GS Journal

Chatting Slow Fashion & Beverages with Sam Binstead

Sam Binstead is a photographer and slow style advocate based in Sheffield (who frequently photographs our campaign imagery). Passionate about sustainable & ethical style, British brands and a good cup of coffee (or wine!), Sam champions independent businesses on his personal Instagram, while also serving up an impressive photography and videography portfolio (note – he exclusively works with slow brands).

Sam Binstead sat at table wearing a wool jumper

We caught up with Sam to chat about his favourite British brands, his love of wool and his beverage recommendations whether you prefer a chilled glass of wine or a steaming hot coffee.

Follow Sam at @sam.binstead to find him prancing around in wool and @sambinsteadphoto for his photography work.

You’re a huge advocate for slow, sustainable and ethical fashion. What is your approach to buying new garments and how do you decide which brands to buy from?

I think the first thing I decide is whether it’s something that I’m going to wear all the time or not. After nearly a decade of trying to be more responsible with what I buy I’ve got a pretty brutal approach now to only bringing things into my wardrobe that I’d gladly wear every single day. None of this ‘saving your best for the weekend’ thing. I want to wear stuff I love all day, every day. When I do decide that stylistically it’s going to work for me, then I work through a bit of a checklist of where it’s made, who made it, what it’s made from (natural fibres only here!), is it repairable etc. to make sure that it’s something I’ll be proud to wear and feel good about supporting.

What other made-in-Britain brands do you love?

Oh crikey where to begin! I’ve a real soft spot for the smaller one/two-person-shows like Niamh at Nemcee in Manchester, Ella Griffee down in Cornwall, and Pajotten in Kent. There’s something really special about dealing directly with the maker.

You seem to wear a lot of wool! What do you love about woollen garments?

I LOVE wool. I love the variety in woollens and how you can go from a silky smooth merino knit to a rustic, rough tweedy thick knit. And then wear both together!!! The difference between natural wool and synthetic replicas is night and day. You can feel it. Wool is breathable, naturally anti-bacterial, easily repairable, renewable at source and the production keeps traditional methods alive and kicking. Not many fabrics can compete with that! Fun fact: I also got a wool duvet this year and it’s a game changer.

How do you look after your clothes, to make sure they stand the test of time?

I’m terrible at it but I LOVE mending. A messy little darn on a much loved and long worn sweater just adds so much character and personality to a garment. On a more day to day level of care, I’ve worked myself into a little routine with my knitwear and that starts with the obvious one of ‘fold it, don’t hang it’! Wait no, before you fold it it starts with giving it an air out. People hate on the chairdrobe as a dumping ground but letting your knits breathe and relax before folding them away will help keep them in tip top shape. And then I store it with a little pouch of cedar to help keep moths at bay. Spot cleaning little marks is the way, and I only wash my clothes when they’re actually dirty to avoid over washing and damaging the fabric.

We’ve noticed that you love a good cup of coffee. What is your favourite brand for beans and how do you make your coffee?

Is nepotism allowed? Because I have to say my Dad, Neal (aka Field Day Coffee) roasts some absolutely amazing coffees at his little Roastery in Penistone. Beyond that I do love to switch it up and try out different beans from different roasters on the regular. A handful of standouts that jump to mind are Tim Wendelboe, La Cabra and Redbank. There’s a cracking one down your way too called Wood Street! As far as how I make it… I’ve amassed quite the collection of different brewers and such over the years, and like to change it up between all the fun different drippers, a classic French press, and a nice little oat flat white every now and then!

Sam Binstead with his dog and a cup of coffee

We’ve also spotted you talking about good wine. Where do you buy your wine from, do you have any favourite winemakers and what do you look for in a wine?

Oh boy I do love a good wine. There’s a local shop here that always has some exciting small producers in, called Starmore Boss, and another bar/bottle shop called Bench. Sometimes I’ll order online from Wayward Wines or Shrine To The Vine and other bottle shops but what I’m always looking for is the same as my clothes and coffee; I want to know who grew it, who made it, what they’re doing for people and planet, and if they’re doing it right and not adding a load of excessive rubbish and preservatives. As far as indie winemakers, I’ve always adored every bottle I’ve had from Alice Bouvot, Domaine Dandelion and Romain Chapuis. It’s really cool buying from smaller importers who have direct relationships with these winemakers.

Finally, if we were spending the day in your hometown of Sheffield, what would be your recommendations to eat/shop/visit/drink?

We’re starting the day with a pastry from Crumb. Non negotiable. If there’s no Pain Suisse, I’m getting the hazelnut chocolate danish. Then I’d very much recommend a mooch around Sharrowvale for some cool independent stores with homewares and vintage furniture (this is also where Starmore Boss is if you wanna grab a bottle!). If vintage furniture piques your interest then head to the back of Abbeydale road for some more antiquing in the aptly named ‘Antiques Quarter’. Then we’re mooching to Glossop Road (via the Botanical Gardens for a beautiful and chill walk) where you have the double whammy of a lunchtime tipple or coffee at ELM, before heading to Napoli Centro Pizza for lunch which is seriously probably the best pizza in the country. If you’re here on a Sunday we have options. We can do a Sunday Roast at Neepsend Social Club, or head to The Pearl for their weekly changing Sunday Bun and another glass of wine.

Find out more about Sam on his website.

Photos credited to Holly O’Rourke.

Sam is wearing the Liddel Lambswool Sweater, GS Merino Wool Walking Socks in Ecru and Aden Roll Neck Lambswool Sweater, discover the GS menswear collection here.

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