Interview with Thought Clothing - Suppliers of Contemporary, Organic and Sustainable Style
Thought Clothing are acutely aware that living a sustainable lifestyle is no easy feat! To a consumer simply dipping their toes into the world of sustainable fashion, it can be quite overwhelming and intimidating, which is why Thought want to simplify the process.
With a motto of ‘Wear Me, Love Me, Mend Me, Pass Me On’, Thought are all about opening up the conversation about sustainable fashion, and aim to educate people about the small steps they can take in order to make a difference.
We caught up with Rachel Kelly, co-founder of Thought Clothing, to talk all things slow, ethical fashion and find out a little bit more about this forward-thinking and innovative brand.
When was Thought set up and what was your founding ethos?
My husband and I are both from Australia but have happily lived in London now for about 16 years. We met in the industry back home. John was already leading the way and making Hemp shirts in Australia, while I was a junior buyer. I met him when he was selling to the business that I worked for. John decided to come and try his luck selling sustainable clothing in the UK and I happened to be travelling at the same time. When I had run out of money and made my way back to London, I began working for John in his first shop in Portobello. It was so much fun! We had so much energy and passion to grow the business and we slowly started to find our feet in this huge city, as we slowly developed our business.
Our founding ethos and motto is ‘Wear Me, Love Me, Mend Me, Pass Me On’. We wanted to create clothes that would become our customers’ wardrobe staples, and our motto is a reminder to look after what we own.
Has your ethos changed over time?
How is Thought unique on the market?
Our force of nature fabrics are a huge part of what makes us unique; this refers to our sustainable fabrics made using materials such as Organic Cotton, Bamboo and Tencel. Also, our prints are commissioned and created exclusively for us, which makes them really special.
How do you choose the products in your range?
As we are all about slow, ethical fashion, it’s definitely a longer process than your average clothing brand. We have a passionate design team who consider countless silhouettes, colours and prints. They do this to craft contemporary, sustainable clothing. Key pieces that are effortless in style, flattering in fit. Pieces are designed to become classics you’ll return to time and again.
When you’re shopping for clothes, what do you look for?
I love clothes and fashion but having been in the sustainable clothing industry for so long now, I am really careful about where I put my money. Besides organic and sustainable fabrics, I look for items that I know I will wear again and again. Running a fashion brand definitely makes it easier, I wear a lot of samples!
What is your most popular / hero product?
There are so many! I would love to create an archive of our most loved, iconic pieces. Our bamboo Dashka slacks are a wardrobe staple for many of our loyal customers. Our Sail La Vie cotton knit has been reinvented for the past eight seasons now. I also think our printed skirts are very iconic, they are super popular because they look stunning and have pockets.
Does Thought do anything for the environment?
We try to look at each step of the lifecycle of creating a garment up until we deliver that garment to our customer. Whether that is how we use paper in our office, to how we ship our goods, to what fabrics we use in our collections, to what styles we design — we are looking to do it in a thoughtful way. Minimising our footprint, being thoughtful of how we produce our clothing, and designing long lasting slow fashion styles that our customers will love and cherish for years to come — all form the foundations of how we want to do business.
Are there any particular challenges in your market?
Making sure we create clothes that are good to the Earth, but also that will make our customers look and feel good. We could all wear organic cotton sacks every day if we wanted to go completely sustainable, but clothing and fashion is an art form and a method of self-expression. Balancing the ethics of fashion whilst making people feel confident is always at the forefront of what we do.
What are Thought’s hopes for the future?
We want to be a leading light as a positive change maker. To showcase to other business that you can grow a strong and profitable business while being value driven.
What does fair trade mean to you?
Fair trade to me means acting in as human a way as possible. To have empathy and kindness at the forefront of your decision making process. For us, this means from our supply chain right through to our relationships here with our team.
If you could summarise Thought in three words, what would they be?
Thoughtful, creative, enduring.
If you’d like to check out our full Thought range and invest in pieces which will last years and years, take a look here. Plus, keep your eyes peeled on our AW19 range, as we're going to have a lot more wonderful Thought pieces on offer!