Lockdown hasn’t been kind to our wardrobes. The boredom-busting online shopping sprees may have temporarily filled a hole, yet we’re somehow still living in the same three pairs of joggers on a loop.
A wardrobe declutter is desperately needed once lockdown is finally lifted, and there’s no better place to turn for help than Afflecks in Northern Quarter.
Up the winding stairs on the third floor of this labyrinthian shopping centre is a little place called LIEF: A self-described ‘swap shop and Dutch vintage treasure trove’.
First launching in September, the brand specialises in sustainable style – functioning as a store where Mancs can discover some hidden gems while giving their old clothing to a better home.
“I used to run swap shops as an event at festivals and local coffee shops”, says Hannah, who co-runs LIEF.
“I decided to anchor it as a little HQ so we are there every day if someone decides they want some new clothes!”
LIEF was founded to counter the current trend of shaming people that shop at more affordable high-street brands out of necessity, recognising that sustainable options aren’t always accessible.
“This is where sharing tips and information on other options such as secondhand stores and swaps become super useful”, Hannah says.
By providing a simple, informative swap-shop service – LIEF is making it refreshingly easy for local shoppers to get their hands on sustainable clothing.
The company charges £4 per item or 3 for £10 to swap, and you will then receive points based on LIEF’s system – 10 for jackets, 8 for jeans and so on.
After that, you can enjoy your own shopping spree and spend your points on a variety of items (which also have cash prices in case you want to buy them straight up).
LIEF customers are issued with personal record cards, so you don’t have to feel pressured into spending all of your points at once.
LIEF’s store will be reopening in April in accordance with Government guidelines – offering a selection of accessories, art, candles and gifts made by independent artists as well as clothing.
But the swap shop will also be making its online debut in spring – increasing LIEF’s presence (with their social media account already being used to champion other small businesses).
Hannah comments: “Our website will be live in April, which has been specially designed so customers can upload photos of their clothes, receive points for them into their virtual wallet within 24 hours, and spend them either online or in store!”
You can check out LIEF’s Instagram for all of their clothing inspiration and to be the first to know when their online swap shop launches.
Chanel fashion show in Manchester brought a staggering £8m boost to the city
The total value of the massive Chanel fashion show in Manchester has been revealed, along with that the amount it cost in public money.
Early analysis of the global event, which saw Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter shut down and turned into a runway, suggests it generated a whopping £8m impact for the local economy.
And it’s estimated that the value it’s had for the city overall through national and international media coverage will be worth at least £100m.
Chanel’s Metiers d’Art fashion show was held earlier this month and had the city in a flurry of excitement, with celebrities spotted including Hugh Grant, Tilda Swinton and Kristen Stewart.
They, along with names like Aitch, Bugzy Malone and Alexa Chung, were seen leaving fancy hotels and partying at venues like Salford Lad’s Club and Victoria Baths.
And now Marketing Manchester has valued the direct impact of the 600 Chanel guests and staff for the show to be worth £8m in direct income.
That includes staying in hotels for three to four days, spending in the local economy while they were here, and other expenditure like venue hire.
The Chanel show in Manchester is expected to attract even more investment, jobs and opportunities for Mancs too.
A main criticism of the show was how much it was costing the city to shut down one of its busiest streets for the week – the answer is nothing at all.
The council has confirmed that Chanel met all the associated costs, including cleaning, road closures, and recompensing the businesses affected by the event, with no cost to Manchester’s public purse.
In addition to that, 50 fashion students from Manchester Metropolitan University were invited to work backstage at the Chanel show, dressing models and supporting rehearsals.
Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said: “The Chanel event is one of the highlights in the global fashion calendar and the choice of Manchester as the host city received international acclaim.
“But for us it was never about the glitz and glamour – events such as this help cement Manchester’s reputation on a global stage and come with both direct benefits, through the money spent within our economy while they are here but also indirect benefits by showcasing the city and helping to capture investment, jobs, visitors and attention, all of which open up opportunities for Manchester residents and communities.”
Victoria Braddock, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, said: “The scale of the impact of the Chanel Métiers d’art show in Manchester will be felt for years to come.
“The global media coverage of the event has put a spotlight on Manchester and its rich heritage in textiles and home of iconic music, which will drive conversations about the city and bring new visitors.
“The £8m economic impact is a welcome boost across accommodation, restaurants, and attractions, and demonstrates the importance of global events in the city.”
Sarah Boyd, managing director of Sephora UK, said: “We are extremely excited to bring Sephora to Manchester, one of the most vibrant cities for beauty in the UK.
“Expanding our presence beyond London is something that consumers have been screaming out for, and we are listening hard to them when deciding where to go next.
“The Trafford Centre, known for its iconic atmosphere and diverse retail offering, is the perfect location for our third store.”
Russell Loveland, managing director at Pradera Lateral – Trafford Centre’s Asset Managers, said: “This iconic beauty giant already has a cult following, and our own social media has been blowing up with enquiries from excited customers eager for Sephora to open.
“We are very proud Sephora chose the Trafford Centre for its next location, which will be its first store in the North of England, and know it will be a fantastic success and a great addition to our strong international brand lineup.”
One person commented on Sephora’s Instagram post: “This is the best news I’ve heard all year!”
Another said: “OMG ITS HAPPENING, STAY CALM”
And someone wrote on Trafford Centre’s post: “Omg omg can’t wait.”