Glasgow Store 613 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G41 2QG, USA
- Patchwork, quilting, weaving and mending workshops.
- Seasonal sustainable fashion fabrics.
- Sewing tools and patterns.
613 Pollokshaws Road
WHAT WE LOVE
Bawn is a sewing shop specializing in sustainable fashion fabrics, haberdashery, sewing books, and gifts for the home sewer. Occupying the ground floor shop of a red sandstone Glasgow tenement, Bawn was founded by textile conservator Bevan O’Daly after a successful Kickstarter Campaign. Launched as an online store in 2020, the brick & mortar shop, just shy of 500 square feet opened in May 2021.
"At Bawn, we don’t shy away from the harsh realities of the current textile industry. We recognise that both business and consumer attitudes need to change - to slow down global textile production and consumption and sustain a healthy supply chain for the future."
What year was Bawn established? Launched online first in 2020, and then following a successful Kickstarter Campaign we opened the physical shop on May 1 st 2021 – the first weekend non-essential shops were allowed to open post Covid-19.
What makes Bawn so unique? Bawn specializes, and only stocks sustainable fashion fabrics, haberdashery, books and gifts for the home sewer and emerging fashion designers. It is a thoughtfully curated shop with a minimalist but colorful aesthetic. Most visitors, whether into sewing and crafts or not, compliment and appreciate what the shop stocks, the interior design, peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, and the mostly Irish playlist. Bawn is the only shop of its kind in Scotland, and perhaps the UK/Ireland. Nobody does fabric shops quite like this one. I'm there 99% of the time, and always up for a chat with visitors, sharing local knowledge with tourists, and best places to visit.
Is there a story behind the shop name? It is so difficult to name a business, it feels like everything is taken. I started with Bán, the Irish and Scottish Gaelic word meaning white – evoking the idea of starting from scratch, a blank slate or canvas, back to basics etc. But when you search the word without the accent on the letter ‘a’, the word Ban has very negative associations. By anglicizing the pronunciation to Bawn I found meant a meadow or fortified enclosure around an Irish Castle, so pretty perfect considering it is an Irish owned and environmentally conscious shop.
What are Bawn's best-selling products? The choice of fabrics are always changing by the season, but there are some items that are best sellers all year around, such as the selection of LDH scissors, reclaimed cashmere mending yarns from Second Cashmere, thread storage boards by Laura ter Kuile, handy little tools like a Hot Hemmer and Buttonhole Cutter from Clover of Japan and the range of organic cotton thread on wooden spools.
What inspired you to open Bawn? I always daydreamed of being a shopkeeper, but never thought it was possible until I saw women my age opening shops in Glasgow, shops like Wild Gorse Pottery and Love & Squalor (still running but not in a physical shop form). I worked in a chain of fabric shops in Dublin in my early twenties and even though I thought it was just a stop gap job at the time, in hindsight it was the best job. People who are passionate about textiles, and being creative are my kind of people, the best kind of people, I think. The idea of having a fabric shop, while always at the back of my imagination became a lightbulb, ‘the time is now’ moment, the day I found out a job I had wanted for years came up and I no longer wanted it. This day made for some much-needed reflections, and digging deep to what I really wanted to do and what was going to bring me the most joy. Bawn was born that day but named a few months later. What did you do before founding Bawn? I’m originally from Dublin and studied Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD). I moved to Glasgow when I was 25 to do a Masters in Textile Conservation, and still work free-lance as a textile conservator for museums, charitable organizations and private clients on top of running Bawn. Working free-lance allows me the freedom to work in the shop and take on conservation projects as and when I like, rather than working a 9-5 for a specific museum or organization.
WHAT THE SHOPKEEPER LOVES
What are your favorite local independent businesses? There are many in Glasgow that I love. This year myself and other textile focused businesses in the neighborhood got together to create the Fair Fashion Collective. Our hope is to promote our area as a destination for environmentally conscious shoppers. These shops/businesses/charities include Second Cashmere, Seamster Vintage, Bam Coffee and Vintage, Apparelxchange, Merry-Go-Round and Rags to Riches. Other wonderful shops in Glasgow are Wild Gorse Pottery, The Kelvin Rooms, Flowers Vermillion, Battlefield Restoration, Aume, Hoos, I am Nomad, Niki Jones, Blue Bell Grey, Glasgow Plant Mama, The Wee Beer Shop, and Made from Grapes.
Being from Dublin, I can’t go home without popping into all of my favourite shops there -
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
"With the rise of online shopping, there are still some things that are better experienced in person. From a textile perspective, it is so difficult to buy fabric online. It is never the exact color, texture, weight and drape you hoped for, especially if you are committing to many meters for a making a garment. Buying the wrong fabric can be a non-refundable and expensive mistake. Shopping in person for my customers is so important that I have customers making day trips and holiday plans around visiting my shop just so they can shop in real life. While I send swatches via online orders, it’s just not the same as walking in and feeling welcomed by someone, and having someone to bounce your creative ideas off, problem solve a little issue or just have a little chat with someone likeminded.
Photography by Emma Sarah McBride