This week we welcomed British Designer PHOEBE GRACE to The Sample Room. We are huge fans of the brand - whose pieces are all designed, printed and manufactured in the UK using digital printing in order to reduce fabric waste. PHOEBE GRACE is also passionate about using recycled materials: their labels and packaging are all made from recycled fabric, taking them closer to their target of a closed loop production process.
We sat down with owner Janet Newman to find out a bit more about what makes her, and her extraordinary business tick.
When did you start Phoebe Grace and why?
PHOEBE GRACE was initially founded by my daughter, Phoebe in 2016, who had recently completed her Textile Degree. In 2017 I took over and the rest is history.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing new pieces?
All of our prints are inspired by mother nature, SS20 was 1960’s blooms, vintage check and reinvented camouflage. This AW20 is all about combining those darker autumnal colours with a flowery/forest twist. The shapes of our clothes are designed with comfort and style in mind.
How much do you consider the sustainability of a product whilst you are designing it.
Sustainability has really grown to become the core of PHOEBE GRACE and is considered in every step of the way when designing a new product. Whilst beginning with only silk products, we have now branched into other areas of sustainable fabrics such as Recycled Polyester made entirely from plastic bottles. This was something completely new for us, and we have loved every second of it. Sustainability doesn’t just stop here - we are continuously up cycling and regenerating any old stock into new ideas, such as our accessories which are all made from leftover stock.
We think a lot of people have a different take on ‘sustainable’ - how would you define it?
For PHOEBE GRACE, I would say sustainable means an existence with minimal damage. At this stage in my career I really don’t want to add to the problems of the world. Our current fashion industry is not exactly compatible with the premise of sustainability, with millions of tonnes of waste produced each year and trillions of litres of water consumed. As a small brand, we want to do our bit by producing beautiful pieces which will last a life time through the sustainable process of production, material used and longevity.
What are your essentials pieces from your new Autumn collection?
Our AW20/21 essentials are definitely our Betty Dress in Pink Ombre, its a real winner; our Wendy Trousers in Blue Corduroy with their wide legged tailored leg and chunky turned up cuffs; finally our Andie Blazier - the perfect sophisticated tailored beauty for your “Working From Home” outfit.
What are your top three picks from The Sample Room
Definitely our Nancy Shirt in Black Cactus, this really was one of our first staple prints and sold out instantly in most styles. You really can’t go wrong with our simple Noora Silk Dress in Blue Check or Giant Pink Flower - the perfect simple summer slip on dress and of course our Plain Jane Skirt in Green Check - with a groovy retro feel to it.
When you are not doing Phoebe Grace what do you like to do?
In my free time I am painting, painting, painting with a side order of gardening and growing food, sewing and the odd bit of knitting!