Small Business of the Year and Innovation Award entrant – Lost and Found Projects
International fashion designer Iain Archer has returned to his home city to launch a furniture and interiors business using reclaimed and recycled materials.
Iain did a foundation course at Burslem School of Art and later studied menswear at The Royal College of Art before working around the world for fashion brands including Speedo and Mooks designing street and surf clothing.
He has now founded Lost and Found Projects, a studio and workshop space based within Barewall Art Gallery in Burslem.
Iain redesigns and reimagines abandoned objects such as furniture, fashion, textiles and art, using his skills to turn them into objects people will want in their home. Lost and Found Projects has objects to buy but it is also a studio space where people can watch him working rather than a shop.
Iain moved back to Stoke-on-Trent just before the first lockdown and is committed to being part of the city’s arts scene.
He said: “It was quite a funny feeling coming back to Burslem and walking down streets I hadn’t been down since finishing art college. It’s such a beautiful town with astonishing architecture.
“It’s actually a really creative little hub and we’re trying to help with the regeneration of it.”
Wanting to help regenerate Burslem ties in beautifully with Iain’s passion for ‘circular thinking’ around furniture. “I take things that are redundant for a lot of people and rework them to become an heirloom.”
Furniture was Iain’s hobby during his fashion career and he says he gradually moved into using recycled and repurposed textiles to transform old furniture as a response to trends within the fashion industry.
Most of the pieces currently available at Lost and Found Projects were created by Iain personally but he’s also working on collaborations with other artists.
He plans to have drop-off facilities where people can deposit old fabrics to be reworked rather than sending them to landfill, potentially combined with community workshops.
Lost and Found Projects has been entered into the Innovation Award and Small Business of the Year categories of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.