As part of our founder interview series, we speak with Jonny Webber from Otter & Goat about creating a grassroots family business with a charitable mission.
Tell us how Otter & Goat came to be. What inspired you to launch this brand?
Otter & Goat was started in 2014 when we were flicking through my sister’s sketchbook one afternoon and thought they’d work perfectly on t-shirts. We started printing a few of the designs for our own wardrobes and got some really good feedback from friends/family; so we built a small site and started building the brand.
Ok we have to know: Who is the otter and who is the goat?
Laura’s the Otter, Jonny’s the Goat :)
Your sister, Jennie Webber, creates all of the illustrations featured on Otter & Goat. Where does she get her inspiration for the designs?
As children Jen and I always had a fascination with animals and wildlife so I guess that’s where Jen’s inspiration comes from. She’s created her own unique style over the years and is amazingly talented. With regards to O&G designs, the direction comes from Laura & myself. A lot of the focus now is on Charity collaborations using subjects that correlate with the project we’re supporting.
How would you describe the style of Otter & Goat in three words?
Relaxed, Detailed, Thoughtful
Ethical fashion is an extremely broad topic. How do you interpret the definition of ‘ethical fashion’?
Manufacturing clothing with a conscience.
How does Otter & Goat embody your personal definition of ethical fashion?
- We only use garments made from organic cotton, which is sourced from our accredited suppliers.
- Every item that we sell we donate £1 to the Charity Made With Hope, who build orphanages & schools for underprivileged children in Tanzania.
- Going forward, for every new print that we release, we will be collaborating with a different charity which is enabling us to support a variety of great projects from around the world.
When you buy a new piece of clothing for your wardrobe, what are the main things you consider before buying?
What material is it made from? How long it will last? Do I really need this?
I always believe less is more, so buy quality not quantity.
Do you think it is the role of the consumer, or the brands, to create a more fair and sustainable fashion industry?
I think brands have the power to push the sustainable sector forward. The desire for the products is increasing year on year which shows consumers are much more aware of the benefits of buying fair & sustainable clothing.
How do you try and live more sustainably in your personal life?
- Ride our bikes/walk as much as we can
- Spread the word
- Both Vegetarians
- Donate to charities as much as we can
- Write articles for Manchester Climate Change
- Use Ecosia search engine
How would you like to see Otter & Goat grow in the future?
We see it growing into a powerful charity platform that raises money for lots of different charities through the power of ethical clothing.