A colourful fashion blog supporting independents & sustainable fashion in Bristol and beyond since 2011

Monday, 3 August 2020

Indies in Lockdown - Balulu

Everyone's lockdown experience has been different and in some cases creative flow has had to come to a complete standstill. 

Can keeping positive really help inspire something good out of a bad experience and how does an indie business relying on international suppliers and manufacturers continue to create and grow in lockdown? 

Super fun Balulu co-ords
Super fun Balulu co-ords made from upcycled bedsheets


Balulu is a colourful, slow fashion brand that creates fun streetwear pieces using upcycled bedsheets and vintage fabrics from India. 

As part of the No Debutante - Indies in lockdown series, super sweet Balulu designer Lulu Harrison shares how family and friends have inspired her to move forward during a tough time for her business, as she learnt to adapt and grow during lockdown. 

Colourful Balulu designer Lulu Harrison

How are you & what has your situation been during lockdown? 

I’m good! I have been staying with my parents during lockdown which has actually been great. 

It has been quite a special time as I wouldn’t usually get to spend this much time with them, so I feel blessed to have had that. 

We have been spending our time going on long walks, swimming in the river every day, doing quizzes, drinking wine and watching a lot of Netflix series! 

Reversible Mickey Mouse print Kimono by Balulu £65

How has lockdown affected your business and the way you work? 

It has been really tough on the business. 

We were meant to be trading at Glastonbury for the first time ever this summer and it would have been our second year at Shambala. 

Not only have we been affected by not having anywhere to trade, we haven’t been able to get any of our new stock as India went into an even stricter lockdown than here, particularly Varanasi which is where my clothes are made. 

I had one box of clothes come before the world went into lockdown and, to be fair, everything sold out pretty quickly which was amazing!

As we put way more effort into our online presence, we saw a lot more sales than we have previously. Online shopping became much more of a thing and whilst we had the stock our business really benefited from that. 

Mix and match repurposed fashion creations by Balulu

Has this time helped your productivity?

Sadly, without having the stock to be creative with, I can’t really say it has helped my productivity. 

I definitely started off trying to keep super motivated and coming up with new ideas, but as time has gone on the business has been hit harder, it’s been hard to stay positive about it. 

I think this whole pandemic has not only had a hit on businesses, but also on people’s mental health which I can say from first hand experience.

Unique Jungle Dungarees by Balulu £50

Have you become more or less inspired in this time?

It has been a mixture of feelings. 

With the help from my friend and marketing whizz Brodie Imogen, I have been inspired to enter a competition, update the website and make a promo video for Balulu. 

I think I needed that push from someone else to keep me motivated and generate fresh ideas. 

A selection of colourful garms by Balulu

What's next for your business? 

I have literally just got a new box of clothes which is really exciting! There are about 50 pairs of new dungarees I need to shoot and upload onto the website AND I have been updated by my tailors that more clothes will be coming soon. I’m super excited to get the new stock in! 

I have also just moved to London into a great flat/studio space so that is really exciting. 

I am also going to be studying a masters in Material Futures in October at Central Saint Martins so I can’t wait to see what will come of that and how I can incorporate Balulu into the course! 

Support Indie fashion designers and head over to the Balulu website where there is currently a flash sale happening until Wednesday (5 August) don't miss out! 


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