Over the weekend I had the pleasure of representing Razz at the Sancho’s Dress press evening before the grand opening of their new store this Saturday 11th November. The owners, Kalkidan and Vidmantas, both Exeter graduates, are a bright and intelligent couple who genuinely care about improving the fashion industry and making a difference. I found them inspiring and driven.
Focusing on organic, ethical clothing and accessories, Sancho’s offers a wonderful variety of fashionable soft wools, organic shirts and dresses, and high quality accessories. Situated towards the end of Fore Street, their two shops are a couple of doors from either side of the Glorious Art House, and offer a stylish, minimalistic feel. A humble brand, from humble beginnings, that isn’t trying to be something it’s not. The new shop, in the final stages of completion, housed some charming collections of sustainably sourced accessories, locally sourced clothing and organic woollen jumpers for the cold winter months to come.
Among the rails of soft shirts and well-designed dresses was Kalkidan, one of the owners, mingling and chatting about her brand and her story. It didn’t take very long to see how passionate she is about her shop; her enthusiasm for what she is trying to achieve kept me absorbed when she was explaining her story.
They started their journey after they graduated from Exeter, and opened their first shop on Fore Street in 2014. After seeing the negative effects of the fashion industry on the local communities they visited in Ethiopia, they became inspired to make a difference. Kalkidan and Vidmantas wanted to support the people who made the clothes that we wear. Their commitment has paid off, because 3 years later their business is growing and they are about to open their second shop.
“Just go for it” Kalkidan tells us when we ask if she has any advice for students looking to go into the ethical clothing sector. “And you need a good business partner!” she adds with a smile, as she looks over at Vidmantas. They have both clearly worked incredibly hard to get to where they are today, and the buzz around the opening of the new shop can only be due to their dedication and hard work.
This season Sancho promises a beautiful range of soft scarves, shirts and vegan friendly knitwear, as well as a collection of sophisticated, contemporary jewellery and accessories. The items that had been put out for the press evening were gorgeous, I’m looking forward to the opening so I can head back and start my Christmas shopping, especially as students get 15% off. I’ve got my eye on the collection of mugs they had out; I could easily stock my whole kitchen with them!
I’ve also had the chance to try out their lovely, soft bamboo socks, and some ginger and mandarin soap, both gifts in the goody bag they were handing out. The soap has a gentle and pleasant smell to it, and I love the way it makes my skin feel after showering! I’ve also been showing off my new bamboo socks to my flatmates, as they feel so smooth and comfortable and the spotty pattern on them makes them very cute. Hopefully there will be similar items in the goody bags they’re handing out next Saturday!
Their grand opening to the public on Saturday 11th November, at 117 Fore Street, will not be one to miss. Open from 11:00 to 16:00, Sancho’s will be giving out 250 goodie bags worth £30 each, glasses of bubbly and nibbles. You’ll get a chance to enjoy some music and meet Kalkidan and Vidmantas, whilst browsing their new collections, and everything will be 10% off!
Sancho’s is a brilliant brand. They have created a very special shop, and I’m sure they have only good things coming their way!
– Luanna De Abreu Coelho