We love it when female-founded brands come together to celebrate their united ethos and business ambitions.
This week will see two ethically conscious companies teaming up to create a ‘pop-up’ concept in the beautiful county of Suffolk.
Eloquently Her has been finding out more, from the founders of Where Does it Come From, and Arya Candles.
It’s great to hear the two of you are collaborating to open a pop-up shop for a limited time. How did you guys meet, and what makes you so well matched?
We connected first over our shared love of ethical and eco-friendly products, originally via Twitter. Our first meeting in person was at an event in Birmingham to celebrate winners of ‘Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday’ where we both received our certificates from the man himself. We’ve met many times since and have collaborated too, to produce some beautiful handwoven, hand printed Arya Candles scarves featuring their gold butterfly logo.
So why are you choosing to do the shop concept now?
Arya’s Jenny lives just a stone’s throw away from the pop-up shop, Carousel, in Framlingham. She got to know the owner, Joanne Penfold (a brilliant artist), who has a fantastic array of artists or business owners in the shop each week – Always something new and different! Jenny decided hire out the shop for a week, for Arya Candles and wanted to share the space with someone – it seemed natural to ask Jo to come along with her lovely clothes. Jo was delighted to jump in as it is a fantastic opportunity to offer to our customers – to come and meet us face to face and get a chance to touch and feel our lovely clothes.
As businesses which focus on having an ethical core, and valuing traceability, do you feel more and more consumers worry about such things today?
Jenny says ‘I wouldn’t say that consumers “worry” about ethics and traceability, however I think there is a lot more focus on the ethical credentials of businesses. I think that people are realising they need to make changes in how they shop, and are now more likely to go towards local and/or ethical brands.’
Jo adds ‘It is a really exciting time for ethical brands actually – the ethical market in the UK had grown year on year plus there’s now the ‘Blue Planet’ effect too. This has made customers much more aware of ethical issues, especially around natural materials, avoiding plastic and knowing the provenance of the products they buy. People are a lot more questioning and really want to understand how what they buy has been created and its impact on the planet and makers’
Does that mean your customers are happy to pay more, if it means knowing that the product they have is produced in kinder circumstances?
There’s still a long way to go till we inspire everyone that it’s worth paying a little more for an ethical product. However customers, new and old, are more willing to spend a little more on something that is 100% natural, and gives back to the global community and planet.
Do you have other collaboration plans beyond the pop-up?
Jenny says ‘We don’t currently have any collaboration plans, but I’ll always be willing to collaborate with Jo.’
Jo says ‘It’s always a pleasure to work with the lovely ladies from Arya Candles – their products are fantastic and their mission is inspiring’
Tell us what plans each of your businesses have for the next 12 months:
ARYA – We are currently in partnership with a lifestyle brand, Love Jamila. We have designed the scents for their new range of candles, and we are hand-making them too. Our businesses share very similar ethics, which is how this collaboration came about. We are aiming to launch some exciting new home fragrance products this year… Stay tuned!
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM – We have lots going on! Our new African supply chain is well on its way, with our new fabrics from Uganda created and currently in production in a Fairtrade workshop in Malawi. They’re producing our designs of tunics, scarves and other accessories.
We are also collaborating with online community Ethicalhour to host ‘Ethical Brands for Fashion Revolution’ – an ethical fashion showcase – at the Brands Museum in London on April 27th as well as running the Be The Change awards (www.bethechangeawards.org). These awards are about celebrating and telling the stories behind the many smaller, impact brands working to make positive change to communities and our environment.
Another exciting evolution for us is that we are going to open out our online marketplace to sell fantastic ethical products from other brands, so that customers can come to our site for a one stop shop of products that come with their story.
We’ll also continue to enhance our range of ethical clothing and to work with businesses to provide custom clothing and bags.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
About the businesses:
ARYA: Arya Candles is an ethical & socially conscious company, hand-crafting luxurious home fragrance products in Suffolk. Our candles and reed diffusers are made using high quality essential oils, making them 100% natural. Our products help to support women in former war-torn countries, via Women for Women International.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM: Where Does It Come From? is a Suffolk based clothing brand where the clothes come with their tale. We create beautiful, natural basics such as shirts, scarves and children’s clothing that look stylish and feel soft and luxurious. We work in partnership with fair trade social enterprises in India and Africa and use eco-friendly fabrics and processes. Everything comes with a code on the label so you can explore your garment’s story and get to know the people involved in making it.