Running a business as a full-time mum is tough but if you have a mission and a good reason why, you won’t mind the hard work and losing a little bit of sleep over it. I started my children’s fashion brand when my twins were only a few months old (almost 9 years ago !!) . It was relentless and at times, excruciatingly exhausting.
I used to be partner in an interior design firm but after finding out that I was pregnant with twins, I made the choice to leave the company to look after my babies. Soon after I gave birth to my babies, I noticed a gap in the market for sustainable kids clothing that was beyond just printed organic baby-grows.
An idea was formed and a couple of calls made. Later that year, we launched our first collection under Jakeandmaya, named after … my twins. It was very important for me, as a mum, that whatever we created would not only look great but also to have a positive impact on the environment. It is my belief that we, as parents have to do what we can to protect the future of our kids.
All our garments were made ethically in UK, using remnant textiles.What started as a small idea back in 2007, has now become a big idea. In 2012, I made the decision to stop trading, to re-brand our company and also, to move to the countryside, to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I wanted my kids to be able to run around in fields, climb trees and generally being connected with nature.
This shift made all the difference in creating a more balanced lifestyle, as well as a company that is true to its ethos. Everything fell into place. New, bigger ideas started to take shape.
As a mum, a brand-owner and designer, I couldn’t help but notice how unsustainable children’s fashion was/is !
Escaping the city was great but what I could not escape from was how much waste we were still creating as a family and especially the kids. They go through so many clothes ( and toys ) !
It is not the children’s fault per se, but a lot of clothes get wasted because children simply grow out of them too quickly. They either grow out of them or they completely destroy them while doing what children do best, playing. So people ( including me on occasions), end up buying cheap, badly made clothing for our kids, thinking they won’t last anyway. This not only creates waste-issues, it also creates a lot of ethical issues, due to the demand of increasingly low prices.
So, I am on a mission to find a solution to this problem. Well, we can’t stop kids from growing ( nor do we want to really ), so the only other way to make children’s clothing last longer is to make them “grow” with the child … and to mend them when they get ruined.
It is that simple ! Then we need to just get clothing made ethically.
There, problem solved.
We can not stop buying clothes for our fast growing kids, but we can certainly try and buy less. I think it is time to teach ourselves, and with that, the next generation to live a more sustainable lifestyle. I won’t be able to do this on my own but if I can inspire more people to do it with me, we will be able to move (landfill) mountains together. It is this mission that helps keep me tirelessly working all day and night.