When I started the business, the hardest thing for me wasn’t coming up with ideas, it was finding a way to source sustainable and ethical garments with a style and fit that I loved.
I truly believe that if I wouldn’t wear it myself then I shouldn’t try and sell it to someone else. So when the manufacturer I buy my unfinished items from told me they were discontinuing a couple of my key t-shirt and sweatshirt styles my heart sank. Both the fabric and cut were unique which is what I loved the most, and as it turns out so do my customers.
I had already toyed with the idea of designing my own from scratch, but with high minimum order quantities and bigger cashflow needed I was put off. Hearing this news forced my hand and I have since spent the best part of a year looking into manufacturing, cotton making, pattern cutting and all the other bits I knew little about. The biggest difference was going to be the quantities I needed to produce in order to be able to offer a great value price to my customer.
The hardest thing was turning my vision into a pattern. It’s one thing having it in your head, but explaining that to complete strangers who live in another country can be frustrating and very time consuming. Then there’s the fabric itself – too heavy, too fine, too grainy, too coarse. The ribs, the trim, the stitch count etc etc. I knew exactly what I wanted for my first 2 designs and I’m sure that I annoyed a lot of people with my nitpicking!
The process took months as my fabric had to be knitted first. I have used 100% cotton that carries the OEKO-TEX certificate which certifies the absence of harmful chemical substances. An independent testing and certification system that ensures textile products are processed in a way that prioritises the absence of chemical substances that harm health and the environment, a restriction of lead content in dyes, and prohibits certain potentially harming substances that aren’t yet legally banned. Meaning you can be safe in the knowledge that your T-shirt has been made with a cotton that respects your skin and the environment.
Ever wondered how the big high street chains can offer a T-shirt for £5? They produce hundreds of thousands and have the muscle to bargain the price down amongst other things (cheap mass produced cotton, over worked labourers etc etc). So my journey began, working with someone who could point me in the right direction and hold my hand through the stages of my first ever garment production.
My cotton T-shirts were made in a family run factory in Turkey with over 35 years experience in textiles. Their aim is to produce quality products that don’t affect human health or the environment. As well as being highly respected in the industry, all the employees are valued and fairly paid along with fair working hours.