Reviving relics, fashion without the fads

Entrepreneur Clare Hughes, owner of online clothing boutique ‘Relics on Sea’ tells us how she puts individuality first, offering vintage and sustainable fashion for those who prefer alternative design to mainstream trends.

“It’s my belief that we should buy what we love, and love what we wear. Good clothes deserve a second life, and the environment deserves a second chance.”

Relics on Sea

Relics on Sea

Business Profile

In 2021, our modern society is very fast fashion-focused with trends continually changing and mainstream consumers following along and frequently updating their wardrobes accordingly, but what about those whose taste is alternative to the trend?

Clare Hughes spotted this opportunity in the market when browsing for clothing to satisfy her own sense of style.

“Your style is a talking point and an expression of who you are. When trying to find a particular style, like gothic for instance, I’ve always been disappointed with what was available to me as a thirty-something year old woman. Where was the grown-up fashion for an individual style?”

Combining her own shopping experiences, the knowledge gained from her BA in Fashion Photography at the London College of Fashion, and her experience at several art galleries and museums including The Founding Museum London, Clare set about creating a space where shoppers can find something suitable for their style.

Vintage & Unusual:

“If a woman wanted to buy an outfit either on the high street or online that reflects her personal style but that is underrepresented by mainstream taste, she may be forced to travel vast distances to find what she wants, and I wanted to bridge that gap” says Clare.

From here ‘Relics on Sea’ was born, offering affordable alternatives to mainstream choices. Designed to satisfy desires for rare and unique pieces, whether you are looking for a wedding dress, special occasion dress or just something unusual and sophisticated, ‘Relics on sea’ provides not only style inspiration but a second life for vintage design.

Clare told us:

“It’s my belief that we should buy what we love, and love what we wear. Instead of replacing items with a short lifespan, it’d be much better for our pockets and the environment to source quality items that can last, or have lasted, to be a staple in our wardrobe. Good clothes deserve a second life, and the environment deserves a second chance.”

What’s Next?

Until recently solely operating as an online business, ‘Relics on sea’ has already begun establishing a client base, and has now opened a physical space in Hastings Antique Warehouse, found in the heart of Hastings Old Town.

The transition was spurred on from attending the ‘Ready for Business’ start-up workshops run by Let’s Do Business Group.

Owner Clare was able to set her sights on her next steps in her business growth journey after completing the programme of four 3-hour sessions. She was able to produce a business plan outlining her goals and objectives, saying about it:

“I wanted to open a styled space in the busy Old Town where women like me could drop in and try on a dress, blouse or jacket before buying. A lot of the items are vintage so it really helps to see these items up close before buying. I love the idea of a women being in the Relics On Sea shop and trying on a dress before a special event and feeling excited by her choice”


Visit Relics On Sea online at or drop in daily 10am - 5pm at Hastings Antique Warehouse, 54 High Street, Hasting TN34 3EN

At Locate East Sussex we are advocates for great business ideas, especially those that come from our glorious county, and we wish Clare and ‘Relics on sea’ all the best for the future.

For support and advice on how to progress with your business goals get in touch and one of our team will contact you to discuss you needs.