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Monsoon Accessorize announces closures in Hitchin & St Albans

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Monsoon Accessorize, the business behind popular High Street fashion retailers Monsoon and Accessorize have announced they are closing 35 stores across the UK with 3 in The Three Counties

Monsoon Accessorize have announced they are closing 35 stores across the UK. Monsoon Accessorize are the business arm behind popular High Street fashion retailers Monsoon and Accessorize. Of the 35 stores set for closure, two are located in the Three Counties. Monsoon in Hitchin is set to close and Monsoon in The Maltings, St Albans will also close.

A deal has been agreed to save the majority of the Monsoon Accessorize outlets. There are currently around 220 stores across the UK. Monsoon Accessorize founder Peter Simon has bought the struggling business out of administration, in a move which aims to save both brands but cuts 545 jobs in the process.

The deal will transfer around 450 jobs to Adena Brands, owned by Mr Simon, which has promised to inject £15 million into the business to allow the remaining stores to stay open.

Monsoon SS20 range

Having launched the Monsoon SS20 range earlier in the year, fans of the retailer in the affected area will need to either purchase the SS20 range online or at one of the remaining local stores. These include Watford’s Intu, Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden City, Roaring Meg Retail Park in Stevenage,  Hale Leys Shopping Centre in Aylesbury and Moonson in Hemel Hempstead.

Monsoon Accessorize SS20 range

Monsoon Accessorize SS20 range

Moving in an exciting direction and changing the script for how clothes are made and worn, this season Monsoon continues to create pieces that can be re-worn and recycled. Moonsoon have done this while staying true to their heritage and tapping into key trends.

With consumers becoming more conscious of sustainable fashion, Monsoon aims to make better efforts to create new and current pieces. The goal is to not only be fashionable but also eco-friendly using sustainable materials such as Lenzing,  Ecovero, recycled polyester and organic cotton. 

Over 50% of Monsoon clothing has been made sustainable for ss20. In addition, Monsoon has pledged to be over 90% sustainable by 2023. The ‘clothes for life’ recycling initiative will also continue to be a part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to looking after the planet. Picnic checks, broderie anglaise and dreamy tie-dyes, along with delicate chiffons and summer sequins bring a fun yet fresh approach to the season. Florals are plentiful and have been manipulated into bold geometrics, tropical blooms as well as the classic ditsy, adding diversity to the collection.

Full list of stores expected to close permanently include:

  1. Basildon
  2. Bexleyheath
  3. Burton-on-Trent
  4. Camberley
  5. Canterbury
  6. Carlisle
  7. Chelmsford
  8. Cork
  9. Patrick Street A, Republic of Ireland
  10. Cork
  11. Patrick Street B, Republic of Ireland
  12. Crawley
  13. Derby
  14. Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  15. Hereford
  16. Hitchin 
  17. Huddersfield
  18. Kilkenny
  19. Lancaster
  20. Lincoln
  21. Liverpool Airport
  22. Maidenhead
  23. Maidston
  24. Middlesbrough
  25. Newark
  26. Newtownabbey
  27. Northampton
  28. Southend
  29. St Albans
  30. Staines
  31. Sutton Coldfield
  32. Taunton
  33. Telford
  34. Trowbridg
  35. Truro
  36. Tunbridge Wells
  37. York Davygate

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Kinship Local helps champion local artists after a year of lockdown

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Kinship Local helps champion artists and creatives after a year of lockdown lows

Newly opened gift shop Kinship Local in Rowsham has found a positive way to help fellow small creative businesses whose sales may have suffered this last year.

Kinship Local was founded by small business owners Claire Ashton and Jen Burton, who have a passion for championing British made, independently owned, small creatives.

Lovers of good quality, great design, and an eye for the bright and bold, Kinship Local has been working with a range of Pop-Up Makers since opening its doors in June.

Claire explains, “We wanted to offer artists, designers and makers a local space, set amongst our own curated eco-conscious products. We wish to encourage local residents to shop small, shop locally and to support those who make in small batches, who pour their hearts and souls into their products. Step away from the mass made, and embrace the slow made”.

Jen adds, “Choosing to shop and buy from a small independent creative brings so much positivity. The Makers we choose to support in-store have a strong belief and ethic around sustainability and creating less waste, which is so important. Also, with the loss of income last year, it was crucial for us to help drive the local economy by supporting small businesses. We truly believe that you can buy beautiful, buy small and buy local all at once.”

Retail space along the UK highstreets is unattainable for so many smaller retail outlets. So with the support and belief of the team at Wild Raven Farm Shop, Kinship Local has been hugely popular and a happy welcome to local residents.

Since their second week of opening, Kinship Local has offered 3-4 Pop-Up makers every fortnight to showcase a range of products. So far, Bella Bowlicious headbands, Bethan Lily knitted cushions, Tweedles Handmade eco food wraps, Bridie & Bert Towelling Robes, Wild Flora Handmade resin wildflower jewellery, and Sarah McFloof painted pebbles and gnomes have all featured.

This week they welcomed Am & Flo hand-painted peg dolls, Magic Kind clothing, Jennifer Wesley cards and Immy & Boo recycled and repurposed fabric headbands, lavender eye pillows and yoga bags. There is always a mixture of products to inspire and a range of handmade gifts to give.

Pop-Up Partner Beth from Bethan Lily Knitwear says, “Kinship Local has been an excellent opportunity for my business. It’s kept me going and is definitely worth a visit to see all of the other lovely products in the cabin. Jen and Claire have been a pleasure to work with! “

“Since launching my products, both Claire & Jen have updated me daily and share in my excitement of sales and feedback with me….for this, I will always be thankful to them,” says Claire from Bella Bowlicious.

Whilst they are full until the beginning of September, Claire and Jen are looking for more artists and designers to support and champion.

Claire Ashton and Jen Burton of Kinship Local

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St Albans’ favourite Chloe James Lifestyle prepares for reopening

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Chloe James Lifestyle prepares for lockdown reopening

As one of St Albans’ favourite destinations for all things haute couture, we are excited that Chloe James Lifestyle have announced they will be reopening this coming Monday 12th April.

Regular St Albans shoppers will know Chloe James Lifestyle has been a fixture on High Street St Albans for over 10 years. Despite being extremely busy preparing for the reopening, Owner Donna Nichol has shared her thoughts on reopening Chloe James Lifestyle and what changes fashionistas can expect.

Chloe James Lifestyle owner Donna Nichol

Chloe James Lifestyle owner Donna Nichol

What are you looking forward to most at Chloe James Lifestyle?

Personally, I’m really looking forward to the buzz of a busy shop again – lots of chat and laughter and the general feel good vibes of helping people look and feel their best. Nothing beats it! When we reopen, we are going straight back to our normal hours i.e. 10-5.30 Monday to Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday. We can’t wait to open the doors again and welcome our customers back in!

What new changes can we expect at Chloe James Lifestyle?

The shop has had a complete refresh. Every single inch has been cleaned and there are lots of new products for our customers to enjoy, including great gift lines and a new jewellery brand as well as our Spring fashion collections. One of my personal favourites is a new French fashion label called FRNCH which we are currently featuring in our window – the colours are just stunning!

We love what independent businesses bring to St Albans. How do you think shoppers will respond post lockdown?

I believe there’s going to be a real return to shopping small. After all, we are the ones who have carried on throughout the pandemic, finding ways to adapt to our customers’ needs, offering Click & Collect and always being at the end of a phone to help find the perfect birthday gift. We’ve even personally delivered them on a specific date when it was possible!

We’ve also kept our windows vibrant to cheer up the daily walk and many people have said how much they loved this. It’s become apparent to everyone how much small independent businesses add to their community and we really must make sure they don’t disappear!


About Chloe James – Chloe James Lifestyle is an elegant lifestyle boutique based in St Albans specialising in fashion, art, stylish interiors and beautiful gifts.

TrendLife Magazine is available from a network of stockists across Beds, Bucks and Herts. For more info, contact us.

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AKILA have joined forces with techwear designer Charli Cohen

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LA based eyewear brand AKILA have joined forces with UK based techwear designer Charli Cohen to create Halo. A special limited edition capsule collection, AKILA x Charli Cohen Halo drops this Easter Weekend.

LA based eyewear brand AKILA have joined forces with UK based techwear designer Charli Cohen to create Halo. A special limited edition capsule collection, AKILA x Charli Cohen Halo drops this Easter Weekend.

AKILA Eyewear are designed to last & handcrafted from eco-friendly plant-based cellulose acetate. Unlike most other eyewear brands, Akila frames are made from cellulose acetate — an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum based plastics.

CHARLI COHEN

Charli Cohen was born out of a need for evolved clothing and progression within the fashion industry. They specialise in NEXTWEAR: a concept that looks to the future of fashion, aesthetically, in terms of technology and in terms of sustainability.

ABOUT CHARLI COHEN

Charli Cohen manufacture limited quantities of each style in London, Leicester, Porto and Shanghai. Using premium, responsibly produced technical textiles from Milan, as well as upcycling from military surplus and tacticalwear, Charli Cohen is a brand to follow.

This frame boasts a retro industrial look that combines hard-edged style with ergonomic comfort. Featuring a wrap-around shape, all pairs include a barb-wire chain retainer which can be attached to metal eyelets on each temple or worn as a necklace.

This capsule collection drops Friday 2nd April at AKILA

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