Tell us about the story behind Tommy and Lottie and how it all started?
Surprisingly its named after my two children! Who are the reason I started the brand as I wanted to be there for them. I had previously worked for large companies so have experience in retail and marketing which helps so much in what I do, but I have also always been very creative and had a love of nature and wildlife mainly influenced by my childhood. I think it’s so important to educate and pass on the message to other people and I chose to do that through my brand. I’m giving people a choice, and I love doing it through my products and designs. I want to make people smile and happy without it costing the earth.
Animals are a beautiful part of your collection what is your inspiration?
I love animals and nature, I grew up in rural Sussex, and from a very young age, I was taught to respect the environment. My Mum talked about the issue of plastic back in the 70’s way before it became this significant global problem we are facing now. We grew our own produce and purchased organic food or locally produced food as much as possible. I spent so much of my early years outside, so my childhood has had a big influence. Nature and wildlife are so important to nurture and protect. To think as humans, we are stronger than other creatures we share the world with is somewhat arrogant.
We need these animals to survive, they make people happy, and they help create a healthy ecosystem for us to live in and let’s face it, who doesn’t have a favourite animal?
Tell us what’s most important in your making and creating process?
Quality products that have been made ethically. Where people have been paid fairly, well looked after and have safe and healthy conditions and have jobs! The impact our products have on the environment, before, during and after its life has been considered. For example in the printing processes we use, we don’t use plastic transfers, only screen print or embroidery.
What inspired you to have an ethical standpoint with your brand?
It’s the responsibility of all of us to make changes and consider our impact on the planet that includes people, wildlife and nature. Whether you have a business or in your everyday personal life, making small changes should be part of your plan whatever you are doing. Always questioning and always evolving. It is not about blame and pointing fingers, it’s about action and choice, starting with yourself.
Tommy & Lottie is offering consumers that choice, buy less but buy quality. We don’t need lots and lots of clothing, capsule, well-made ethical pieces that can be handed down once outgrown. Better for our wallets, well-being and planet.
Let’s talk about your chosen Nurture Collective Icons why did you choose them, and which ones mean the most to you?
Ethical: This is my number one as this is about the people who make it, and they really must be paid fairly, treated well. It’s time to realise that paying less is not ethical or sustainable in many cases when it comes to fashion.
Sustainable: Let’s take cotton for example. Cotton is not grown in the UK it is grown in warmer climates such as Africa which is where our baby tee cotton comes from. Excellent quality, vertically produced, this means the cotton is grown near to the factory which then turns the cotton crop into the fabric and then made into our t-shirts. All done in one place and is not exported out of the country (who grew it in the first place), taking with its jobs and employment. So many textiles go around the world before ending up in the customer’s hands. Our carbon footprint is far lower than most because of this process.
Transparent: This is why being Transparent is so important too. It is not just about the end product it’s about its whole life story.
What’s the vision for Tommy & Lottie?
To continue and better our brand and find new fabrics that we can work with, new processes and still deliver quality, unisex products that have considered the environment in its processes from crop to customer. To launch more wildlife inspired designs and to give more choice to our customers without creating unnecessary textile waste.
Your favourite Inspirational Quote:
“Small Acts, multiplied by millions of people can transform the world” – Howard Zinn
What’s piece are you most proud of?
Starting the brand and designing everything.
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