After years of working in the fashion textile industry, Luis Lopez-Smith realized London needed a space where creatives could make technical garments with the necessary machinery and know-how. That space is called Tottex, a coworking facility for textile workers. At Tottex, freelancers have access to equipment, resources, materials and a creative community.
The first Tottex studio was in the Seven Sisters district of Tottenham, where Lopez-Smith and a group of freelancers would work to fulfill projects. But Lopez-Smith wanted to shift the studio away from production and towards a co-working facility where people could come up with ideas, work individually and collaborate.
“The main thing when I built this was for it to be a calm and safe space for everybody,” he says. “That’s really rare for people in this industry. If you do something where you only need a laptop, you can go to any co-working space, but there’s nowhere that looks after people in fashion textiles.” And so, the move to the new 2,400-square-foot Wood Green studio was made.
The facility includes cutting tables, tailoring dummies, a variety of industrial sewing, knitting and embroidery machines, vinyl plotters, large-scale printers and more.
The space is designed for textile workers but is open to anyone who commits to keeping the studio an inclusive environment, and members range from students to industry professionals with ten years of experience under their belts. More space to work also means more space to teach. Last December, Tottex hosted workshops for community groups, which will continue this year. Lopez-Smith also hopes to formalize a training program for anyone interested in making clothes, regardless of background or ability.