Written by Ansel Swindells | Photos by Mark Gillies

If you’re not already following 114.index on Instagram, then chances are that someone else you follow already is. As well as having an eye for the latest releases, the account looks to past seasons to provide an absolute treasure trove of all things outdoor clothing related. Looking beyond the photos and the captions, however, there’s not a whole lot of information out there as to who’s actually behind the account.

Garbstore: We’re excited to learn more about you. Firstly, for those not familiar, could you introduce yourself and explain what it is that you do?

114.index: Hey guys, thanks for inviting me. For anybody who isn’t familiar, 114.index is a collection of personally curated imagery from across the internet that usually focuses on things from technical and functional clothing, outdoor environments and also editorials/photo-shoots I find interesting. I guess it’s what I see as a personal extension of my tastes and it’s really not something I try to pigeon-hole. From time to time, I’ll post some art pieces and architecture too to mix things up.

Garbstore: Given the anonymity you seem to have preserved; how separate do you keep your personal life from 114.index? For example, do you have a day job that’s unconnected to the world of clothing?

114.index: Yeah, it’s been conceived with anonymity in mind and it’s something I’d really like to keep as much as possible. It’s mostly to do with just how much unconscious pre-judgment plays a part in people's tastes and attitudes towards things. I basically see 114.index as completely separate from me myself, although the content is my personal taste. That’s why any pictures of me or people I’m out with have blurred faces. It keeps it grounded, and the viewer or followers focus on the image or space or outfit shown, as opposed to me. My job in the real world couldn’t be farther from what I do via IG. I work in mechanical service engineering where I repair equipment for transport workshops.

Garbstore: Do the numbers 114 hold any significance, or did you just settle on them randomly?

114.index: The whole name, both the numbers 114 and the index, were in fact just thought up by me as a placeholder while I could think of something better. Obviously you can see I’ve decided to stick with it. It’s actually just my house number that the 114 refers to.

Garbstore: Seeing as the name plays with the .index file format, tracking you down on the web can be quite hard. The file name and the pixelated folder icon that accompanies it is a really nice concept, though. Opening up your account can often feel like clicking through a computer file tucked away on someone else’s hard drive. Was this identity something you were clear on from the very start? Also, when actually was the very start—how long have you been doing this for?

114.index: Yeah, the .index thing is a bit of a coincidence really. I felt that it was easier to search and also cleaner than an underscore, and then I obviously realised that it works as a nice play on that. The folder icon is a nice simple logo I’ve always liked, so when I stuck with the 114.index handle there wasn’t really anything else that suited it better. 114.index had its first proper post on August 7th, 2019, and it really wasn’t anything I expected to grow at all to be honest. It was mostly just a personal outlet for research and curation but, as you can see, a lot of people seem to enjoy what I do too, which is a bit mental to me.

Garbstore: A recent post I saw of yours was of some Patagonia pieces from SS01. There were some absolute gems on there, and it looked to me like you’d been scanning some Japanese mail order catalogues. It’s a shame how so many of those have inevitably been phased out by digital. It’s curious how mail order still seems to have a place in Japan, though. That being said, be it old mail order catalogues or old issues of magazines, how do you go about finding all these artefacts? Also, of these objects, are there any particular prized possessions that you’d just never let go of?

114.index: I really love the aesthetic of old catalogues. It feels really organic to flick through something physically rather than digitally, which is pretty ironic considering that’s what 114.index is all about. I’ve found loads of these catalogues from all over the world on different marketplace sites and there’s definitely a growing interest in them, as people are either newly discovering them or some older heads are reminiscing on the stuff. My print archive isn’t up to much compared to others’ such as organiclab.zip’s—that’s really insane. The Patagonia catalogues do seem to be the most sought after, though, with some going for hundreds of pounds for singles, especially the 1980s ones. I don’t think there’s anything I’d ‘never’ let go of as such, but there are certainly a few things I’d fight to keep hold of, like my Fall 2000 catalogue, which looks like it’s been dragged up and down a few crags by the previous owner. It’s really just its character that I love the most.

Garbstore: Are there any defunct publications that you wish were revived?

114.index: There was a short-lived publication called Pit2Pit magazine. I think it was only two or three issues. I’d love to see that start up again because it had some real nice features in the two issues I had and was really well curated. I’d also love to see brands going back to having printed catalogues, even if not seasonally just annually. I think there is something sentimental about that side of things, like, getting to have a look at how the brand themselves view their own product is great.

Garbstore: Are there any brands that you think are doing particularly interesting things at the moment, or any brands that you feel are underrated?

114.index: I’ve got a huge affection for Scandinavian brands right now. Can’t get enough of Klattermusen at the moment and I can’t remember the last time I felt that pretty much all of one collection hit so much. Houdini is another one I feel are underappreciated with their simple neutral colour palette and real contemporary-sportswear cuts. It’s almost at an intersection of Veilance and Tilak (Poutnik by Tilak, too), but the majority of their fabric is recycled and they push sustainability heavily. A third I’ve been using heavily is MontBell. They have a nice heritage to them and their gear is super lightweight with quality that’s spot on. I even use all their cookware for camping and backpacking trips.

Garbstore: Did your interest in functional clothing precede your interest in the outdoors? Also, what kind of outdoor activities are you interested in, and how/when did you get into them?

114.index: For me it wasn’t really linear in the sense of one following the other. From a young age I spent about 10 years in the Scouts going camping every other weekend and sometimes for 7-8 days at a time. So, the appreciation for the outdoors has always been there as a foundation. As is with most people, though, as you go through your mid-teens you find your own style, and then from that you end up on a bit of a journey trying new things or having little phases here and there. It was through this I re-discovered the outdoors, but from a stylistic perspective, funnily enough, it’s also when I discovered Garbstore. The Casual Connoisseur (CasualCo) influenced me a bit with the classic and vintage gear from Norrona and Berghaus. As my tastes became more refined, I got more into the technical side of things and the accompanying sportswear/athletic aesthetic. I love that ultralight backpacking life, the kind of thing you see someone hiking the Pacific Crest Trail practicing, where everything is super compact and multifunctional. Bouldering is another hobby of mine I got into around the same time I started the account. Even though I’m not really good at it, it’s so much fun and a lot more physical than people realise. I’m absolutely knackered after an hour, but in the best way.

Garbstore: In light of the current cabin fever we’re all feeling, are there any places/countries that you’ve been thinking about visiting in the future, or any mountains, trails, etc. that you’re hoping to take on?

114.index: I’m longing to get out just as much as the next guy, and, once able, I’m going to spend a good few days around the northwest highlands here in Scotland. There’s a couple of hills and Munros I really want to climb—Suilven and Stac Pollaidh in Assynt and the Munro, Slioch which towers over Loch Maree in Wester Ross. I’ll also hopefully get out to the West Coast of the USA this summer too, to travel and spend some time on the trails there, especially Yosemite and Joshua Tree national parks, which I’ve always wanted to visit.

Garbstore: What’s next for you and 114.index? Is there anything we can get excited about?

114.index: 2021 is going to be a year of building for 114.index. I really want to push things and branch out beyond just content creating for an Instagram feed so that I can begin to get work within both the outdoor and fashion industries. I’ve got some editorials lined up with a team involving some well-loved brands of 114.index where I’ll be styling and directing, so I can’t wait to share them with my community. I’ve also been asked to be onboard for a publication called ‘Renew’ that’s in the works, which is focussing on sustainability in its current form, what it means for the future and how consumers and manufacturers alike can change the way we understand sustainable fashion.