Allegra Shaw talks Uncle Studios, how to shop sustainably, clean beauty faves, and more!
Social ‘it’ girl Allegra Shaw is all about sustainable fashion! The Canadian fashion entrepreneur is sitting down to chat with HOLR about her brand, Uncle Studios, and how it fuses eco-friendly fashion with everyday elevated staples. From how she got her start in the industry through social media, to her top tips for shopping sustainably, Allegra is walking us through her journey in the fashion space and what’s next for her and her budding brand.
Talk to us about how you got your start in the industry.
So, I started on YouTube. I fell into pretty much everything I’ve done in my life- nothing has been planned. I started doing YouTube as a hobby, but with Uncle Studios I was very naive and sort of fell into it. My business partner – Shirin Soltani- and I were at that age where we were doing a lot of shopping but we weren’t doing a lot of shopping at brands that have quality pieces. I don’t think there were a lot of brands at the time that were at a price point we could really afford and were great quality, so we decided to amalgamate all of our white tees. We decided to make a white t-shirt and at first thought, “How hard could making a clothing company be?” Well, really hard! It was very naive of us, but we put all of our white t-shirts together and made The Super Tee. It’s still the same pattern we use today for our perfect T-Shirt. The fabric is good, the manufacturing is something you can feel good about, and that was really important to us when creating pieces. We wanted to make sure the labor was ethical, as well.
As a Canadian Fashion Entrepreneur, tell us how Uncle Studios came to be and how it fuses eco-friendly fashion with everyday elevated staples.
It was a very naive jump into the fashion industry. We both didn’t have design experience or connections in the industry- we just jumped in. That’s how I do everything in life. It’s a pro because I’ve gotten to do so much but a lot of mistakes can happen. However, you learn from those mistakes. We started making everything in Canada because we didn’t realize how manufacturing worked. During the pandemic, we actually took things overseas because the manufacturing industry in Canada is so small and everything was basically shut down due to COVID. We also started getting into proper collections and proper cut and sew. This gave us the time to think about what we really wanted Uncle Studios to be and where we wanted it to go. Today, our proper cut-and-sew collection really leans into elevated, everyday staples. These pieces are super wearable, comfortable, and above all, they’re pieces that you can gravitate towards every day. In terms of the eco-friendly thing, although it can be a buzz-worthy thing, it’s something that has to be that way for us. We try to limit our use of anything we find detrimental and do as much research as we can- we’re still learning as we grow but it’s something we constantly are thinking about in what we do. Whatever we are doing is at least eco-conscious.
What are some of your go-to tips when it comes to making sustainable choices while shopping?
When things are made in an eco-friendly, ethical way, prices can be higher which isn’t in everyone’s budget. However, you can always shop in a sustainable way by not shopping for overly trendy pieces. Not overbuying is important too. When you buy something, make sure it has longevity. As long as you are going to wear, love, and cherish the piece you buy for a long time- and your cost per wear is going to be low- that’s a great choice for you. I do this thing when I’m shopping where I need to think of at least 5 outfits off the top of my head that I can style with the piece I want to buy. Just remember that when you’re buying something it’s not just to satisfy a quick trend and it’s actually something that you want in your closet for a long time.
As a lifestyle creator, what are some of your clean beauty favorites?
I can’t say that I’m the most knowledgeable when it comes to clean beauty, but I definitely do this one thing. I have acne-prone skin, so my whole thing is that I go on a website (Acne Clinic) where you can put all of your ingredients through it and it will tell you if there are any ingredients in it that will clog your pores. That’s my best tip if you have acne-prone skin so I run everything through there. I also keep things simple- I’m a natural makeup kinda girl. I’ve also been really loving brands like Saie and Summer Fridays.
What’s next for you?
I feel like I hit 30 and I had like a quarter-life crisis. I had to readjust what I like and what my hobbies are. I took some time to reevaluate everything and I’m still putting out content- I love TikTok and how relatable it is! I’m also still on YouTube. In terms of Uncle Studios, we’re working on creative for Fall/Winter 2023 and the Spring/Summer 2024 collection. It’s a crazy time working in clothing- you’re always ahead. I’m so excited for Fall. There’s a lot going on right now but it’s so exciting. I can’t wait for everyone to see it!