Bispebjerg Yoga Retreat & Minor Injuries Unit – Rerun Streetwear in Copenhagen25.07.2022
An interview with Rerun founder Toby Thorpe.
How did Rerun come about?
Growing up I always struggled to find hard-wearing trousers to skate in that weren’t crazy expensive, so I would fly around the charity shops all day hunting. I eventually found some links for old workwear in the US for super cheap, which I would buy and shift to our mates at the skatepark and on Depop. It started slowly growing from there.
Where were you living at this point?
Brighton. Wilf (Hastings) – who runs it with me now – moved down and we started sneakily working together from my flatmates’ bedroom when they were out at work. Eventually we moved back to Bristol and worked out of my parents’ flood-prone basement to save dosh.
Talk us through the operation now.
We now share a warehouse space with our friends at Rock Solid Distribution, which was a major upgrade. We couldn’t ask for better folk to have next door. There are five of us now, all mates from Bristol.
How do you source your stock?
We mainly source ’90s American vintage. We buy from wherever it ends up. Lots gets processed in the USA and Asia. I flew out to India a few years ago off the back of a random spam email saying: “Hello Toby, do you buy Carhartt?” That really opened my eyes to how much used clothing is out there. Airport-sized warehouses of the stuff… You’d be amazed how much people throw away.
How often do you add new stock to the site?
We tend to do drops of our regular vintage stuff every day as we make our way through the endless bales of clothing. Everything has to be individually cleaned, photographed and listed, so it’s pretty time consuming.
How did the pandemic affect your business?
It was a pretty crazy. We had just launched our website before the pandemic hit and it had been pretty slow. Then suddenly it just started popping off. There wasn’t much else to do, so we sort of just poured ourselves fully into work. We worked some pretty crazy hours. This set us up so we could move out of my parents’ basement and into where we are today, so it was bittersweet.
Your marketing, especially Instagram Reels, has been very successful. Tell us about that.
That just started as me and Wilf mucking around and filming as we worked. Reels had just launched, so we started chucking them on Insta, not expecting anything and it started feeding into the website. The growth was crazy. Wilf kept coming up with sketches and we started roping in Fran (Frances Herbert), Bear and the crew. I think the light-hearted marketing stuff is super important. You can only see a pair of trousers pop up on your feed so many times before you switch off.
Looking at your site, I was surprised how reasonably priced everything is. I am guessing affordability is an important principle.
For sure. We want our clothes and sustainability principles to be accessible for everyone where possible.
Tell us more about your sustainabilty principles.
This is a big one for us. Our vintage stuff tends to be inherently sustainable and having Frances Herbert – a seamstress – as part of the team early on has been amazing. She comes up with creative ways to use our scrap fabrics. Big shout out to her for that. We’ve still got a long way to go though. I really admire what people like Pia (Schiele) at Loutre are doing; that’s something bigger brands could learn a lot from.
Tell us about Re-works.
It’s probably my favourite part of our business. It started with Fran doing her magic and re-working all the broken and mis-sized bits we got in that would just go to waste otherwise. It’s been really well received. This approach is definitely going to become more important to brands in the future, so we will be pushing it as much as possible.
How close to the Bristol skate scene and skateboarding in general is Rerun? Do you have a skate team?
We definitely didn’t set out to be a skate brand, but we all skate and it’s a big part of our lives. I guess the team so far is Bear (Myles), Jay (Lentern), Jordo (Jordan Lightowler), (Jordan) Thackery, Luce (Lucien Parsons)… and a few more additions soon.
Tell us about the trip to Copenhagen back in April.
It was a crazy last-minute trip. We saw a break in the sketchy April weather and had some rad memories of the carnage at the Copenhagen Open a few years ago. It had been a tough few months for us with work, so getting away with the crew was really special.
What are you plans for the future with Rerun?
We just launched our first concession at Fifty Fifty in Bristol. We are hoping to roll out Rerun in a few more skate shops in the UK and abroad this year. Longer term we would like to innovate with our own brand of affordable, sustainable re-worked skate clothing and produce more proper video content.
Watch Dreamland, Lucien Parsons’ accompanying edit, here.