Stay Home Snaps: Garbstore

From stamp collecting to producing zines, the team are finding new outlets for their creativity.

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Fashion 
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Like much of the world, West London institution Garbstore has seen the way its team works dramatically changed due to the coronavirus crisis. Its Notting Hill store is closed — although its web store remains online and active — and in-person meetings are out of the question.

Considering all of the changes to the day-to-day routines, we caught up with four team members to discuss how they are keeping active, busy and creative during this current time.

Jason Zhang, web manager

What’s your daily routine?

I get up at 9 a.m., have a quick breakfast, then roll straight into work (a.k.a. open my laptop). The website’s actually been busier since lockdown so my day is more hectic than being in the office. The team will usually send me updates in the morning with pressing issues after which I’ll be in and out video calls on top of scheduling things.

To unwind I’ll go for a short run in the park in the afternoon and watch a (surprisingly cathartic) disaster film in the evening.

Where in your home do you like to work?

I’m the most productive in our attic study which gets no sunlight and has an overly sloped ceiling that you always bump your head on. Understandably, no one ever goes in there so I get proper peace and quiet. Otherwise the kitchen to snack at my discretion.

What do you wear while working from home?

Colorful but comfy. I like a good T-shirt and trackie combo so I got a TSPTR tee which I wear a lot with some Home Party pants that I got from the shop.

What are you eating now?

I’ve been having a lot of fun cooking stuff in my kitchen — seeing how many ingredients you can take out of a recipe before it becomes something totally different or re-creating junk food favorites. The other day I tried to re-create Greggs’ Sausage & Bean Melt which melted so much it turned into a sausage bean goo at the bottom of the oven.

How do you stay in a good headspace while in isolation?

YouTube and podcasts for background noise and a good scent for the room. I tend to put on gardening videos on YouTube as I’ve played with a couple of different genres on there and these came out as the most bearable. In terms of candles and scents, I’m really into Middle Way by London based label Cremate which smells like Terry’s Chocolate Orange mixed with aftershave — sounds disgusting but it’s amazing, trust me.

What are you doing for fun?

I’ve started collecting stamps again – very uncool but I like how out of fashion it is. On top of that I’ve also been making clothes from all the scrap fabric in my house and playing a lot of games on my PS4… basically I’m definitely keeping busy!


Carin Nakanishi, head of Garbstore

What’s your daily routine?

I wake up at 7:30 a.m., do some yoga or a home workout and then make a smoothie with my new Nutribullet (10 years late to the party, but loving it!). Then I’m pretty much on calls all day with our team. I’ll either go for a walk around the park at lunchtime or an evening run or cycle to stretch my legs.

Where in your home do you like to work?

I’ve got a nice set-up on our dining table by a big sunny window. In the afternoon I migrate to our neighbors’ garden, which we are luckily taking care of while they are out of town. I like taking calls down there with a cuppa and to catch some rays.

What do you wear while working from home?

Same as what I usually wear: trackpants (adidas or NEEEDLES) and a cashmere jumper. Or if it’s sunny, which it has been lately, a dress from Engineered Garments or Blue Blue Japan. For footwear, I’ve always been about comfort. My Subu slippers are really coming into their own.

What are you eating now?

I’m a notoriously bad cook, so isolation has been a real baptism of fire. I’ve been stepping out my comfort zone to try out new dishes from Ottolenghi and Nigel Slater, but you really can’t beat Jamie Oliver, his cookbooks are a real life-line.

How do you stay in a good headspace while in isolation?

I have a list of unfinished DIY projects as long as my arm. Getting through them on the weekends has been keeping me busy: painting walls, putting up lights and frames, fixing taps…

What are you doing for fun?

Our karaoke machine is getting a lot of airtime. Card games like cambio, monopoly deal. Crosswords, JASK, Bananagrams and a few failed pub quizzes… Also loads of TV, Succession, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Better Things, Escape at Dannemora are stand out.


Felix O’Sullivan, PR manager

What’s your daily routine?

I’m trying to stick to my usual routine so up early and reading the news online whilst I eat breakfast which is normally muesli and a coffee. Then I’m at my desk, in and out of calls throughout day with the team going through all the things we have going on at the moment. Over lunch I head out for a run around Hackney Marshes, get some air and clear my head.

Where in your home do you like to work?

I set up camp on a makeshift desk. Our lounge area and kitchen is in one space, so I’m lucky that I have access to the fridge and my sofa in just a few labored steps.

What do you wear while working from home?

I try to get ready as if I was still going to the office but take into account I’m chilling inside all day, so something easy. Usually I’m wearing a Stüssy hoodie over a white tee, a pair of Dickies always and some unforgivable sliders.

What are you eating now?

A lot of sandwiches.

How do you stay in a good headspace while in isolation?

I tend to have NTS or our Garbstore WFH playlist on the in the mornings which keeps me focused for work and the mood up. And then exercise outside in sun as much as I can in the afternoons.

What are you doing for fun?

Our house just finished a 1,000 piece jigsaw of the moon landing. It took us ages and it’s definitely not as therapeutic as everyone says but it kept us occupied. I’ve been listening to more podcasts as well — Athletico Mince with Bob Mortimer is just too good. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t playing PS4 more…


Jack Ashley, Store Manager

What’s your daily routine?

I get up and coffee is the first thing I go for. Usually a moka pot or a French press. I’ve just received my first delivery from Has Bean coffee, they do a very affordable coffee subscription service. As of late I’ve been working on video projects for our Garbstore socials, so I’m usually shooting something from home, editing or sourcing music and graphics.

Where in your home do you like to work?

I have a new desk and editing space, so I’m there most of the time when I’m home. Or just lounging with the cat on something soft.

What do you wear while working from home?

Aries sweat pants and a vintage flannel shirt with Birks. When I need to leave the house, I swap the sweats out for Garbstore trousers.

What are you eating now?

Lidl make a decent sourdough for like £1.50 GBP, so I’m perfecting my sandwich skills. Also fish tacos, spicy udon and lots of greek yogurt with fruit.

How do you stay in a good headspace while in isolation?

Getting stuck into creative projects, I’ve been working on a zine and film project that I’m hoping to release soon. Also talking to family and doing our weekly quiz, I’m hosting the next one.

What are you doing for fun?

Playing with my cat, making iced coffee, sitting in the sun, watering the plants and listening to my neighbor’s daily Spanish radio sessions.

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