Nick Clifford has been carrying around the prototype for his new bag label, Slingers, for two years. It’s laid-back product you can easily picture slung over the arm of a Bondi local.
"I was getting a guy I knew to make me a few pairs of jeans. I had some left-over denim, and got him to sew me up a bag to replace a tattered old tote I was using," he says.
A logical alternative to less sturdy canvas totes, Slingers are elongated trapeziums of fabric attached to a single strap. Happily, the bags are available to compliment almost all tastes in jeans, coming in acid wash, black, bleached, stone washed and raw denim. Clifford says this minimal design initially proved its usability in his day-to-day life. "Being self-employed, a day doesn’t go by where I’m not running errands. It just works for me."
The simplicity of the product also acted an antidote to his disillusionment with the fashion industry. "I had just shut down my old clothing label (Strange Days) and didn’t want to be involved in any part of the fashion world. I just wanted to make one quality product that didn’t need to be changed season to season," says Clifford, who decided to start up the label after receiving queries and requests from friends and strangers.
Slingers is currently a one-man business run out of Clifford’s Marrickville studio. "All parts of production are done in a 400-metre radius, so I can walk everywhere and keep an eye on everything," he says. This allows him to oversee each bag as the Australian-made denim is sewn, washed, dyed, pressed, packaged and sent out.
Clifford likens the relationship of a Slinger and an ordinary tote bag to that of a supermarket green bag and a free plastic bag. "For $60, you’ll get a great quality, strong, locally-made product that will outlive all of your tote bags,” he says, adding that the best part is you’ll only ever need to buy one.
Slingers are available online at slingers.com