As a bonus instalment of the interview series we spoke to Sam Binstead, a regular Goral collaborator and the perfect guy to go behind-the-scenes while our sneakers are in production. Sam visited Goral's workshop in Sheffield on the day our goat leather was being cut or "clicked", as it's know in the industry.
For those that don't know you, can you tell us a little about yourself? How long have you lived and worked in Sheffield?
Of course! I’m Sam and I currently live a fairly, shall we say… multidisciplinary life? I’ve lived and worked in Sheffield for nearly 10 years, managing a coffee shop before opening my own natural wine and coffee business. Alongside this I also run an Instagram and YouTube account advocating for a slower approach to fashion and consumption, and with that do some photo and video work for such brands! Oh and I host the excellent show ‘Will It Shoe’ too! Whilst quite hectic, I do feel like I’ve found a good balance of creativity and business, work and life.
As someone involved in the Sheffield food and drink scene, is there anything our other three interviewees missed that should be in our guide?
Gilt. It’s seriously world class pastry and we go every weekend. It’s a minimal and elegant little shop but the produce on the counter does all the talking. Try the Pain Suisse if there’s any left when you get there, and take a Croque Monsieur home too. Oh yes. Salivating talking about it.
You're a big advocate for a slower approach to fashion. What are your top 3 tips for people looking to make meaningful changes?
I think the most important thing is to just stop. Stop shopping. Stop consuming. Take a break and reassess your relationship with clothes and shopping. If you’re wondering why you’d want to do that then you only need to do a quick bit of research into the fast fashion business model, and how it abuses the workers, the planet and YOU (the customer) in a viscous cycle. But lets say you’ve already realised that your wardrobe is full of unworn clothes, or that you’ve learned all the shocking statistics about returns being land filled and unsold stock being burned, and you’re ready to engage with ‘slow fashion’ my top 3 tips would be:
- Learn to darn or sew a sashiko patch. It’s SO easy, and SO cheap, and mending is such a wonderfully mindful process. I’m not saying you’ll be a pro, I’m not, but mending something yourself is so satisfying and it’s a much needed skill that we’ve lost due to fast fashion’s race to the bottom on pricing.
- Wear what you already have. If you’re interested in being more ‘sustainable’ and reducing the impacts of your wardrobe then the best thing you can do is wear what you already have. This then works hand in hand with more conscious shopping habits to create a really positive cycle of more enjoyment and less consumption. Save your money for something truly meaningful.
- Dress for you. Forget influencers and celebrities and trying to copy looks. Do the work on finding your own personal style, what makes you tick, what makes you feel great, and you’ll just naturally start to make more considered choices.
There are SO many different ways we can engage with the slow fashion movement, and I made a lil video about that recently!
How did you get involved with the team at Goral? Tell us a bit about "Will It Shoe?"
Goral actually reached out to me about Will It Shoe? after seeing a few of my YouTube videos! They’d come up with the concept of trying to make shoes out of scraps and waste materials, and were looking for someone to ‘host’ the show as such! I get to have a look at the raw materials and talk a bit about it, then after that I get to blindly open a box a couple of weeks later to see if it has shoed! So far its run the gamut of surprisingly marketable shoes made out of old T-shirts, to terrifying and unspeakable things crafted from Peppa Pig…
You kindly tested a pair for us and have also been behind the scenes while the Goral x Billy sneakers were in production, what have customers got to look forward to?
Honestly I’m so excited for these. There is something so unique about the goat leather, and the softness and suppleness lends its self to a comfortable sneaker so well. Paired up with the quality and workmanship that comes out of the Goral workshop and you have, to me, one of the most exciting things to happen in the world of trainers in a long time!
Exceptional Leather Sneakers - Made in Sheffield
Our limited edition goat leather sneakers were first available to pre-order between 14th - 24th October 2021. They are occasionally available for re-order so sign-up for email notifications on the product page to be the first to find out.
Billy Tannery is a new kind of leather company. Find out more about our leather tannery.