“I’m trying to not fit into any particular niche” — Joe Duffield, No Brand
This isn’t the first time Joe Duffield has run a shop in the Corn Exchange.
“My introduction to Leeds was the shop here,” he says. “I was the manager of a shop called White Label clothing. It was brilliant. Basically all my friends came from being here at that point.
“I almost took that unit out of nostalgia,” he adds.
The unit he did take houses No Brand — a clothing shop selling hand printed t-shirts with designs he likes. The shop, which opened early August, is owned by Joe and his girlfriend, Polly.
Joe has been screen printing for years; he’s something of a fixture in Leeds, previously running local brand and screen printers Dots Printhaus with friend Jonny Akers. When Joe and Jonny went separate ways, Joe continued on printing. No Brand already exists as a screen printing company; all the clothing in the shop will be printed from the brand’s studio in Mabgate.
“We wanted to do something new,” he says. “The shop’s going to be our designs, or designs we like. It will all be local designs, hand printed by me and Polly. It’s all going to be ethical, one way or another. They will all be on organic t-shirts, all hand printed, all fairtrade.”
We ask Joe about his plans for the shop.
“I’m trying to not fit into any particular niche,” he says. “It’s called No Brand and that’s the whole point. No advertising, no logo, nothing too fancy. I just want it to be a nice little destination where you can get nice t-shirts that are printed well.”
“In theory I’d like this to be a bit of a community,” he adds.
And what’s it like for him to be back in the Corn Exchange?
“It’s mint, innit?” he replies. “It’s probably the best shopping building in Leeds, even with all the new ones going up it’s got proper character.”
Georgina Maud of Rushbond says, “We are super happy about No Brand joining our Corn Exchange clan. They totally reflect what we want to create, which is a completely unique experience in a place that stands on its own! A place that can't be categorised, with its own real identity — a place where the traditional idea of ‘shopping’ is transformed to a much more engaging, worthwhile experience.”