What inspired you to set up elliot. ?
So I’ve been working in the fashion industry most of my adult life, first as a model and then as a designer. I’ve been lucky enough to design for some amazing brands, and live in some great cities. When I was younger, I loved the fast pace of it all, the crazy glamour - but I guess as I got older that side of the industry started to lose it’s sparkle for me.
I got to the point where I couldn’t align my personal beliefs with some of the working practices I was seeing, and I needed to do something about that.
Tell us a bit about the production process - where is the collection designed and made and by who?
At the end of 2018, I moved back home to Brighton. I’d been living in London for about 8 years and I was feeling like I couldn’t breathe anymore - I was affected by the pollution but also the volume of people; fighting my way onto the Victoria Line every morning - it just wasn’t the life I wanted.
So now I spend my days in a lovely sunny studio by the sea, and I just love that I can step out of my door virtually straight onto the Downs. And I’m growing flowers outside my back door!
I design the range myself, which covers everything from sourcing fabric and trims, to handling production, and I love that I’m in charge of every inch of the process.
The silk camis and French knickers are made in a great little factory in north London, and the rib tank, boy shorts and Janes are made just outside Barcelona in Spain. I was working in Barcelona for a while, so that factory came recommended by an old work colleague.
I’ve been really careful to keep the range small for now, so that I can let it grow naturally, and only work with people who I know are doing things the right way.
What materials do you use and why?
Most of the range is made from 100% organic cotton, sometimes with a little elastane for fit and comfort. Organic cotton is grown without fertilisers or pesticides, which means it doesn’t pollute the earth, and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals that might irritate the skin.
We think about what we put into our bodies - we know it’s important to eat good food and consider where and how that food was sourced. It’s really not a big step on from that, to be thinking about what we put next to our skin. Especially in our most intimate places!
The other fibre I use is bamboo. Bamboo grows easily without the use of chemical fertilisers, meaning bamboo production is less resource intensive than conventional (non-organic) cotton growing. The processing to produce the bamboo silk and jersey fabrics is done in a closed loop system, so nothing goes back into nature during production. Like the cotton, the bamboo yarns and dyes are certified by OEKO-TEX 100 as being free from harmful chemicals, and they’re also super soft, so it’s just perfect for making underwear. You really can forget you’re wearing it.
Why is sustainability so important to your brand?
People have been aware of climate change for many years now, and the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors when it comes to pollution and waste. I spent 3 years working for a fast fashion retailer and it literally broke my heart to see that level of throwaway consumption.
So starting elliot. was about getting back to basics: creating beautiful, simple, timeless pieces that are made to last, and that don’t damage the environment in their production.
Every style is based on a garment that I have worn and loved myself; I realised that I have been buying the same tank top, with slight variations, my whole life.
So elliot. is about taking those favourite pieces and recreating them to be the best they can be. Style, cut, fit, fabric and trims all have to be perfect, because I want you to love them as much as I do, and I want you to want to wear them every day.
I don’t believe we can stop people consuming, or actually, that we should want that to happen, but I do believe we can make better choices, and buying beautiful, versatile classics is a great way to start.