What inspired you to start Elliot. Organics?
I didn't want to launch just another fashion brand. I was looking to create a new way of life. It was about breathing clean air, having space to roam, treading lightly on this beautiful planet. I wanted to produce garments that were natural and toxin free, as kind to your skin as they are to the environment.
Why is working with organic materials so important to you?
Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides, which means no harmful toxins go into the soil, or into the plants. Crops grown in this way have 50% more bees, butterflies and other pollinators fluttering through them - and we really need those guys! So the environmental benefits are huge - but there are also benefits for us too, as consumers. Organic cotton genuinely feels better - it's softer, and is much less likely to irritate the skin. Choosing organic is a win for everyone.
What have been the highs and lows of running your own independent business?
It's really easy to feel overwhelmed when you're a one woman show - there are just so many different hats that you have to wear each day. But every single time I get an order through, I get a little thrill of excitement that someone wants to buy an elliot. style - even after all these years as a designer. There's something very special about that.
How do you switch off? What is your ideal weekend?
One of the best things about living in Brighton is that we have both the sea and the South Downs just a few minutes away. So to really switch off, I'll go for a swim in the sea or a long hike in the hills. If I'm not feeling so energetic, a slow coffee and a mooch around town is a great alternative. Anything that gets me away from my desk for a while.
What's new for the coming season at Elliot. Organics?
We've introduced two great new styles, the Leila Cami and the Mia High Waisted Brief. The cotton is superfine and feels amazing; they're perfect for layering under a shirt or cashmere sweater as the weather starts to get colder.