Interview: Fabric For Freedom
Today we meet Esther Knight, founder of Fabric For Freedom. With a background as a fashion buyer, Esther launched Fabric For Freedom in November 2018 building on a foundation of integrity: truth, transparency, justice. Here we find out what inspired her to create a brand that has a fashion aesthetic rooted in future proofed components.
What inspired you to start Fabric For Freedom?
Fabric For Freedom started after I spent nearly 10 years in the Industry working as a buyer. I’d seen first-hand the issues within the industry from product development stages to factory practises and fabric choices. I wasn’t ok with my contribution to the issues and knew I could create something that was stylish and fashionable without exploiting any part of the fashion process. From that point I spent time researching then a year creating the brand that was sustainable and ethical whilst visually being contemporary and cool.
How would you describe your product offering?
Our products are rooted in our brand values of being authentically design led. Pieces that challenge the idea of the consumer industry by being designed to be worn multiple ways. Our aim is to inspire our customers through styling and therefore increase a products longevity. We’re also season-less, making our pieces always relevant and always wearable.
Using your previous experience as a buyer, how do you approach your sourcing and production?
I take a 360 approach in every aspect of our making. Taking my experience and my areas of expertise, I made the conscious decisions to use certified materials including GOTS so we know where the materials is from, in addition to this we don’t use plastic buttons or zips. We use eco zips and the buttons are from a sustainable manufacturer in Brazil who make them out of nuts. Wherever possible we work with suppliers that support the local community through business or employment. With everything we do we aim to have a circular design process.
What advice would you offer other fashion entrepreneurs looking to start a business or collection?
Do your research! I saw the problem I wanted to solve first hand, but in order to do it I needed to continue to research and develop ideas and gain further understanding of elements of business I hadn’t worked in before. I networked and built a foundation and supportive network which helped the launch of Fashion For Freedom. I also joined an accelerator programme for social ventures to support businesses with a purpose which has helped me get out of my comfort zone and learn more- nothing is ever learned in a comfort zone.
Images courtesy of Fabric For Freedom