Metal store

Waste! Shop: Welcome to London’s coolest shop

It’s like a digital storefront.

J: Exactly, and we’re trying to use that as a way to create a digital version of the experience you get when you enter Waste! Store. That being said, we have special artist editions that we are working on with Peter Sutherland, Cali DeWitt and Josh Gordon that we will be selling online. Growing up, a lot of my favorite artists were overseas, so I couldn’t get their work delivered without paying a billion pounds. So we want special items to be accessible to people, but a website is our worst nightmare.

Have you met any particularly memorable people since the store opened?

J: A guy came with his wife. We were selling a Public Image Limited concert photo, taken the night they met.

A: A group of friends came over and they were in a magazine that we had dragged. I gave it to them for free – it’s way cooler for them to have it.

J: Then there was this kid from the United States who came along, he was super nerdy. He wanted to buy a present for a girl he was in love with, to woo her. He only had about £15 but I ended up giving him a bunch of shit. He said she was really into heavy metal and we have zines and artwork on that, so that was perfect. I also gave him a Furby candle and a T-shirt that we made.

A: There is another child who comes with his father. He’s been here about six times and I give him a Smurf figurine each time. I raise them and he shows the one he wants. He loves finger monsters and I made a Waste of it! badge for him to put on his cap. He was so happy!

J: We have stuff here for people aged 4 to 100. We love canned stuff like those finger monsters or mood rings, the kind of thing you’d see on the counter as a kid, when you’re as high as the counter and want all the weird bits there -down.

Waste! definitely replicates this wide-eyed kid in candy-like sentiment.

J: This is how retail should be! We don’t really see ourselves changing the industry, but if we can help people feel more accessible… That said, it’s easy when everything is so boring. People make a store by looking at other stores and copying that. Although we don’t necessarily plan, we always wonder how we can make things fun and think a lot about getting our personalities across, doing things Wasted! Style.

A: And we just like to design things. When we are not there, there is a sign in front that says: Please deliver next. I spent a lot more time than I should have conceiving this little moment that no one else would care about!

You don’t do anything just for fun…

J: In 2022, people have seen enough clothes on white backgrounds. They need something more. There are so many connections to be made behind the products, and I think you take something different from an item that you physically purchased from a place like Waste!, than if it were mass-produced. We’re lucky in the sense that it’s a timeless way of working. When your business is based on independent thinking, it tends to do well.

A: If we store something, it means we believe in it.

Learn more about waste! Store here