We chat with Isobel Ridley, founder of Lavender Hill Clothing about Clapham, Leicestershire, Scotland and beyond.
Twenty-four year old Isobel Ridley founded Lavender Hill Clothing with the aim of creating a company that provides simple, luxurious, attractive and affordable clothing, but also pieces that are made with a transparent manufacturing and sourcing process. Isobel felt strongly that fashion should not have to come with secretive supply chains or questionable ethics.
The theme of her first collection was “Raw Essentials”, referring to those key pieces we turn to on a daily basis, like the classic T-Shirt. Isobel focused on this concept to create a range of T-shirts, in black, white and grey, with a variety of details available like a lower back, a nipped in waist or slightly longer sleeves. The idea is that women will be able to find exactly the fit for them without having to compromise on quality or pay extortionate prices. After the success of her first collection, Isobel plans to expand the range with new styles and colourways.
Can you tell me a bit more about Lavender Hill Clothing, its history and the meaning behind the name?
I heard a lovely story about Lavender Hill in Clapham just before I founded the company in 2013. Apparently, in the 18th Century Lavender Hill used to be the Lavender fields of London and the gentlemen used to take the ladies out of the city to court them there. I thought it was such a sweet story, and I started to think about the name Lavender Hill. The name matched perfectly with the brand I wanted to create as it sounds very natural and pure which is very much the essence of the company.
Your T-shirts are manufactured in Leicestershire, can you tell us a bit about the factory and why you selected them to make your T-Shirts?
Working with the right factory is vital for a successful company. I spent a long time looking for the right partnership and wanted to make sure that their quality of production was very high but also that they help to develop and train their staff. The factory I work with has an academy to help the local community develop skills and are always looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. After meeting the team and seeing how passionate they were about their quality I knew I had found the company to work with.
At present your scarves are manufactured in Italy, are there plans to bring that to the UK as well as the T-Shirt manufacturing?
I initially started producing my scarves in Italy as I believed that this is where I could source and manufacture the best quality silk, I have however in the last couple of months been working with a leading factory in Scotland to develop lightweight summer scarves and winter cashmere accessories. In the next couple of years I hope to develop the range further and break into the knitwear market using the same factory.