Tucked away on the second floor of the Northern Quarter stalwart Afflecks Palace, is the Trouser Project.

All about championing originality and promoting sustainability while celebrating the work of local Mancunian artists—this bunch are a generally admirable cause to throw some support behind.

Started way back in 2018 by Megan, the Trouser Project has since blossomed into a creative haven for Manc artists to sell their creations alongside promoting a community ethos. Meg and the team’s process revolves around upcycling and repurposing garments that are already in circulation.

Many of the pieces for sale in the eclectic shop are sourced ethically from second-hand shops which Meg then freestyles designs on to. The majority of the pieces are sold in the shop however the Trouser Project has a great knack for popping up at all the best markets and events around Manchester, so stay tuned to their Instagram for all the latest updates!

The designs are mainly based on the photographs that Meg takes in daily life, alongside other thoughts and ideas that she’s discussed with mates, people she’s met and places she frequents. Many pieces also fuse together art with poetry, as Meg also utilises memorable quotes and wording alongside the imagery for a further injection of originality.

Even better? You can post or bring in items from your own wardrobe for the team to jazz up for a fresh new look. Whether that’s an old denim jacket you’ve not worn for years or some trousers that you’ve stained and need covering up—anything can make a good canvas!

Meg mostly uses bleach as a starting point for her designs, incorporating large splashes to make abstract patterns or creating free-hand designs to get a more refined look. For more colourful pieces she opts for fabric paint which is safe to wash on 30 degrees or below—however the paint can fade a little over time so you need to look after these one-of-a-kind pieces!

One thing that sets the Trouser Project apart from other retailers, besides the friendliest team imaginable, is how inclusive it is price-wise. Meg likes to let the customer choose how much they would like to spend on a custom piece, taking on each project with the understanding that art is subjective and everyone is in different positions. Basically, she’s here to upcycle for everyone.

“Painting makes me happy,” Meg says, “painting is mad because you can make any scene in your head into a thing that people can look at and they won’t even understand it, they will just see what their brains tells them to see. I love what I do, when other people love it that’s just a bonus.”

Not only does the Trouser Project stock a whole host of great designs and customisable options, including their newest drop, Trouser Project Top: 100, but it’s also home to a bunch of other artists selling their stuff too, making it a great multi-functional spot to peruse, meet some local artists and feast your eyes on an ever-changing rail of stock and projects.

From pay-as-you-feel prints, hand-dyed mesh tops made from recycled bottles, commissioned nude paintings, bottle-tab handbags and much, much more—think more of an emporium rather than your standard shop.

So, whether you’re in need of a cool new print for your lounge, fancy some handmade earrings or just want a bespoke and totally unique commissioned piece of clothing—The Trouser Project has got you covered!

Trouser Project ,
Second floor Afflecks Palace, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
, 10.30am - 6pm (closed on Sundays)
Rhiannon Ingle
Published on:
Thu 11 Nov 2021