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. The Maskne Solution

    As we grapple with daily life in a protective mask, some of us are feeling the effects on our skin. We share our tips and favourite products to help your skin work with your mask, not against it.

    More +
  2. Bug x Glasshouse Anti-Waste Accessories: Collection #2

    ​We have collaborated with sustainable linen wear brand and Glasshouse friend, Bug Clothing, for a second collection of Anti-Waste Hair Accessories.

    More +
  3. Second Hand September

    ​We speak to the founder of Retold Vintage and look at the new generation of ethically-minded vintage sellers.

    More +
  4. Organic Beauty + Wellbeing Week: Why We’re Embracing Organic

    As we celebrate Organic Beauty + Wellbeing Week 2020, we demystify organic certification and find out what the term means to some of our favourite beauty brands.

    More +
  5. Q&A: Eve Williams of Ede Skincare

    ​We catch up with Eve Williams, the founder of Ede - the latest skincare brand to join the Glasshouse collection. Their handmade products celebrate the age-old practice of aromatherapy, with a 21st century twist.

    More +
  6. Home Colouring with Glasshouse Salon

    As salons remain closed across the country, we know many of you have started wondering what you’re going to do about your pesky roots and eyelash-sweeping fringes. Here, we talk you through the safest options for home colouring - what you should consider and which products might just give you just the temporary solution you’re after.

    More +
  7. Q&A: The Under_Label

    ​During this challenging time for businesses, we are looking to our brilliant community of independent brands. Ethical underwear label, The Under_Label, is one such brand. We sit down with its founder, Jasmine Wickens, to talk about design, ethics and the importance of aesthetics.

    More +
  8. The Glasshouse Guide to Self Care

    ​We’re living through challenging times and it’s easy to forget to check in with our own wellbeing. We’ve compiled some of our favourite products that are perfect for carving out a therapeutic and much-needed self care moment.

    More +
  9. Ancient Beauty Rituals

    ​The time-honoured beauty rituals that still work today are being reimagined for the modern day by the likes of skincare experts such as Guy Morgan. We investigate further…

    More +
  10. Glasshouse Salon: Covid-19 Statement

    More +
  11. Eco-Conscious Fragrance

    We unbottle the perfume industry and speak to some of our favourite sustainable scent-makers.

    More +
  12. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Pisces

    ​It’s that time of the month again, where we rejoin our resident astrologer, Daliah Roth. This time we’re exploring Pisces season, and finding out more about this compassionate, sensitive and imaginative sign.

    More +
  13. Q&A: Basho Skincare

    ​We sit down with Mimi + Tor, founders of Basho Skincare, to dive deep into their inspiration behind their organic, plant based skincare that is both ethically sourced and responsibly made, placing everyone’s unique, natural rhythms and cycles centre stage.

    More +
  14. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Aquarius

    We rejoin our resident astrologer Daliah Roth, who is guiding us through one of the zodiac’s most opinionated, knowledgable and bohemian signs - Aquarius.

    More +
  15. Reduced Waste Hair Care

    Get the lowdown on Glasshouse Salon’s new reduced waste service and follow these five simple steps to make your hair care routine more eco friendly.

    More +
  16. Astrology with Daliah: Capricorn

    As we ease into a new decade, we turn to Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, for a closer look at the ambitious, organised and practical Capricorn.

    More +
Load more posts