Manchester is a kind and generous community at heart – and NEMCEE is the perfect case in point.
This slow-made clothing company has put functionality and kindness at the core of its business values since the beginning – and this was never more apparent than in the ‘Do Good Project’ launched during the dawn of the pandemic.
When NHS workers were placed under immense pressure last spring, NEMCEE – which is operated by a single set of hands in a Northern Quarter attic – stepped in to help combat the shortage of scrubs.
Despite being a small business that couldn’t match the production of big factories, the brand wanted to help in any way it could, supplying clothes wherever possible.
“I knew I couldn’t make them fast enough for the turnover front-line workers required,” says Niamh, the founder of NEMCEE and brains behind the ‘Do Good Project’.
“I decided I’d make hard-wearing sets in organic cotton for those not on the frontline who couldn’t order the more disposable ones due to the shortages.”
NEMCEE recognised the importance of NHS staff who weren’t on ICU wards, yet still deserved comfortable and free hardwearing workwear in order to focus on their roles.
Due to operating as an extremely small business, the funds to fully support this endeavour weren’t there. But this was no pitfall for NEMCEE, who launched their ‘Do Good Project’ in response.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a position to buy all the fabric and just make them. So I launched the ‘Do Good Project’,” explains Niamh.
“A customer could buy a jacket or a pair of slacks at the cost price of the item and a set of hardwearing scrubs for an NHS worker.”
NEMCEE offered a simple jacket style and existing #004 slacks at a reduced price, allowing customers to contribute towards the donation of scrubs while NEMCEE continued to make them.
Niamh launched NEMCEE after finishing her MA at Manchester Fashion Institute, aiming to create a collection of easy-to-wear garments made to last.
“We want to make practical clothing to last rather than fit into a trend.”, says Niamh, who is eager to spread the message of clothing that is utilitarian, durable and comfortable.
The brand uses mostly organic or deadstock fabrics and hard-wearing construction methods, taking pride in versatility and offering clothing that doesn’t conform to labels.
“All our styles are unisex and seasonless, so they’re for anybody”, Niamh explains.
The brand is keen to make clothes that help people live their lives, whether that’s NHS workers or the everyday person.
Although the ‘Do Good Project’ has now ended, NEMCEE is continuing its charitable donations.
“We currently have the fabric option of pink ticking cloth,” Niamh tells us.
“This can be used for various items and includes a £25 breast cancer charity donation.”
You can shop NEMCEE’s slow fashion selection and support their efforts via the company website.
The surprisingly affordable luxury eyewear brand made famous by Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy
Most of us who watched Peaky Blinders finished the later seasons with a new-found obsession with stylish eyewear, thanks to the glasses Cillian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby started wearing as his character progressed.
But did you know that you don’t need to run a dodgy racketeering enterprise to afford his accessories?
The lovely tortoiseshell frames were made especially for the hit BBC show by IOLLA, a Scottish brand who opened their first English store right here in Manchester last summer.
The brand specialises in fashionable, innovative glasses with a totally transparent pricing strategy – no hidden costs or added extras.
So that means you can get a stylish new pair of specs for £85, which includes prescription lenses and coatings.
What’s the catch? Erm, there genuinely isn’t one.
The new store at St Ann’s Square is a stylish space where shoppers can browse and try on the full IOLLA range, from the tortoiseshell MacDonald frames (the closest you can get to Tommy Shelby’s) to the bold cat-eye shape of Kelly.
Then there are the Frosted collection glasses, launched today, which take IOLLA’s best-selling styles and create them with new frosted coloured acetates.
All the glasses and sunglasses are handmade, uniquely designed and built to last – something that caught the eye of BAFTA-nominated costume designer Alison McCosh, who approached them to create a pair of frames for the fifth season of Peaky Blinders.
Anyone who visits IOLLA can have a styling session with an eyewear expert and build their own eyewear wardrobe.
Customers are encouraged to have their eye test prescription to hand (IOLLA don’t offer eye tests) before placing their order through their digitally enabled platform either in person or online.
The viral online shop selling ‘mystery boxes’ of amazing vintage clothes
An online shop is selling boxes of vintage clothing for an absolute bargain – but the catch is you never know exactly what you’re going to get.
Shop Vintage Mystery Boxes will specially choose items from its massive collection of branded vintage clothing and package them up for you, with three-item mystery boxes starting from just £65.
And given that the boxes often include things like North Face puffer jackets (which retail for around £300), you’re set to make some major savings.
Turning everything we know and love about shopping on its head, Shop Vintage Mystery Boxes is providing a brand new service that gives you the chance to grab some seriously good-value designer clothes, but you’ll have no idea what you’re actually getting until it arrives on your doorstep, The Hoot reports.
Mystery boxes certainly aren’t a new development in the retail world, but people are losing their minds over the options that are getting sent out to customers for less than £50.
And its social media marketing is absolutely on point too – the brand films themselves packing up orders and posts them on TikTok, racking up millions of views a week.
Popular combinations seem to include North Face jackets, Champion, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirts and t-shirts.
Humbly offering incredible items in their boxes, the company does state that “we do not overhype and oversell our boxes, they are what they are and always very good value for money. Put your trust in us and we won’t let you down!”
Prices start at £45 for menswear and womenswear, and offer three different types of packages: vintage, comfy and cosy- and if you’re lucky enough you’ll be able to watch your order getting packed on TikTok.
In one of the company’s latest videos, a North Face puffer jacket, embroidered Champion sweatshirt and Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt can be seen being packed up for a happy customer.
New, the items could retail at anywhere up to £250-£300, but instead this Shop Vintage Mystery Boxes customer won’t pay more than £65, with the added perks of reducing fashion waste and supporting a small business- seems like a win, win really.
Each contain vintage items from the 80s, 90s and 00s and the internet can’t seem to recommend the selections enough.
One happy customer said: “This will be my 4th box, first one for a man and I can’t fault it at all. Every item I’ve had is top quality. Nike puffer (reversible) 2 champion jumpers and a Tommy tee for this price! Amazing! I would 1000% recommend shop vintage, my partner is absolutely over the moon!”
Over on TikTok, Shop Vintage Mystery Boxes is also sharing what happens when they come across fakes (it includes lots of snipping – and a drop off at the charity shop).
Racking up hundreds of thousands of views (sometimes millions), people really can’t seem to get enough of these boxes- and it’s not hard to see why.
For more information on how to place an order with Shop Vintage Mystery Boxes, visit their website.