MenDING: It Ain’t Easy…
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing a group of like minded young men, who all have a passion for clothing. Collectively they have merged their vibrant personalities and love of statement catch phrases, in order to stand out from the crowd and become a label in their own right.
Here we find out exactly how they did it and each members own personal take on MenDING.
What inspired you to start making sweatshirts?
Ed: To be honest, I was really fed up of spending a fortune on clothing.
Ricky: I thought the idea of doing T-shirts was too common and it also happened to be really cold when we came up with the idea!
Sel: I wanted to offer young people affordable clothing with a significant message behind it.
What’s the story behind the name ‘It Ain’t Easy’?
Sel: When I first came up with the idea, I was really struggling to find work and I just thought it isn’t easy being young and unemployed. I wanted to make clothing because I couldn’t afford to by it, but I also wanted the clothing to be a reminder of overcoming hardship. I wanted to say #It ain’t easy but it isn’t impossible to overcome what ever personal struggle you are going through.
Brandon: I really liked Sel’s concept and thought that I could really relate to the message. It also seemed liked a significant idea because it was a catchphrase often used in our school common room during exam time! I also encouraged the guys to stick to the name because it had a nice cockney ring to it and considering that we were all born and bred in East London, I thought it was a perfect name for our brand.
How have you found the process of MenDING and what challenges have you faced?
Ed: It hasn’t been easy! We started the brand whilst we were still in school, so you can only imagine how hard it was selling sweatshirts at break-time! Also because the statement is so frank, I think only certain people can relate to the message on the sweatshirt. I have really enjoyed learning the ropes and finding out how to make things by myself.
Ricky: I totally agree with Ed, but I also think that the struggle was only momentary. I enjoy knowing the fact that I don’t spend as much money on clothing now because I know how cost effective it is to make it yourself. It has also been really nice building a relationship with our customers because were usually really quiet but now nearly everyone in our local community is inspired by what we do.
Where do you see yourselves as a brand in the future:
Sel: Initially I started the brand as a personal venture but i began to struggle because I lacked insight. Having the other guys on board means that there is a possibility of a future. Ed would like to see us create sweatshirts for a female audience, whereas Ricky and Brandon would like us to focus on accessories such as hats and gym bags. My plan is to definitely expand to a wider audience so I will be working on incorporating everyone’s ideas. I am really optimistic about our future but I would like the brand to be an exclusive one rather than a brand that mass produces such as Nike and Addidas.