Kaye Stanton (Pippins Denim): “Sheffield has such a rich history rooted in making”
Pippins Denim owner Kaye Stanton founded her Sheffield-based sustain-able childrenswear brand back in 2018, originally making denim staples for kids from the offcuts of old jeans. These days, their denim is made in Italy by Candiani Denim, recognised as the most sustainable denim mill in the world and her range of jeans, coats and shorts have been stocked in both Selfridges’ London store and online.
Sheffield is at the heart of Kaye’s operation and after the denim leaves Italy and arrives in the UK, everything is cut and sewn in small batches in Kaye’s studio, a former city centre cutlery works. This allows them to have full control over waste, which they save to repurpose, making sure they’re never overproducing.
Kaye, who comes from a long line of seamstresses, says: “I try to have a considered approach to design and make a conscious effort to have as minimal impact on people and the planet as possible. If you asked me why I do what I do, I think the truth is I just can’t help it. I’m a self-confessed denim obsessive. It was actually after struggling to find any good quality and simple denim pieces for my own daughter that the idea for the brand started to come to life.”
“I was working in the vintage industry at the time and after seeing firsthand the amount of denim ending up as waste, I saw an opportunity to make something which could help solve that problem alongside my own frustrations. Few people can say their brand started from the legs of old jeans!”
Kaye, who is originally from Telford, moved to Sheffield for university and almost immediately fell in love with the city’s architecture and manufacturing heritage. She now lives and works in Sheffield with her husband, two daughters and brand mascot, Morris the dog, and is keen to emphasise the important role Sheffield has on her work.
She explains: “Sheffield has such a rich history rooted in making and manufacturing, so to keep that connection alive as part of a new wave of independents, artisans and makers that can be found throughout the city is really important to me.”
“The city also inspires me with its design and architecture. My heart belongs to concrete and old council estates. Park Hill, a brutalist housing estate in Sheffield, never fails to inspire me; I would love to see the lives and stories that went on behind the concrete. I think it echoes the reasons why I also love denim; the minimalist construction which allows the materials, the structure and the design to speak for itself.”
Sheffield has such a rich history rooted in making and manufacturing, so to keep that connection alive as part of a new wave of independents, artisans and makers that can be found throughout the city is really important to me.
“The most rewarding thing about making my pieces is seeing them then being worn and loved by kids and their parents all over the world. I find designing a very personal thing – whether I like it or not – so it always feels like I’m putting a little bit of myself out there each time I make something. To know that a piece goes beyond fulfilling its functional purpose to actually adding joy and value to lives makes it all worthwhile.”