Meet the duo behind fashion’s hottest – yet ‘greenest’ – brand.
Words by Charlotte Pasha
Chelsea girls, take note: RIXO’s shop on the King’s Road is worth getting lost in for at least half a day.
Relatively new on the fashion scene, it has a cult following already.
It’s where the cool girls go for their vintage-inspired dresses, gorgeous prints and fabulous florals.
The brand was founded by old university friends Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey. They’re putting the chic back into sustainability.
With a shop on the King’s Road, its location is no accident, either.
“The energy in London, especially West London, really inspires us,” says Orlagh.
“There is such a hub of creativity in the area, whether it’s new exhibitions or shows. It’s steeped in fashion and music history and culture.
“It’s the place where we both chose to come to university, where we met and where we have lived for the last 10 years.
“And our West London living room is where RIXO was born!” she adds.
In fact, RIXO’s last collection, the Woodstock-inspired Back to the Garden, showed at London Fashion Week in September.
It paid homage to the Swinging Sixties of the King’s Road.
It also focused heavily on sustainability. The whole set was sustainable, made from recycled British textiles.
And the collection was limited, with pieces running to a maximum of 175 per piece globally.
“We don’t produce for a sale season or overconsumption.
“For us, the ﬁrst price is the right price and pieces are limited and special – when they’re gone, they’re gone,” Henrietta says.
Plus, RIXO shoppers can choose whether £5 from the sale of each item goes to charity: Smart Works, or Cool Earth, which works to slow down deforestation.
Sustainability is hugely important to the duo, on a personal level and within the brand.
“When we met at university it just wasn’t something that anyone else on our course or any of our friends were into.
“We prefer to explore and dig around charity shops and vintage fairs than buy something brand new.
“We go all over London and the UK together and even plan our holidays around where we can ﬁnd the best ﬂea markets and vintage,” Orlagh says.
Markets and charity shops
Henrietta says: “Before we launched RIXO, we’d always rely on our favourite vintage silk pieces that we’d discovered at charity shops or vintage markets and kept returning to wear again and again.
She adds: “My mum was the person who trained my eye for vintage. Since I was young she’s always taken me with her to auctions, antique markets and vintage fairs.”
With its pieces wellmade and classic, RIXO is a brilliant alternative to fast fashion.”
Never bin clothes
“We see the idea of throwaway fashion as completely alien and so do our customers,” says Henrietta.
“The quality, timelessness and cyclicality of vintage is what inspired RIXO.”
I ask how often we should be cleaning out our wardrobes, and hoarders will love the answer – basically, don’t.
“Don’t get rid of clothes at all!” Orlagh says.
“We want RIXO pieces to be something that our customers can really love, want to wear over and over again and pass down to their daughters and even granddaughters – future vintage!”
RIXO pieces are produced in India and China. But the women are conscious of the downsides of this, and do their best to combat them.
“In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we source the fabrics and produce our pieces in the same location.
“Some other brands will source their fabrics or silks in China but then put their fabrics on a plane to be produced elsewhere,” Orlagh says.
RIXO on the road
The duo’s latest idea is their vintage Sixties Routemaster RIXO bus.
A roaming pop-up shop, it will be travelling the UK and abroad next year, stopping at key cities and festivals.
Photo credit: Aloha Shaw.