Local Loves: Straw London

We’ve always got our eye out for independent makers and artisans who set up shop near our salon in East London. Which is why we were delighted when we spotted Straw London take over a much-loved spot on Wilton Way for the next few months. An Instagram favourite, Straw London source beautiful and unique vintage straw bags from far-flung places and bring them back to London through way of their online store and various pop-ups. Hand-sourced and each with an individual story, we love that these bags and have been preserved and are now finding new homes.

After a successful Straw & Friends pop-up on Columbia Road with some of our own favourite brands - Bug Clothing, Kana London and Eesome - Straw have now set up home for the next three months in a sunny spot right by London Fields. With a more dedicated space, brand founder Emily has expanded her collection of straw, crochet and wicker bags, as well as adding some beautiful vintage ceramics, jewellery, candles and other bits and bobs to the shelves. We thought it only right to catch up with our new neighbour Emily and find out a little more about all things Straw.

Tell us about Straw London and what inspired you to start the brand?

Straw London started as a personal collection which grew and grew and after at least six months of not being able to get into my living room, I decided it was time to start sharing my collection with others. I started collecting while shopping for vintage t-shirts at flea markets in California. I found such fantastic bags that pretty soon I was more interested in the bags than the t-shirts!

How do you go about sourcing your bags? Where are some of the far-flung places you’ve found them?

I’ve worked in fashion for a number of years and have been fortunate to travel to some amazing places. Wherever I go, I’m always on the look out for bags and baskets. Some of my favourite finds have been in California, Berlin and France. These are ones which I haven’t seen since and cannot bear to part with!

What do you think is so unique about a straw bag and why do people love them so much?

I’ve found that people love straw bags so much because they are beautiful, versatile and unique as each one is handmade. It’s a dying craft and I think people really appreciate that they are giving new life to forgotten items and techniques. Our collection is also a point of difference to the mass production of the high street/fast fashion. Each bag we source is labelled with its name and the location in which it was found. Instagram has been fundamental to the growth of the brand and it’s so great to see people’s responses to our bags. I’ve found that I’m certainly not the only one with a straw bag collection!

It has also enabled me to connect with artists all over the world and work with them on creating some exciting new pieces. Soon we will be stocking some of my own designs to compliment the ever changing vintage selection.

Tell us about your new home on Wilton Way. What are some of your favourite things to do/places to visit locally?

Tom from J Glinert was kind enough to loan us his beautiful space for a few months. Wilton Way is such a special street and it is great to have a shop window as our previous pop-up (Straw and Friends on Columbia Road) did not. It means I can get more creative with sourcing other vintage products such as ceramics and homeware which complement my bag selection.

It is such a treat to feel part of a great community. Everyone is so friendly and we are surrounded by some amazing businesses. Momosan for her beautiful curation of interesting products, Wilton Way Deli - Francesca is keeping us alive with her delicious Parmigiana, Amir from Footnotes has been so kind and welcoming and of course Violet - whose sweet treats are difficult to resist.

We are so lucky with great places to eat nearby but one of our favourites is an Aperol Spritz and bowl of pasta at Ombra after a walk through London Fields.

Thanks Emily!

Browse the Straw London collection here.

Images: Phoebe Ede for Glasshouse Journal

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. Circular Beauty: Part One

    Circular beauty is the beauty trend we hope never goes out of fashion. In part one of this series, we look at how food waste is finding a new home in our skin and hair care.

    More +
  2. Think Piece: Beauty Fasting

    The beauty industry is bigger than ever. But what does that mean for the environment? And what are our overcomplicated regimes doing for our skin? We delve into the world of ‘Beauty Fasting’ to see if there’s any worth in cutting things down and giving our skin, the planet and our wallet a break.

    More +
  3. Minimal Makeup with Maximum Impact

    As things heat up this summer, we’re favouring minimal makeup with maximum impact. From a bold lip to blush-flushed cheeks, this is a simple concept that places the focus on the skin paired with a punchy summer makeup look of your choice.

    More +
  4. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Cancer

    In the second instalment of our Astrology series with Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, Daliah talks us through the qualities and attributes of the Cancerian. Nurturing, emotional and perhaps prone to grasping onto things and people, find out how much you identify with the sign and what it could mean for you.

    More +
  5. Q&A: Jessica Tremp

    ​Australian-based photographer Jessica Tremp has captivated us with intimate portrayal of nature, sculpture, motherhood and everything in between. We caught up with her to find out more.

    More +
  6. Rituals: Eminé Rushton

    Having left her 9-5 for a slower way of life, writer and therapist Eminé Rushton speaks to Glasshouse on her new lifestyle rooted in Ayurveda and the rituals she has to keep her life balanced from early morning meditation to picking herbs in her garden.

    More +
  7. An Ode To The Ocean

    ​This World Oceans Day, we’re celebrating everything that the sea has to offer, from medicinal breakthroughs to inspirational beauty. With the marine ecosystem under threat from global warming and plastic pollution, we believe it is worth every effort to save our ocean.

    More +
  8. Glasshouse Summer Editorial

    To bring in the new season we’ve partnered with photographer Emma Sweeney for our latest Summer editorial featuring soft pink hues and glowing skin.

    More +
  9. A Sustainable Department Store: Workshops

    ​From making your own natural facial masque to a still life drawing session, join us at one of our events taking place next week at A Sustainable Department Store.

    More +
  10. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Gemini

    ​As part of a new Astrology themed series, Glasshouse friend Daliah Roth - The Highgate Astrologer - is bringing her expertise to the Journal for a guest edited post decoding this season’s sign; Gemeni.

    More +
  11. A Sustainable Department Store

    ​Bringing together consciously created goods by independent makers, A Sustainable Department Store is launching its first pop-up from 29th May - 4th June. We’ve spoken to four of the female founders behind the brands that will be joining Glasshouse in the Store.

    More +
  12. Masterclass: Fringe Matters

    ​Wondering whether a fringe is for you? Our latest masterclass tackles face shapes, styling and upkeep to help you make a decision once and for all.

    More +
  13. Glasshouse x Otiumberg

    ​We got together with photographer Thea Lovstad and jewellery brand Otiumberg to create a warm, summer inspired editorial featuring elegant gold jewellery and natural, glowing makeup.

    More +
  14. What Is Sustainable Fashion?

    ​As Fashion Revolution Week kicks off, we are exploring what it really means for fashion to be sustainable or ethical. With help from Sandra Capponi, co-founder of the Good on You app, we have put together a guide on how to made your wardrobe as planet, people and animal friendly as possible.

    More +
  15. Q&A: Holly Allenby of The Acey

    ​With a brand new business model that aims to tackle clothing waste in an innovative, stylish way, we catch up with Holly Allenby of The Acey. Proving that sustainability and style needn’t be separate entities, Holly tells us what she’s doing differently and how her latest collection is her most sustainable solution to date.

    More +
  16. The Plastic Problem

    Our ocean has a microplastics problem; these tiny pieces of plastic that will never quite disappear have been found on beaches across the planet, in the bellies of marine animals and even in our own food chain. The beauty and fashion industries have a big part to play in the plastic clean up and so we’ve dived into the issue to find out exactly how these particles are getting into the ocean and what we can do to help stop them.

    More +
Load more posts