(Angie in her Bermondsey studio)
Angie Johnston is the founder and creator behind sustainable apron and accessories brand Throw Me Down.
Also the maker behind our best selling Organic Linen Apron, Angie has just joined the Goldfinger Academy’s roster of expert crafts people, leading our new Stitch Your Own Leather Card Holder workshop.
Angie started her journey working with low impact and sustainable fabrics in her final year of study at the London College of Fashion. Now, she sources all her fabrics from a UK based supplier who produces certified organic cotton, paying their workers a fair wage and shipping their fabrics instead of using air freight.
A self-taught leather worker, she incorporates stunning leather details into her contemporary apron designs, as well as creating custom leather accessories from her Bermondsey studio. She uses factory offcuts and vegetable-tanned leather in her designs to ensure they are sustainable as possible.
Read our interview with Angie to find out more about her practice, and why she is a passionate advocate for sustainability and community over competition.
Could you introduce your practice/ craft/ work...
I design and make aprons, bespoke workwear and accessories using organic, recycled and low-impact fabrics.
Part of this includes leather working which I use to make the leather straps for my aprons, as well as small accessories such as wallets, card holders and clutch bags, all of which are made using either vegetable-tanned leather or factory off-cut leather.
If you had to sum up Throw Me Down in one, core purpose, what would it be?
To provide makers, bakers, cooks and businesses who care about sustainability with aprons and accessories that reflect those values.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Probably that community is better than competition. It’s so much more rewarding, as a business as well as an individual, to help support those around you than to knock others down and pursue conflicts.
You get back what you put out and I’ve formed some really meaningful connections through collaborations and just being open to helping others.
What 3 things are always close to hand when you're creating in the studio?
For my leather work it would have to be my Stanley knife, my heavy rawhide mallet and a cup of tea.
And for my aprons it would be my rotary cutter, my fabric snips and...a cup of tea!
(Veg Tanned Leather Wallet with Coin Pouch, Zero Waste Tote bag- Throw Me Down)
What's playing in the studio when you're creating?
When I’m in the studio you’ll normally find me listening to one of the many true crime podcasts that I follow...somehow they help me to focus. Although I’m not sure what that says about me!
What piece of work are you most proud of and why?
I love making bespoke items, especially if it’s a bespoke apron for a particular purpose. I’ve recently had quite a few custom requests for my split-leg aprons from potters in the UK and the US.
It makes me proud to think that someone is wearing one of my aprons whilst creating beautiful pieces of their own.
If you could learn a new craft, what would you choose?
I’d love to learn woodworking. My father-in-law is a carpenter and I’ve always wanted to try to create something in his workshop but he lives in Poland so it hasn’t happened yet...perhaps in the future.
What is an innovation, change or design which inspired/excited you most recently?
I’m always excited to learn about new innovations in sustainable fabric production of which there are so many. I’m particularly interested in circular processes that produce fabrics such as recycled cotton - these fabrics are particularly eco-friendly as they use pre-consumer cotton fabric waste to replace virgin cotton, reducing water use along with agricultural chemicals and dyes. I’m actually planning to swap out some of my organic cotton fabrics for recycled cotton later in the year.
When you're teaching, what do you want people to take away from your classes?
I hope that the people who take part in this class come away feeling confident to apply the skills they’ve learned to their own projects and are able to create something beautiful without the need for lots of specialist tools.
Feel inspired? Why not join Angie and learn how to work with leather in our Stitch Your Own Leather Card Holder workshop? You will be working with beautiful, sustainably-sourced leather offcuts and provided with a kit containing everything you need to saddle stitch and finish your stylish, handmade leather card holder to a professional level.
A skill that you can replicate in any number of ways, these card holders make great personalised gifts for friends and loved ones or yourself.
Explore our academy courses here.