Welcome to a sunny July and to this month’s edition of our fabulous featured maker duo Sarah and Beth Medley from our latest brand to join the Collective: Hunter + Boo.
With their gorgeous brand freshly launched here in the UK we’re super excited to talk about the importance of ethical and transparent supply chains.
Beth: Becoming a mum to twins in 2014 was my personal trigger to look more closely at where the products I was buying came from and who made them. It was reflective of both wanting the best for my babies, but also of the kind of world I wanted them to grow up in. As I began to research the clothing industry, I was shocked to discover that fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world.
Having made my home in Singapore eight years previously, I was aware that there is a big interest from Mums like me keen to learn more about where their clothes come from. So much of what was available in ethical, organic or sustainable clothing was quite bland and didn’t make shopping so fun! The market seemed perfect for the launch of our brand and we are very proud to call ourselves a Singapore label!
Sarah: At the same time as Beth had her twins, I began to explore developments within the fashion industry that make a more positive impact on the lives of the workers and their environment. There are so many ways you can work more mindfully with clothing suppliers – our factory is incredible, they treat their workers like a little family and share our values, meaning they help us to ensure that the entire supply chain from seed to shipment is as ethically minded as possible. Our aim was and is to produce a brand which bridges the gap between a traditional ‘green’ aesthetic and modern design.
The modern prints are a beautiful part of your collection tell us what inspires you?
Sarah: Thanks so much! As an ethical brand, we believe that fundamentally, our clothing at Hunter+Boo should offer a season-less style. We take customer feedback extremely seriously and have developed new shapes and designs based on items they would like to see. We are recognised for our signature bold, oversized, unisex prints which are all designed in-house and take inspiration from many sources of personal artistic influence – from the wonderful flora of Singapore to my blue and white porcelain collection! Being a “slow fashion” brand, it is also very rewarding to really put all our effort into each and every design, ensuring that they are timeless and made to last.
Beth: And of course, on a daily basis we can’t help but find inspiration from our own children; my twin son and daughter who are the brand’s namesakes and baby Harry, Sarah’s new baby boy!
Let’s talk about your chosen Nurture Collective Icons why you chose them, and which ones mean the most to you?
Beth: For us, it would be hard to pick just one! Having ethical practices and an open supply chain form part of our core values at Hunter + Boo and are things we strongly believe in. Hunter+Boo again proudly participated in this year’s annual Fashion Revolution Week Campaign, a hugely important initiative to raise awareness for garment workers and promotion of transparency in the industry, which was set up in the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy, where in 2013 a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing 1,134 people and injuring 2,500. All players big or small within the industry need to accept their part in helping to improve transparency and it’s exciting to be championing this ourselves.
Sarah: Having worked in the fashion industry for more than 15 years, I’ve seen first hand the negative aspects caused by opaque supply chains. Whether that’s from a human, environmental or even animal perspective. It’s interesting that we are now seeing a trend developing where consumers are asking questions and want to know more from the retailers about how their clothes are made, we definitely have social media to thank for that and it’s such a positive step. The industry is waking up to the need to rethink the entire way supply chains are managed in terms of becoming more open and transparent. There are some very interesting documentaries available now such as The True Cost, and River Blue which explore the damage that the Fashion Industry is inflicting on our planet and its people, they are well worth a watch! As more independent labels like Hunter + Boo promote these practices, we will continue to create awareness – we hope that one day it will just be the norm.
What’s the vision for Hunter & Boo?
Beth: Hunter+ Boo is a young label, but our vision from the beginning has been clear in that we aim to be a brand of action building the business on a set of firm ethical foundations.
Sarah: Indeed, this is reflected throughout our entire supply chain starting from the moment fabrics have been chosen. We strive to continually learn and improve our practices with the aim of leaving as small a footprint as possible on our precious planet. We are hugely excited to now be offering our range to customers in the UK via Nurture Collective!
View whole collection here: Hunter & Boo
Your favourite Inspirational Quote:
Beth: ‘You can do anything, but not everything’ resonates with both of us as working mum entrepreneurs and is a philosophy we aim to work towards and aspire to.”
Sarah: That’s right, as mothers, we often find ourselves overstretched and overwhelmed – the Mommy guilt struggle is real! We find it essential to try and practice being present and living in the moment – sometimes easier said than done when you are on a video call to a supplier in another country with a baby next to you who starts crying!! Let’s just say it’s all a work in progress.
Beth: Wow, that would be like asking you to pick your favourite child haha!
Sarah: I think we would have to say the whole collection. We really couldn’t be prouder of the skill and workmanship that goes into producing our garments. We feel a real privilege every time we visit our lovely factory in Sri Lanka and meet with the men and women who actually make our clothes. We both find the whole process fascinating. It really is amazing to see how much time, people and components are involved in every garment!