Ten minutes with Brett Staniland

We are incredibly excited to share with you our Bret Stanliand X Positive Retail edit. After our shoot with him in Margate we sat down and chatted all about the industry and clothes he loves. Read it all below...

Why did working with us resonate with you?

I love working with businesses whose morals align with mine. Many organisations either claim to be interested in sustainability due to clout, to greenwash or because its financially lucrative. With me it's because I genuinely care about the state of the planet and think fashion can have a big impact. Positive Retail is born out of the same values.

What about our brand stood out to you?

The personal feel to the brand is one. I love that there’s Anna and Emma involved as well as all the staff at the stores. It’s great to connect and communicate with people involved in fashion, this is a big thing which I think online platforms which are pretty much faceless, really miss out on - It’s the connection with people at the heart of the brand.

It takes courage to speak the truth to powerful organisations. In a world of cancel culture and backlash, what keeps you motivated to keep speaking up?

I think I’m at a point in the industry now where I just don’t care about upsetting anyone who is on the wrong side of this, even if they have an enormous audience and popularity. Being on Love Island exposed me to a lot of sh*t and after that I was kind of ready to take anyone on. I’ve lost out on tons of work over the last few years, and I’m lucky that I don’t depend on it for my livelihood, but I believe that if I have the position to take a stand, I should. And no one can bully me if I’m informed and I stick to my morals and values which are literally the health of the planet and vulnerable people. I’m motivated by the scenes of people still being exploited who don’t have a voice, as well as the extreme weather conditions and rising natural disasters, which I always connect to climate change and therefore the impact of the fashion industry.

Who are the designers getting it right in terms of sustainable fashion atm?

I love seeing Patrick McDowell’s shows. They have a really holistic approach to fashion. Literally considering every aspect of a fashion show before doing one. I’ve walked for them a few times and I’ll go and talk to them about the collection in the lead up. The materials and processes are of course amazing but even things like the having no single-use plastic backstage at the show, and all the makeup and skincare is vegan. Marine Serre has done a few incredible shows to really communicate fashions’ waste issue and has mentioned de-growth in interviews. And I think Glenn Martens is doing well at Diesel to try and infiltrate a huge global brand in becoming more responsible, which can be extremely challenging. Stella McCartney is always pushing the needle forward, her most recent show was her most responsible/sustainable to date, which is promising to see her commitments to continuously challenge herself and the industry after so many years.

Brett in Issey Miyake Pleats Please preloved coat - available to purchase here

What things are brands still getting wrong and what needs to change in your eyes?

Many brands are using sustainability to ignore or even excuse their over-production issues. This can be a ‘responsible’ collection or a resale platform, which many fast fashion brands have launched in the last year or so. These are minor, barely impactful pseudo-solutions when you're still going to produce 20,000 items a year. The thing that is glaringly obviously missing is strict legislation. As of recent revelations, Mahmud Kamani, for example shouldnt legally be allowed to run a business in the UK for all the exploitation of people and illegal work practices he has enforced throughout his production chain.

How would you encourage more shoppers to buy resale?

I really want people to connect with their clothing! There are so many amazing pieces with amazing stories behind them. It;s the best thing when someone asks you where you got something and you can tell them the story of where you found it or who you bought it o. You’re just one part of that garment's life, and it's really endearing to consider what type of person wore the item before you. I love designers and knowing collections too so you can guarantee I’ll ramble on about what collection it was from and what the designer was like etc. But I think resale is extremely good for helping people develop their own sense of style and once you do this, you're less likely to be swayed by trends, can understand what works for you and your body and expressing your own personality through clothing, You’ll literally need less stu overnight.

Best resale/ pre-loved items you’ve ever bought?

I have a Valentino Uomo overcoat that Scott and I share - He found it in a vintage store in Milan a few years ago, it’s beautiful and I think it’s about the same age as we are. I wear it all the time. I also have a few Comme Des Garcons Homme Plus Blazers, one courtesy of eBay (Fall/Winter 17) and one from Positive Retail in Margate! I love those pieces as they are all timeless but also represent specific moments in fashion from runway shows.

The fashion resale market is set to grow 9X faster than normal retail by 2027 what do you think people will be looking for from resale brands in that time?

I think personality! The resale market is gonna be huge, and it will be swamped with fast fashion, which is fine to an extent as we need all made clothing to remain in cycles for as long as possible. But by that point a lot of it will look the same, so we need lots of uniqueness and personality, we need in-person shopping experiences which connect people with clothing, and we need places which foster community and conversation.

Who’s doing resale well in your eyes (bar us!) hahaha

I do struggle to give pre-loved menswear-specific recs! I’ve shopped on Marrkt, eBay, Vestiaire and Vinted but with all these you miss that in-person experience which is why I enjoy going to British Heart Foundation stores and other charity shops so much.

Lastly...you guys were so fun on the shoot together, what is it about your job that makes you happy? Fashion can get a bad rep but we believe there’s so much positive to be found too (We are Positive Retail after all!) what is it that makes a good vibe for you?

I really love being involved in the creative processes. I think being a model sometimes can be a little disconnecting from the product, story and brands as essentially you are a ‘mannequin’ (French word for Model). Having said that, the job has allowed me to travel and meet a lot of really cool and creative people. This is what I enjoy the most. There’s so many amazing things that can be done with clothing. The story telling processes, the crafts people and the artisans and the people involved in communicating all of this, are who I love connecting with. When you find like-minded people in your industry it makes the job so much better!


Make sure you check out Brett's edit of designer preloved items here.