The student trio behind DeMoo Jeans share a love for vintage clothing and up-cycling. I chatted to Sassie, Jess and India about how their creative skills led to the creation of a successful sustainable brand, one that promotes a stance against fast fashion and has taken the student population by storm.
From a young age, twins Jess and Sassie Patel have displayed an interest in fixing up and making clothes. During sixth form, they made over £5,000 from buying and re-selling old designer clothes, putting their sewing skills to the test to patch up items. They met India Taylor-Smith at Durham University, and at the end of their second term, DeMoo Jeans was created.
Sassie- “Sewing is such an overlooked and useful skill.”
DeMoo was conceptualised on a train journey from Durham to Newcastle. Stumbling across cheap, good quality, ex-designer jeans in Newcastle charity shops, the girls knew the outdated DKNY and Calvin Klein flares could be up-cycled to look unique and stylish. From this shopping trip, the trio set about putting their creative skills to use, to customise clothing while earning some extra cash.
India – “We came up with DeMoo – ‘De’ for the denim we re-cycle and ‘Moo’ for our signature cow print trim which was very popular at the start of the journey.”
DeMoo products are sold via Instagram, with the occasional pop-up store. In addition to flared trim jeans, signature products include material headbands, in a wide array of colours and styles. Instagram has allowed the flexibility of sales but also as a platform to grow the brand; the headbands are quickly becoming recognisable amongst UK University students. Currently DeMoo markets items to female students and the brand has seen success through collaborations with other student brands including RHIMANI, GlittaGlo, Opali Jewellery and BiggerTheHoop.
The first year of DeMoo has been nothing but a success and “absolutely crazy.” DeMoo was featured internally in 16 Durham College Charity Fashion Shows, as well as externally in Newcastle, Exeter and St Andrew’s University Fashion Shows. The items have been worn by Emma Louise Connelly and Eliza Batten and Amelia Mist in Made in Chelsea, after which the brand received an influx of social media followers.
Jess explained an important objective behind DeMoo Jeans is promoting a stance against fast fashion, especially amongst female University students. Have you ever thought about why high street fashion brands can be so cheap? The sacrifices made by industries to fuel our hungry fashion appetites have dire humanitarian and environmental effects.
Denim is hugely decadent in its use of water: from growing the cotton, to production, to washing. Charity shops often cannot cope with the sheer amount of denim waste, resulting in shipping to landfill sites. By purchasing DeMoo up-cycled jeans, you’ll be slowing the alarming rate of detrimental environmental effects.
The girls look forward to expanding the brand, and want to continue their fashion success by supporting local Durham events and reaching out across the UK and further afield. Look out for the exciting Brand Ambassador Programme. The brand is blowing up – they’ve been approached by boutiques in Salcombe, Isle of Wight and even in Australia to feature their products!
As Jess, Sassie and India go into their third year at Durham University, I would like to wish them the best of luck as they balance studies and part-time jobs along with the expansion of this unique and creative enterprise.
DeMoo Jeans is an ethical brand of true craftsmanship, style and individuality.