I started Retro Progression at the age of 22, back in 2012. I'd just finished four fun but tough years at university and while tempted to join the rat race, I knew I wanted to combine my passion for music, especially vinyl, and up-cycling.
While more and more people were bringing out their records from their dusty lofts and garages to play, there was still a huge amount of vinyl being thrown into landfill sites where it would take thousands of years to break down. While we can't expect everyone to keep their scratched singles or random compilation albums, I knew there had to be something I could do to prevent this waste, while creating something new, useful and meaningful .
Our original concept was to take records that were destined for landfill, and then we would turn them into clocks. We opened our first ever market stall in the East End of London at Spitalfields Traders Market. Customers could pick out the records that meant something to them, and we turned them into clocks on the spot. This is something we still do now on all of our market stalls. The beauty of these clocks is that we don't damage the record. The specific clock mechanism we use fits through the hole in the middle with no modification or alterations to the record necessary, this then means the clocks can be taken back apart and the records still played.
However, I still wanted to do something about the thousands of records that are too scratched for display, or too random to be meaningful to many people. In 2014, we began creating cut-out designs using a scroll saw in our North London studio. We created striking silhouettes of music legends and iconic album art, now our most popular products.
Today these clocks are cut in East London's Hackney Wick, using a laser cutter , and we have over 100 different designs. We also offer custom designs, so do get in touch if you're looking for something unique.
We now have three market stalls including our original Spitalfields site - a second in Piccadilly St. James in 2015 and most recently Covent Garden in 2019.
We've expanded our range too to include classic music posters and retro tin signs, so do take a look on our site, or visit us in person at one of our stalls.
The markets are understandably currently closed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We really hope to re-open soon so please do come and say hi once we do! Otherwise, check out our online shop here and follow us on on Facebook and Instagram.