‘Sleeping beauties’ is how Romain Brabo describes the rolls of fabrics that lie in storage in the back rooms and basements of Paris’ couture houses – used once, and often never again. Previously working in materials purchasing and manufacturing at both Givenchy and Kenzo, he founded Paris-based resale platform Nona Source – alongside Marie Falguera and Anne Prieur du Perray – to connect these forgotten riches to a new generation of designers at a significant discount, supported by LVMH’s entrepreneurial programme, Dare. ‘This isn’t about profit, it’s about supporting creative communities,’ Brabo told Wallpaper* last year.

As of this month (May 2022), a new outpost of Nona Source opens in London’s King’s Cross neighbourhood, giving the city’s designers access to fabrics from LVMH maisons – from Louis Vuitton to Dior. Now supported by LVMH’s Life 360 programme (Life: LVMH Initiatives for the Environment), Nona Source’s library of fabrics will be available in a showroom at The Mills Fabrica, a membership-led workspace dedicated to sustainable innovation. London-based designers will be able to shop an array of fabrics – cotton poplin, silk, crêpe de Chine, Shetland wool and more – at more than two-thirds off their original price.

Nona Source x The Mills Fabrica

The arrival of Nona Source in London coincides with the platform’s first anniversary, marking ‘a major step forward in Nona Source’s commitment to develop circular creativity and creative reuse as well as supporting young and emerging designers, talent and brands’, as Brabo tells Wallpaper*. ‘There is a huge pool of young designers and creative talent here that push the boundaries in terms of creative fashion, which ultimately is what we want to champion through Nona Source.’ With the latter in mind, the showroom is located in close proximity to Central Saint Martins, providing those on its esteemed fashion courses access to some of the best fabrics currently available. Alexandre Capelli, LVMH’s environment deputy director, calls it ‘a concrete tool to inspire and support one of the most creative and sustainability-focused communities of designers’.

Nona Source already has plenty of fans in London: among them, designers Richard Malone, Sarah AlHamdan and Stella McCartney, each of whom has created a special design out of the platform’s fabrics that will be displayed in the showroom. ‘It’s no secret that the fashion industry has a huge waste issue; currently, less than one per cent of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new textiles,’ says McCartney. ‘ This is where Nona Source comes in, taking these incredible deadstock fabrics from the world’s leading fashion maisons – meaning they are accessible for all brands, new and old.’ §