PRE-LOVED JOY: former theatre technician Ali Ross carves out a new career in fashion with a twist in Nairn
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A FORMER theatre technician at Eden Court is carving out a new career for himself due to Covid's impact on the industry
Ali Ross (52) from Nairn had already been dabbling in on-line sales along with his theatre work before shows began getting cancelled due to Covid.
Now he is running Love Preloved - an outlet off the High Street in Nairn committed to making second-hand quality designer high end fashion affordable for everyone, taking quality fashion items and selling them on for a growing list of clients.
Ali was a lighting designer and production manager for 34 years.
He said :"The career change was absolutely down to Covid and I was working at the pace of either a modern 'receiving' house theatre with an endless stream of flight cases and moving concert grand Steinway's eventually had its toll."
He had already been trading from the back of a shop premises on High Street, for three months before the second Covid lockdown.
"I had shows lined up and they were dropped as quickly as lockdown was announced.
"Along with everyone in the industry our hands were forced into pastures new."
Ali turned to his interest in sales and recently moved into new premises in Ballark Place, off the High Street Brae.
"I've worked with many well know costume designers, two especially who were given free reign from the generous people at one of the Harris Tweed Mills in Stornoway to select an enormous amount of of beautifully designed and coloured modern tweeds from which they created both costume and set dressing.
"Fashion has always played a part in my working life because it is such an important part of theatrical film/tv production.
"I now use my 'eye' and experience to best select the stunning items brought in from our growing list of clients who supply us with items of clothing and we sell them on for them. We now have over 200 clients."
Ali said these numbers are supporting and benefiting from items which would have ended up in landfill or gathering dust..
"Just because the Highlands has plenty of available land we don't need to fill it with clothes that have already made such a dent on the world's fragile ecosystems."
Love-Preloved shares space with a High Street facing premises on the Brae with its entrance in Ballark Place.
"This helps make an affordable rent idea and will cut down on the number of empty grim looking High Streets by making shops more sustainable.
"It's an affordable rent idea for anyone wanting to create their own unique selling brand or product.
"We are basically recycling beautiful fashion for our future. It's affordable quality which will play a small part in cutting down excessive pollution from massive factories in Asia and here in the UK.
"With the up-coming climate UN conference in November in Glasgow so many issues are on the agenda including fast fashion which is a huge player in climate change.
"With governments having to address this, taxation is probably on the cards as far as the fashion industry is concerned and cheap throw away clothing will become expensive throw away clothing. This business hopefully will make a contribution to combatting the throw-away society. We're in at the beginning of a world wide trend to recycle and re-use existing clothing."