“Buy it, live it, luv it” is Gareth Wrighton’s catch phrase for the post-internet screenager. Here he shares his thoughts on #sexysustainability and the future of ebaE, an online magazine and retail space with a do-it-yourself and do-it-different ethos.
Louis Gabriel: What is ebaE and how was it conceived?
Gareth Wrighton: We wanted to create a zine that was about capitalism, consumerism, the struggle between fashion and shopping, and how young people interact with fashion online. The online shop element just adds a twist in the anti-consumerist story, hoping to find a solution to the problems within the industry today.
LG: Essentially, ebaE is observing the social phenomena and e-fallout of a commercially-led post-internet landscape. Where would you say it fits into this landscape?
GW: We identified one of the most important parts of the web 2.0 revolution was connectivity with an audience. Naturally we had to make the whole of ebaE click-to-shop, which felt right, as we wanted to exploit features exclusive to digital publications.
LG: How does ebaE define sustainability? Is it all recycling bins and solar panels?
GW: I like to think ebaE inspires do-it-yourself values amongst our readers. Don't throw away your clothes - deconstruct them, embellish them, draw rude things on them, tear them up or donate them to charity. A practical way of implementing sustainability is to reduce and recycle. Reduce what you buy, reuse what you have, and recycle anything you don't need. ebaE tries to make this ethos totally hot for an audience of screenagers who DGAF [don’t give a fuck] about anyone but themselves. The same goes for fashion. I think ebaE is widening that gap for #sexysustainable fashion. Sustainable clothes don't need a green label of a soppy leaf; I know that puts me off buying it. Designers should just continue making kick-ass clothes; keep the same labels but use sustainable materials. Creating sustainable collections that are separate to main lines are so irrelevant.
LG: Some of your products seem like they could really take off, such as the WANGK apparel and Manicure Emoji cap. Are you planning to expand the shop?
GW: [I am] not really planning to expand the shop. We just take things as they come. The problem with creating bespoke clothes from second-hand pieces is that you can never sell repeats. I'd like to explore how we can create large batches of the same outfit that can sell in quantities as opposed to one-offs, while staying environmentally friendly.
LG: What direction will ebaE take in 2015?
GW: We have a few really exciting projects that will be announced very soon. A unique project is launching this month that will be like nothing an e-commerce platform has ever done before.
Watch this space! http://ebae.bigcartel.com
[A “zine” is a self-published low-cost magazine or website, often with a small circulation, that is not-for-profit. They generally deal with complex, niche or controversial topics that would not normally be covered by mainstream media.]
Words: Louis Gabriel
Photography and Styling: Gareth Wrighton & ebaE team