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Shopped: The Green Street

Fair trade becomes flair trade in Wavertree's eco-fashion paradise

Published on September 24th 2008.


Shopped: The Green Street

Where is it?
The Green Street
365-367 Smithdown Road
(near the Willow Bank)
Liverpool, L15 3JJ
0151 734 4333

History
After travelling backwards and forwards from Germany collecting and selling vintage clothes, Birmingham-born English teacher Andrew Stokes opened “Stoked”, on Smithdown Road, in November 2006.

He had a vision of generating a creative hub. Not just a clothes shop but somewhere where you could find out about new events, meet new people, listen to new music.

Within its first year, the clothing had people talking and, to celebrate its first birthday, they decided to have a bit of a party. The event was such a success (they apparently shifted loads of apparel) that they decided to make it a regular occurrence. Now you can expect discount evenings complete all that aforementioned music- live bands and/or a DJ - food and drink every couple of weeks.

This week, the name “Stoked” is being scrapped in favour of “The Green Street,” which hopes to make clearer the store's ethos...

Which is?
Funky ethical and organic clothing. The Green Street offers fairly traded and locally produced one-off items from designers like Claire Hart, as well as established eco-brands such as Organic Stereo, People Tree and Zenobia. Also in the mix, a top selection of deadstock vintage, reworked and customised clothing, music, books and accessories.

Who shops there?
Given the area, Green Street is inevitably a big hit with the student locals. They have a knack for sniffing out a decent dive, making friends with the charming handful of staff.

Although happy with his customer lot, Andrew is convinced that the regeneration within this bit of Wavertree will, over the next few years, attract people from all walks of life. Indeed, “all walks of life” came and bought Andrew's not-so-studenty -garb in their droves from a stall he did at this year's Hope Street Feast. So he's right.

What does it sell?
This store espouses the finest examples of “green” but not in the now-fashionable and incredibly expensive Tory sense. It is a genuine effort to promote unique designs but, more importantly, fair trading among textile manufacturers and ethical local makers. It just so happens that trendiness oozes from one original rail of organic cottons to the next.

You can tell Andrew and his staff are passionate about what they do. He says: “Its not difficult to understand. Fairtrade is not some crazy new concept, it is just how it should be. It's just common sense.”

The staff share that passion with customers too over a “nerdy” vintage conversation should someone find a piece for which they have searched long and far.

For a small shop, you can buy a hell of a lot of stuff. Whether it be a pair of Adidas trainers dating back to the seventies, a dress that has not long been finished, a local print T-shirt, a knitted hat, a ring-binder, a rubber duck, they have it all. You can even take your favourite garment to be altered or amended on site.

Why go there?
“Don't be cynical about fairtrade,” they say. “This is a good bandwagon to jump on.

“Feel good about helping people who work in horrific conditions..why shouldn't you? Feel good about helping improve the environment...this is where we live! Feel good about being against the big machines selling cheap, fast fashion at a big cost to us all.”

The Future
It seems the creative hub that Andrew imagined is beginning to take shape. A team of painters are working on an impressive mural outside the store and there is more and more going on inside the shop: they’ve recently started doing body piercings.

Verdict
If you’re a retro-rocking legend you’ll love Green Street, but even if you only occasionally visit Pop Boutique in search of an alternative to Primarni, Green Street is well worth the short hop on the 86 out of town.

www.thegreenstreet.co.uk

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Organic StereoSeptember 24th 2008.

Congratulations on your new venture, but please settle affairs pertaining to your old venture first... We are still owed money on an invoice dated April 2008 (ref OS-0005), I know it's not much but we are an extremely small company and every penny counts. I apologise for the public posting, but as we've had no reply to all our phone calls and emails over the last year, I had very few options left. Email sent to your new address with copy of the invoice (again). Would appreciate prompt payment. Regards, Etienne from Organic Stereo

Dave AndersonSeptember 24th 2008.

Vintage heaven!! The stuff here is so cool can't wait for my loan to come in!! Au revoir monsiour Dave

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