed that it was by far the strongest contestant and the most poignant. We loved the double meaning. The obvious being butt, as in one’s bum that is a very relevant part of the body when it comes to clothing. The second being, ‘but’ as in but, vintage? Which is a question that we like the idea of our customers asking before buying a new, factory made item of clothing.
We decided early on that we didn’t want to negatively impact climate change. So, we set out to make every aspect of our business as eco-friendly as possible. In doing that we have also changed our lifestyle to practice what we preach. Buying vintage is a form of recycling and to us, it’s way more than just a trend; it’s a statement, and a way of life. We live in a heavily consumerist society where affordability comes at the expense of humanity. By keeping as many perfectly good clothes out of landfill we and our customers are making a stand against the mass production and exploitation of slave labourers.
All of our items are hand curated by us and sourced from across the country. We are constantly on the look out for interesting and exciting pieces, the only problem is that it’s often far too tempting to keep things for ourselves!!
Everything sold online is sent in biodegradable packaging bags with paperwork that is printed on 100% recycled paper. We don’t use the little plastic clothing barb tags, all of our items are tagged with ol’ fashion string and a safety pin (believe me this is really time consuming, so we hope people appreciate it!! Haha). All our business cards and price tags are made from recycled materials, no cheap cutting corners. These resources come at a much greater expense for us, which can be really tough as it eats away at your profit margins, but it is a moral decision we are really serious and passionate about. Not to mention the time and effort that goes in to sourcing the companies and good sustainable business products. We also recycle anything and everything at our office. We pride ourselves in thinking of the finite details in our personal life such as, using refillable metal water bottles, bringing our own homemade lunches to work and we try to reuse or repurpose any ‘waste’ materials that we can. As previously mentioned we are vegan too which is mostly to do with global warming and we’re also aiming to go 100% ‘zero waste’ in the near future.
Why Kent for Butt Vintage?
We both have grown up in Kent so it’s our home and feels right to be here right now. It’s really close to our hearts because we have so many friends, family and memories here. We’ll defiantly be sticking around here for the near future at least!
What do you love about Kent?
We love so much about Kent, the scenery, atmosphere, people and the buzz.
We’re both vegan, and mega foodies / coffee lovers so we’re always on the hunt for delicious eats and great coffee! Our favourites are, Potato tomato, Garage Coffee, Blueprint Coffee, The Sondes Teahouse, Orchard Lane, Captain Web, Veg Box, Chapter, Stagg Coffee, GB Pizza and The Grain Store Studio to name a few.
Some of our favourite places to hang out and take friends from outside of Kent are, Seasalter, Folkestone, Whitstable, Margate, Faversham, Canterbury
Other amazing Kent businesses that deserve a shout out are Peony Vintage, Scissorbox Salon, First Hand Experience, The Dark Room at Beach Creative, Mae Williams and Hands For Feet, the list could go on! All fabulous vibrant businesses in their own right. It’s so great to have so many independent business in Kent. It really does help with the buzz of Kent as a whole.
What does the future hold for Butt Vintage?
Things feel as if they are constantly accelerating for us at the moment, which is great because it forces us to learn quicker and drive harder. We’re always busy planning our next steps and feel very excited to see where it will take us. We could talk all day about future developments, but where’s the fun in that?! Let’s just say, expect to see more Butt both online and physically in the future.