As part of our founder interview series, we speak with Riley from Riley Studio about creating genderless, seasonless, sustainable fashion.
What were you doing before you launched Riley Studio? Did you have experience creating clothing before this?
I had a small start up on the side called ‘Made by Riley’, a womenswear loungewear brand featuring uplifting slogans in partnership with charities.
Why was it important to you to create a sustainable and eco-friendly brand?
We are completely exposed to the changes in the world around us and one of the biggest factors being caused by the fashion industry. I wanted to make sustainability part of your every day life by creating a clothing brand using the waste around us.
How does Riley Studio designs embody the slow fashion movement?
We start right back at the beginning of the supply chain, focusing on fair working conditions for our factories, and using only sustainable, environmentally positive fabrics that don’t put additional pressure on the earth’s resources. Once we create the final product we make sure we are creating a piece that will last for years to come. A piece that is seasonless, durable and versatile. Quality is so important encouraging people to respect their clothes and take better care of them for longer.
How would you describe the aesthetic of Riley Studio? Where do you get your design inspiration?
I describe the range as ‘relaxed contemporary’. Our design is muted and minimal - perfect for every day. Our goal is to build a Riley Studio sustainable wardrobe and so when you visit our website you should have every product available to you that we as a brand feel you need in your day to day wardrobe. We are a season-less brand and so each collection is designed to elevate the previous one so can continue to wear it all together.
Why was it important to you to create a genderless collection?
We believe as a brand that anyone can wear whatever they want and that this should not be distinguished by ‘womenswear’ & ‘menswear’. Our sizes range from XS - XL to cater for all. Furthermore, by not creating two separate ranges we are creating less garments, which means less impact on the planet.
How do you decide what materials that you are going to work with in the collection, and what steps do you take to ensure they are ethically-sourced and manufactured?
We source our fabrics from all over, predominantly Europe. It is important to us that all our fabrics are versatile and durable, and so we will do a series of tests to make sure they align with our brand ethos. All the mills and factories we work with have to hold certain certificates prior to us partnering with them.
The growing concept of Ethical fashion can be quite difficult to define. What does ‘ethical fashion’ mean to you?
Ethical fashion to me is a wider terminology and covers everything from the design process to the production of the products, including the employees working conditions and welfare.
What advice would you give to someone who is new to shopping with ethics in mind?
Purchase products with longevity in mind. Don’t just buy because there’s a ‘deal’ or a ‘sale’ as this encourages the mentality of throwing away your clothes.
How would you like to see Riley Studio grow in the future?
I’d like to implement a repair and re-use structure into the company so that we take full responsibility of all the products we put out to the world.