We speak to three fashion labels Maddy Page Knitwear, ROSAYAB and Après Sunday about the beauty of being a small sustainable label
When it comes to making a fashion label there’s the assumption the more designs, collections and the bigger the team, then success is inevitable. Yet this is not always the case. Today eyes are turning away from disruptive methods and authenticity is becoming key.
Fashion labels Maddy Page, ROSAYAB and Aprés Sunday are showing that staying indie with a strong customer base is the way forward for the new age of fashion brands. YouGOV reported 64% of Brits said they wanted to support local businesses and products since covid, the movement to stay small is taking hold of brands in the new climate of retail.
Andrew Goodacre, CEO of The British Independent Retail Association (BIRA) tells Sustain-it that small brands are driven by building relationships with customers. “By focusing on a customer base that has a clearly defined market, they’re able to really adjust and adapt and get their personality across much better than large chains,” says Andrew.
With the rise of sustainability on brand’s agenda too, keeping a small brand is vital for maintaining this with Andrew adding: “There’s no doubt it’s harder to be sustainable and to fulfil those values as well, the bigger you get.”
Maddy Page Knitwear
Maddy Page Knitwear is a punk inspired clothing brand based in the UK. Founder, 23-year-old Maddy Page graduated from Winchester School of Art in 2018 and launched her own label in March 2020. “I decided to dedicate a lot of time and money into my brand with the aim to make fun quirky pieces from sustainable materials,” says Maddy.
Sustainability is a at core of Maddy’s brand, assuring that all her designs are made from second-hand, deadstock or remnant materials. The combination of punk-wear mixed with a feminine juxtaposition creates a unique design that people are loving right now. Maddy describes her brand as “spunky, joyful and cute.”
Maddy’s brand took off from Tiktok, where she has been showcasing her designs and processes — stacking up 16k followers and over 200k likes. This has transferred over to Instagram with 34k followers, as well as breeze of customers alongside.
Running your own small label does come with its challenges and moments of frustration, Maddy tells us how some of her designs have been copied and sold on fast fashion sites. Luckily Maddy’s creates one-of-a-kind pieces adding, “I’m thankful that my work is so identifiable that people actually realise its copies of my work all the time.”
She continues saying, “people really like to feel like, buying from my designs they are investing in my creativity.” Something you can’t get from the mainstream fast fashion sites, who sadly sometimes steal other designers hard work, with absolutely no credit.
Why Maddy Page wants to stay small?
“Having worked in a charity shop and in fast fashion, I was really aware of the waste created by the fashion we consume, and I really didn’t want to add to that.” Say Maddy.
“it’s really exciting that at a time of financial unrest people have looked around and chosen to invest their money in small brands such as mine.” Says Maddy.
ROSAYAB by Rosie Bishop
ROSAYAB is an east-London based fashion label founded by Rosie Bishop. Like Maddy Page, Rosie also uses deadstock materials. The fabrics are all sourced locally in East London, “Working single-handedly and producing everything myself by combining fabrics, scraps, offcuts and deadstock material to patchwork into gorgeous pieces,” says Rosie.
Rosie’s interest in sustainable fashion practices started while studying at London College of Fashion, being a vegetarian too, Rosie has made sure her brand aligns with her preferences. Making sure is as authentic as possible for her customers.
“Remaining small allows myself to produce pieces to a higher quality.” Says Rosie. All Rosie’s pieces are made-to-order, being size inclusive from UK size 4 to UK 24.
The past year has seen an explosion of small businesses, although Rosie agrees this is great for the market, it’s also a worry for many small labels, “it’s becoming rather over saturated right now,” says Rosie. It can be hard to stay noticed in a market which seems to be growing year-on-year.
SME Loans found 4 out of 5 gen z want to set up their own business one day
Apés Sunday by Elouise Hall
Aprés Sunday is another fashion label on the sustainable fashion arisen, founder 22-year-old Eloise Hall graduated London College of Fashion in 2018 with a degree in Fashion Journalism. After struggling to find work in the journalism arena, her love of fashion and handy Instagram following ventured her into creating her own sustainable label, Aprés Sunday.
Eloise says, “I do think that if you’re building a brand now than it has to be sustainable because of how much we know.”
Eloise says, “what interests’ people is seeing the behind the scenes like seeing who’s actually the person behind the brand, I’m a real person.’’
Aprés Sunday consumers are largely through Instagram with Eloise saying, “I don’t know where I would kind of be in terms of selling. If I didn’t have influencers”
Making loungewear and tote bags made from 100% organic cotton, Eloise ensures her label maintains ethicality through fabrics and workers are paid living wages.