On Tuesday, October 3rd, we welcomed members of our community to the Rejina Pyo Store for an evening of tailoring and conversation with Rejina and SOJO's Josephine Philips. Guests had the opportunity to engage with these two incredible founders while browsing the new collections and having their beloved Rejina Pyo pieces tailored to perfection. Here, we speak to Josephine about founding SOJO, and why she chose to partner with Rejina Pyo on her mission to creating a more sustainable future for fashion.
Josephine Philips is the visionary founder behind SOJO, a revolutionary clothing repairs and alterations service now available through Rejina Pyo. Josephine is on a mission to redefine our relationship with clothing and consumption by emphasizing the value of expert tailoring and repair, providing a convenient and eco-friendly solution for clothing alterations.
What is the purpose behind SOJO?
Josephine: SOJO is an alterations and repairs platform that is all about changing the culture of consumption within the fashion industry. We believe that clothes that fit well and are cared for and repaired are the foundation of a long lasting wardrobe. SOJO aims to reinvent the status quo of clothing disposability and makes getting your clothed fixed or fitted and exceptionally easy, fun and convenient service. You can book your clothes in on SOJO through our app, web or with our brand partners and we collect, fulfil and deliver back all your tailoring and repair needs to your door.
What inspired you to start SOJO?
Josephine: During University I made a move away from fast fashion and I began to buy second-hand and vintage clothing. I kept finding unique and amazing clothing items that weren’t my size and I realised that there was a real need for a tailoring solution in resale. However, when I went to a local tailor I found the whole experience really archaic. I then realised that sizing issues with clothing weren’t exclusive to second-hand clothes and that clothing fit was an issue across the board in the fashion industry yet we didn’t have a simple scalable solution for altering clothes or repairing them either. With so much fashion waste, I believed that creating a platform for tailoring and repairing clothes would mean that clothes would be loved longer and wasted less and the solution could play a big part in creating a more sustainable and circular fashion industry.
Josephine: The last couple of years have been a total whirlwind. I still think back to when we had over 1000 people download the app in the first 24 hours and that really made me think that we were onto something. We’ve only gone from strength to strength since then and it’s just been great to witness that through SOJO people are rediscovering the lost art of tailoring and repair and it’s actually such an impactful thing to start doing. Our customers feel better in themselves when the clothes they wear fit them perfectly and are made to work for them instead of against them. And in the current climate of the climate crisis - the people using SOJO feel exceptionally passionate about engaging in a circular service that’s reducing waste.
Why partner with Rejina Pyo?
Josephine: For me, whenever I buy an item of clothing I think about many things, but one of the most crucial aspects of me making the decision to buy is whether I can see myself still wearing the item in 20 years time. Rejina Pyo is a brand that I think creates such beautiful, timeless and quality pieces that are really made to last and ultimately those things form such a bedrock to what I believe in. With SOJO, we don’t want to stop people ever buying clothes because it’s such a creative and important aspect of life but I think it’s so wonderful when you get to engage in sensational designs with a considered approach to craft, materials and sustainability which is what Rejina Pyo really embodies. Our partnership is such an exciting one because the pieces Rejina creates are so unique, their fit on each person deserves to be just as unique and the clothing items more than deserve being looked after and repaired if they ever need fixing so that they can be loved for a lifetime.
Do you have any personal favourite Rejina Pyo styles that you could see yourself wearing for years to come?
Josephine: When I wore the Erin Dress Taffeta Black to the launch event, I could see myself wearing it in so many different ways - to the office with a white T underneath or to a Christmas party when I’m 50. It’s spectacular but timeless - what a combination. My personal style and shapes that work for me also heavily rely on wide leg trousers and I’m definitely spying the Macie Trousers in Wool Black and this version also: Macie Trousers in Tan for them both to become core wardrobe staples.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a complete wishlist without a suit and when I saw the Piper Trousers and the Kit Vest to match I think it was one of the most stunning suits I'd seen. I've actually had it on my to-buy list for months now and that's usually the time it takes me to then make the jump into buying. So perhaps it'll be added to my wardrobe imminently …
Are there any tips you would give those who want their clothes to last longer?
Josephine: I have so many!
But three core tips that I’d love to share are: You must understand clothing care labels! This is crucial to make sure you wash things correctly and don’t damage them in the process. So much longevity in your clothes is built out of not over-washing or not washing at too high of a temperature or not putting something in a tumble dryer. So make sure those things that need extra care actually get it from you.
The second is one of my personal favourites - hide your clothes! It’s natural for us to get “tired” of our clothes and to think we have nothing to wear and so you begin to crave a wardrobe clear out and then a big purchase of new clothes but my tip is that when you feel that way - you should hide your clothes instead. Vacuum seal them and put them under a bed or in an attic. When you get them out again at the change of a season or in a year or two, they’ll genuinely feel like new again and you’ll be able to rediscover why you bought and loved them in the first place.
The last tip is of course: tailor and repair your clothes. Tailoring your clothes to fit is such a crucial part to their longevity as we’ve all experienced not wanting to wear those trousers because they fit too tight around the tummy - and equally it shouldn’t be expected that our bodies never change. Tailoring allows your clothes to change with you and to work for you, not against you - ensuring their perfect place in your long term wardrobe. And then repair is totally obvious - if something rips or breaks, repair is the perfect antidote to something being unworn or being thrown away so it’s definitely the best solution to extending the lifespan of your clothes.
What’s next for Sojo?
Josephine: Up till now, SOJO has been really focussed on London and our customers here but we’re so excited to continue to grow and become a service that’s used by everyone in the UK, Europe and ultimately the world also. It may sound ambitious, but I think when the plan is to try and make the fashion industry better - you have to aim big and then work really hard to get there. We can’t wait for a future where tailoring and repair your clothes with SOJO is something that everyone does on a global scale.
At Rejina Pyo, we are committed to creating a more responsible future for fashion, and we deeply value craftsmanship and longevity. That's why we take pride in launching our partnership with SOJO, offering our customers a comprehensive door-to-door bespoke tailoring and repairs service. Whether you need a new item altered or an older item repaired, SOJO will help you cherish your Rejina Pyo pieces for longer.