Ethical Fashion Guide Speaks with Our Founder, Isobel Ridley

Isobel Ridley

Posted on August 16 2021

What made you want to launch a sustainable fashion brand?

After a successful career which included working for a global luxury brand, Isobel was inspired to launch a clothing brand with the idea to offer simple, luxurious and affordable everyday essentials for women that didn’t have a negative impact on the planet. Starting with supersoft tees, Isobel sought to create garments that were sustainable and ethical while using the best quality fabrics and started with a range of essential tees which are a firm customer favourite and make up our core collection today. Isobel is always searching for ways to improve the brand’s footprint, from carrying out reviews of her factories and their processes to improving the packaging used on the products.

Tell us about how your clothes are produced?

We are proud to produce over 85% of our products here in the UK, with the remainder coming from western Europe. The greatest care is taken with our sourcing and manufacturing, and we endeavour to be as open and honest with our customers as we can so that we’re always sharing where our garments come from and how they are made. As we carefully source raw materials and manufacture all of our products ourselves, we are able to monitor our supply chain closely to ensure it meets our high ethical and sustainable standards.

Tell us about your packaging?

We use recycled tissue paper to wrap our products and recycled plastic in our mailing bags. Ultimately, we would love to move away from plastic altogether, however finding a fully compostable or biodegradable material for our bags is proving challenging. That being said, new developments are being made all the time and we hope to find a suitable alternative to our packaging in the very near future. Until then, we will continue to use recycled and repurposed materials which still have a significantly smaller impact than brand new packaging. Being as sustainable a company as possible has its challenges but we are working hard everyday to ensure we tread as lightly as we can on this planet.

What are you most proud of?

That we have happy customers as a result of the hard work we put into making our products as sustainable and ethical as possible. Just because we use natural resources to produce the fibres and fabric for our clothes doesn’t mean we compromise on quality, comfort or longevity - and this is the feedback we keep getting from our customers. Just as producing clothing shouldn’t cost our earth its health, it also shouldn’t cost the quality for our customers - and we’re very proud to have found that balance.

What does a typical day look like for employees at these factories?

An average day starts at 8.30am and finishes around 4.30pm with an hour break for lunch. The factories tend to be broken down into different production areas, including the cutting room, machinists, quality control, pressing/ packing and dispatch. One of the reasons we selected our various factories is due to their hands-on approach to producing their garments, meaning that each and every item made for Lavender Hill Clothing has passed through several pairs of skilled hands before it reaches our customers. We’re proud that many of our factories offer not only brilliant environments in which to work, they support their local communities, too.

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