Spotlight: Bomb The Brand

By Keith Jenkins

Several months ago, I noticed a new shop in my neighbourhood in Amsterdam with an intriguing name: Bomb Atelier. One afternoon, I popped in to have a look and found a beautiful collection of bags and clothes. I spoke with Lea, one of the owners, and she told me that each item is unique, made from leftover materials. Fascinated by this sustainable fashion store in Amsterdam, I interviewed Lea and Noëlle to learn more about Bomb The Brand:

sustainable fashion amsterdam store
Bomb Atelier in Amsterdam

Please tell us a bit about yourselves. How did you meet and what motivated you to start a sustainable fashion store in Amsterdam? 

Bomb was founded by Lea Pauw & Noëlle As in 2019 in Amsterdam. We met at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. As fashion students, we always had a love-hate relationship with the fashion industry and therefore we took action. We make unique sustainable fashion items in our atelier in Amsterdam (map), and with this we hope to go against the regular Fast Fashion system.

Noelle and Lea (image by BombTheBrand)

Can you tell us more about your love/hate relationship with the fashion industry?

These days, there is an enormous amount of overproduction. Clothing produced in low-wage countries sometimes doesn’t even reach the customer. There is too much, and this perpetuates itself because we want more, cheaper, and even more! During our studies, we became increasingly aware of this. After all, we were studying fashion, but we didn’t want to participate in this fast fashion industry.

Tell us a bit about Bomb the Brand. How did the idea come about?

In a city like Amsterdam, you will see a lot of fashion trends and a lot of the same items on the street. We always wanted to create items that made you feel unique, and how is this possible if half of the city wears the same fast fashion bag that is on trend at that moment? Exactly! Not! That is why we started making unique pieces, made from left-over furniture materials. 

bomb atelier amsterdam
Bomb Atelier (image by BombTheBrand)

Can you share a bit more about the kind of furniture materials you use and how that idea came about?

We use a lot of materials in our atelier, especially furniture fabrics. Upholsterers often have leftover fabric after upholstering furniture, such as sofas. These fabrics are often still brand new but have no purpose. At Bomb, we turn them into Mini Bags, waistcoats, or tote bags!

Let’s talk a bit about sustainability. The (fast) fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to waste and pollution. What makes your approach sustainable?

We only use what is already there. No need to create new fabrics in a world full of materials. The fabrics that we use in our atelier are left-over materials and vintage finds. We produce all our items in the atelier in Amsterdam, where you can see the atelier in the back of the store. And last but not least, we produce made to order, so we never have any deadstock ourselves! 

amsterdam sustainable fashion business
Evey item at Bomb is unique (image by BombTheBrand)

What can visitors to your store expect to find? What are your most popular products?

Our Mini Bags are the bestseller of the moment! We have them in almost every colour and print. If you walk into our store, there is a wall full of unique products on the left. But if you are creative, walk to the right side for some sewing kits, haberdashery and other sewing tools! In the back of our store you will find the atelier where we make all our products. This is also the area where we give sewing classes. 

Bomb Mini Bags (image by BombTheBrand)

You also offer sewing lessons. What’s the idea behind this?

We always got asked how we made our own clothes. And how amazing it is to share your passion with other people! We have our sewing club in the evening hours and workshops on the weekend! 

amsterdam sewing club
Sewing club (image by BombTheBrand)

Do you have any tips for visitors to Amsterdam who seek sustainable eateries, shops or local/community experiences?

Go to the Fashion for Good Museum!  Check out the Ij Hallen and Waterlooplein for some secondhand finds.

waterlooplein flea market amsterdam
Read more about eco-conscious things to do in Amsterdam.

If there’s one thing travellers coming to Amsterdam should know, what would you tell them as locals?

Take the bike instead of public transport! You will see a lot more of the city and you can take a break whenever you like!

What’s the best souvenir travellers can take away from Amsterdam?

Stroopwafels of course! Buy them at the Albert Cuyp market for the full experience! 🙂

Thank you!

A big thank you to Lea and Noelle for taking the time for this interview! Check out the Bomb The Brand website, follow Bomb on Instagram, or, even better, visit this sustainable fashion store in Amsterdam at Gaaspstraat 39.

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