Here is a selection of features from Attire Accessories magazine.
Starting in the height of the Pandemic, Wag&Wool creates matching pet and human accessories – a growing trend in the UK. March 2020, the pandemic gave us all a chance for pause and introspection. For me, it was an opportunity to put the vitality of the high fashion industry on hold and concentrate on a project closer to my heart. Having shared my life with dogs since I can remember, I wanted to begin designing a beautiful range of gift-worthy knitwear for dogs. The lightbulb moment came to me when I met my friend and her dog, Monti, on a particularly chilly day in Brighton. We wrapped Monti up in one of my hand-knitted lambswool scarves to keep him cosy and I never looked back. Wag&Wool was born.
Alison and Simon Henderson took a leap of faith and launched Earth Squared following a redundancy in 2001. Stronger than ever, the company keeps an eye on trends and listens to customer's needs with its popular products. As with any business, every day is a learning day! They have faced (and overcome) lots of challenges but the main one has probably been establishing a reliable and long term relationship with their production partners in Vietnam – who they have worked with almost since the outset.
Prior is a not-for-profit independent shop and workshop space in Bristol committed to creating a conscious and mindful shopping experience by only stocking sustainably made modern lifestyle products: homewares, accessories, clothes, jewellery and skincare. They support local brands and are a hub of information for local makers, wanting to ensure everything created has a positive impact for its local and wider community, and of course, the planet.
E-commerce jewellery marketplace Pearls & Pomegranates offers a curated experience for customers and jewellers that focuses on sustainability, ethics, quality, and independent design. Founder Natalia Kübler tells us more... Pearls & Pomegranates is an e-commerce jewellery marketplace for ethical and sustainability-focused independent jewellery designers and makers. With Pearls & Pomegranates, my focus is to empower independent design and craftsmanship while giving consumers a centralised place to shop from small business jewellers, who otherwise can be difficult to find.
Every sale from the Studs of Hope collection by ethical jewellery company Vurchoo gives back to local communities and is distributed worldwide by charitable partner Teach A Man to Fish. Founder and designer Alex Angel-Benscher tells us more. "I started Vurchoo seven years ago now. When I was travelling, I was exposed to so many children around the world who had experienced such extreme levels of poverty. I have always had a passion for design and when returning to the UK, I knew I could put my skills to good use and create a truly ethical business that makes people happy while making the world a better place at the same time."
Louise Rideout runs Hertford-based boutique Frankie and Olive, championing sustainable fashion and immersing herself in the local community – a key way for retailers to survive COVID and more. The name Frankie and Olive stands for 'honest and green', it is a fresh, friendly, independent women's boutique in Hertford. Having moved back from living in New Zealand for 16 years where I owned an award-winning shop selling sustainable clothing and gifts, I quickly noticed a gap in the market for a similar business with an ethical ethos. Frankie and Olive believes in Fairtrade, fair wages and safe working conditions for all workers and buys from labels who share these ethics. There are regular deliveries of thoughtfully sourced clothing and homewares offering quality, affordable pieces in natural, sustainable and ethically-produced materials.
CME Jewellery has been in the industry for 40 years, seeing off recessions and the recent pandemic. Here Clare Belton, Marketing Manager, tells us about the company's secret to success. "CME Director, Howard Pessall started out in 1977 selling Silver Jubilee ingots from a market stall. It became a real family concern when he persuaded his parents and brother in law, Drew, to join him. Howard started the business through a love of design and an enjoyment of chatting to customers. From these modest roots 40 years ago CME, which is still a family-run business, has developed into one of the UK's leading wholesalers of high-quality sterling silver and 9ct gold jewellery, with over 5,000 beautiful designs to choose from."
Titi Adesa Creative Director and Founder, Titi Adesanya, talks us through the company's ethos on circular fashion, and how the footwear brand's designs complement its conscious fashion DNA perfectly. "As an avid shoe lover, I've always been fascinated by the transformation that comes with wearing a good pair of heels, so I wanted to create a line for the contemporary woman with a youthful essence. I am also very passionate about conscious, circular fashion, which is why I created a brand that supports and empowers young African girls through sponsored education and mentorship. I wanted to have a message attached to my brand that women can be empowered by. Growing up, my mother would always say to me, 'Within every woman, lies a diamond – unique, resilient and imperfectly perfect.' Those words stayed with me as I grew older, which is why I designed the rose gold logo as a tilted diamond – to embody the message that we women are indeed all diamonds and imperfectly perfect in our own way.
Owner Mollie Butterworth talks about how fashion and accessories retailer Pretty Parade Boutique has gone from strength to strength. "I opened the business on my return from travelling – the idea had come to me while in Australia and I just had this sudden feeling that this was something I was meant to do. When I returned from Australia, I had six months before my university place started, and I had a little bit of savings leftover so I thought why not? With the support of my family I launched my online store. We'd do regular pop-ups and even though not always successful it was clear to me I needed a physical store. Later the following year I went on to open our first bricks and mortar outlet, which has just celebrated its third year anniversary!"
JEWN UK Founder Nigel Mitchell documents the company's evolution since its inception in 1996, and how's its managing to weather the COVID-19 storm. "I started trading in 1996 as JEWN UK as the agency for Enny Handbags of Italy. Very soon the agency had increased to include brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Claudio Ferrici and The Bridge. In 2009 I started to work with my father at Sirco Leatherwares with the intention of taking the business over when he decided to retire. However, unfortunately due to him becoming very unwell Sirco was closed down and the brand names were then incorporated into JEWN UK Limited, which kept continuity of trading with retailers and factories.