Entrepreneurs

The Textile Brand Allowing Consumers To Make Informed Fabric Choices For Their Homes

Three years ago, Elinor Pitt decided she wanted to address two issues she had become aware of in the UK’s fabric industry. After originally training in electronic engineering, Elinor changed her career path in 2011 to that of interior design. This introduced her to a world of fabrics and furnishings and subsequently led to frustration with the eCommerce platforms which existed. She felt there had to be better methods of bridging the visualisation gap for customers wanting to purchase home interiors products. “I started Stitched in response to the issues I had personally come across firsthand.” says Pitt, “First, mass production is challenging the environment. Second, technology can be used to help change this. In an age of technical acceleration, things like 3D and Augmented Reality can help reduce waste, allowing customers to visualise products before they are made.” This was the beginning of Stitched, an online platform offering a range of blinds and curtains which are customisable, made to order and, through 3D Augmented Reality, can be visualised in customer’s homes before purchasing.

After months of research and investigation, and meeting her co-founder, Will Verrill, Pitt realised the solution to a new generation of textiles lay in an area not far from home. Working with mills in Yorkshire, they could control the quality while innovating new fabric solutions in partnership directly with the mill. This, in turn, simultaneously reduces the carbon footprint incurred through transportation.

Working with local mills has been a huge factor in the success of Stitched and Elinor is proud to support manufacturing within the UK. A member of Made In Britain, they see it as a huge benefit in maintaining the level of sustainable production and design they desire. For the British textile industry, it is a positive step forward.

After many mills closed their doors in the 1980s, the industry has struggled to rise back to its prior success. Responding to consumer habits driven by fast fashion and high street prices, import became the only option for many manufacturers. However, this has led to an increased carbon footprint, unmanaged working conditions and a lack of quality management due to poor communication between manufacturers and the brands themselves. Pitt states their aim is to drive consumers away from this mindset. “Our role is reversing the general consumer trend of buying bigger volumes at lowers prices from “big box” budget retailers and convincing consumers to buy once and buy well.” she comments. With this goal in mind, she is hoping it will encourage other brands to follow in their footsteps.

The use of technology in this way also helps customers to be confident in their decision before purchasing. This leads to less waste and an inclination to choose a product which will last longer, encouraging a more timeless interior.

Now with over 200 fabric options, they are looking to expand into further areas of the home and will soon be selling fabric by the metre as well as other products including wallpaper and rugs. Through complete transparency, they want to help customers make conscious decisions for their home, tracing products back to the source. “Our goal is to become a destination for beautiful, quality home interiors products with a transparent supply chain and efficient processes.” continues Pitt. “The more traction we get and the more we are noticed by other businesses will hopefully show them how to be commercially viable whilst caring passionately about the future of the planet.”

With around 60-70% of the worlds annual fibre production being synthetic materials, Stitched are excited to see a consumer trend towards the use of renewable and biodegradable fibres such as hemp, flax and wool. “Lifetime extension of textiles is the most significant action that can be taken to reduce the carbon and waste footprints of textiles that are sold.” says Pitt, “The most success is brought through making the products last longer, which is why a lot of our fabrics are made from wool and hemp offering low flammability and biodegradable qualities.”

Alongside these natural materials, they utilise waste from other industries such as recycled plastic and up-cycled silks from textile factories. Addressing fabrics with a circular mindset is key to a more positive future. When its lifetime ends in the consumer world, can it be repurposed, reused or recycled? With manufacturers, retailers and consumers adopting this attitude, further positive change can take place.

In the next few weeks, the company is looking to receive B CORP Certification and Chris Turner, the Executive Director at B Lab UK, is excited to work with the brand. “We would be delighted to welcome Stitched to the community.” he says, “B Corps are committed to changing how business operates, proving business can be a force for good. It’s vital that young and ambitious businesses, the industry leaders of tomorrow, are part of the movement.”

Brands like Stitched are highlighting the priority for transparency in companies today. Manufacturing locally and working with natural materials are just initial ways in which they are looking to offer a conscious solution for consumers. “We have to remember we can’t do it all at once.” says Pitt, “There is so much we still want to improve on, fibres we want to find and designs we want to develop in order for us to enjoy and nurture our homes and the planet we live on.” This transparency and passion is urgently needed across all industries and the brand is keen to collaborate with like-minded partners to widen this circular mindset.

Allowing consumers to invest in this way, with the knowledge of the impact they are having, removes all ambiguity, ensures complete accountability and creates an interior which stands the test of time.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Forbes – Entrepreneurs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *