Kindred - Eye-catching ethical clothing
Here at The Every Space, community is very close to our hearts - which is why our collaborative space is home to three other local female-run businesses. One of the current brands in residence is Kindred, who specialise in ethically-made cotton clothing. The organic garments are all screen printed by hand with eye-catching designs, making them stand out visually whilst also being kind to the planet. We sat down to chat with owner Hayley to find out more about her brand, her ethos and her favourite bits about running a business.
Kindred specialises in ethical fashion, and on your blog you focus a lot on sustainability. Why is it so important to you to ensure that your products are ethically produced - and do you think more fashion brands should be following suit?
It’s very important to me that Kindred garments are produced using sustainable and organic fibres, and that they’re manufactured in a responsible way. It’s crucial to be kind to our bodies by wearing garments that haven't been treated with harmful chemicals, to have a responsibility to the people who made those garments by ensuring that the working conditions are safe and they’re paid a fair wage, and to respect our planet by limiting the impact on the environment.
It’s more than just having a point of difference in the marketplace. Consumers are more aware of the damaging effects of fast fashion, not just environmentally but also socially, and are actively seeking out brands that support this eco ethos. We all want to (and should) shop more responsibly - whether it’s the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, or the cleaning products we use at home. Sustainability is the only way forward. We are all aware of the damaging effects of climate change, and we can’t ignore it - so we have to change, all of us, consumers and brands. I think fashion brands should be making fast fashion a thing of the past and ethical fashion the norm - not just an added extra.
Your clothing and art prints are all adorned with bold, bright and eye-catching designs. What's your process for finding design inspiration?
With clothing, I usually start with what I feel fits into the season - for example, I wouldn't put a flamingo on a t-shirt in winter. There’s definitely an emotional connection with a design, too, as it might make me feel a certain way or remind me of something. I'll lay out all my designs together and see if they sit alongside each other, then I'll mock up how they’ll look on the garment. I’ll then start making tweaks to ensure I don't have too much of the same thing and that I'm offering enough different options, shapes and a range of colours. Some designs I might move into the next season if I feel it’s better suited there, and some designs get cut completely if I feel it’s not 'Kindred’ enough.
As for the prints, I start off with designs that I like and have an emotional connection to which don't translate onto a garment. Then I also start printing some designs that I’d previously printed up onto tees and sweaters, like the Frida Kahlo illustration. I've also been working with talented local artist and friend, Kasia Mogilnicka, and I have a few of her gorgeous prints as part of the collection.
From designing and producing Kindred's clothing to crafting your brand, blog and social media, what's your favourite part of running your business?
That’s hard. I love the process of pulling all the designs together for a season - but seeing a freshly printed garment for the first time is so exciting, as it’s all been two-dimensional until that point. Of course, customer reactions are also really exciting. When something is well received and you get great feedback, that’s fantastic... it's great to know you're doing it right!
Hayley picked her favourite items from The Every Space. Each item is either sustainable, promotes slow living and mindfulness, or supports independent local UK businesses.
The Breton tee from Kindred, made from organic cotton
Sunglasses from Vow, made with recycled materials
Waste Not: Make a Big Difference by Throwing Away Less by Erin Rhoads
A carnelian crystal from Head & Hands for The Every Space - the stone of action, courage and confidence
A reusable mesh shopper from Weathered Penny
A succulent plant, perfect for purifying the air
A handmade pot from Salt Studios in London