Discovering the Stories Behind the Brands

A standout moment for me from Ethical Brands for Fashion Revolution’s week-long event was, of course, interviewing members of the Ethical Brand Directory family. It was lovely to discover the stories behind the brands and get to know a bit more about their ‘why’ and what inspired our founders to set up their businesses. 

The 5 brands I interviewed from the Ethical Brand Directory family were…

Our amazing founders shared so many insights into their brand story, from what inspired them and how sustainability works in their businesses, to how they shop as conscious consumers. Again, I’d like to thank every brand for getting involved in support of Fashion Revolution and sharing their beautiful stories. Big love!

I hope you enjoy hearing their stories as much as I did! This blog is just a short highlight of each brand’s interview – so if you’d like to read the rest of their interviews, let me know in the comments and I might release another blog in the future 😉

Otherwise, don’t forget to check out each brand’s Directory page and share the love on their socials.

Giovanna Sessi-Knot, Founder of The Morphbag by GSK

IG @themorphbag 

Giovanna Sess-Knotts | Founder of The Morphbag By GSK | Vegan Leather Handbag, Tote and Clutch Set

What prompted you to set up your brand?

Motherhood brought me to the concept of using vegan materials for my handbags. I realised just how negative an impact using leather was having on the environment. So I started thinking about alternatives that could be used for leather. 

I would also buy lots of different handbags for different purposes – so that’s why I came up with the multi-bag concept.

What does being ‘ethical’ mean to you and how does it manifest in your business?

For me, ‘ethical’ is a very broad term. It means following a code of conduct in multiple ways; with your peers or within your business in terms of how you treat the workforce and how you source raw materials. It needs to protect animals and be cruelty free.

What do you look for as a consumer when shopping?

I look for products which are against animal testing, nothing with chemicals and items made from natural materials. 

I went from over-consuming clothing to not buying anything unless I really needed it! Now I look at the labels to find out where products are being made, looking for quality rather than quantity and longer lasting pieces.

Oisin Collishe, Founder of Oisin Clothing

IG @oisinclo

Oisin Collishe | Founder of Oisin | Ethical Menswear Brand | Charcoal Grey and Black Asymmetric Striped T-Shirt for Men | Warm Grey and White T-Shirt

What prompted you to set up your brand?

Growing up loved design in all areas, fashion was a big creative outlet. I also grew up with quite an ethical upbringing, where we would focus on our own impact like where things come from or how you treat people. 

The more I got into fashion I realised that [being ethical] wasn’t a focal point for brands. So I wanted to create a brand with more of my values and ethics involved. Which was kinder and considerate.

How does your brand embed sustainability into the business?

I focus on the materials we use – which is organic cotton for the t-shirt and labels. I also use processes that have less water usage and create less of an impact on the environment. And consider the materials used in the packaging too. The swing tag is made out of recycled FSC approved card. 

What do you look for as a consumer when shopping?

I focus on clothing that lasts a longer time, has better durability and longevity as a whole as it just makes more sense. Think about how long you want to keep it? It goes beyond getting clothing that is sustainable in itself, it’s also about looking at the brand which is selling the product – where you place your money is your ability to create the world that you want. I look at brands that align with my values…it’s more than just aesthetic.

Char Bingham-Wallis, Co-Founder of From Belo

IG @frombelo_

Charlotte Bingham-Wallis | Founder of From Belo | Ethical Handbag Brand | Upcycled Tote and Handbags

What prompted you to set up your brand?

I started the From Belo with my business partner [Maria] after we experienced working with extreme poverty in South America and wanted to do something to help these people and to give them the opportunity to help them thrive – or just survive – and get out of the circle of poverty. 

We wanted a product that represented caring and kindness, where every product would donate money to the homeless and those in need. So we created a bag keeping in mind the need to provide work, fair wages, and provide meals. We went back to handbag design school and learned more about the fashion industry and that it can be quite toxic. We were inspired to be a kind company as a whole.

What is the story behind your brand name?

Everything for our brand started in Belo Horizonte, Brazil – where our journey began. We wanted our brand to represent where this community comes from and infiltrate their story. [Belo] also stands for ‘beautiful horizon’ – which for us connotes for fresh, new beginnings.

What does being ‘ethical’ mean to you and how does it manifest in your business?

Being ethical is about building a community, being fair and kind. Our business is all about kindness. It’s about treating people and the planet how you want to be treated. And making sure we give people their human rights.

Harjit Sohotey-Kan, Founder of Jewelled Buddha

IG @jewelledbuddha2015

Harjit Sohotey-Khan | Founder of Jewelled Buddha | Ethical Fashion and Lifestyle Brand | Upcycled Jewellery and Scarves

What prompted you to set up your brand?

I went traveling back in 2014 for a year, which really transformed my perspective on life. I discovered how we live on such a beautiful planet and met wonderful artisans – which prompted me to start the business. 

I realised that some people worked so hard for so little money and I wanted to create a business that was purposeful. Backpacking also helped me realise that you don’t need a lot to live on and really made me rethink my lifestyle. It inspired me to think about my own values which is how Jewelled Buddha was born.

What is the story behind your brand name?

It’s an acknowledgement towards all of the beautiful temples I visited in South Asia. Also in a metaphorical sense, the word ‘buddha’ has a lot of meanings in different countries. It’s about transformation – and acknowledging my own transformation during my travels and how owning an ethical brand transforms your customers…. in the way they think and their perspective of fashion – you’re teaching and learning.

How have the SDGs shaped your business and what goals are you focused on?

My brand is about empowering people – especially women. Ensuring that artisans can have access to health and education. Ensuring that heritage crafts are kept alive that way. And reduced inequalities – empowering people to earn their own wages to build themselves up. 

Tatum Diamond – Tatum Diamond London: 


Founder of Tatum Diamond London | Ethical Fashion Brand | Risso Purse | Upcycled Leather Handbags

What prompted you to set up your brand?

I didn’t feel like I was being as creative as I wanted to be in my past job. My husband surprised me with a handbag-making workshop which gave me the passion again to want to make things for other people and re-learn a skill.

What does being ‘ethical’ mean to you and how does it manifest in your business?

The people involved in the journey are really important. [Being ethical means] that they can live their lives as well as the consumers. To make sure I support local businesses all of the material I use comes from a local london supplier. 

How does your brand embed sustainability into the business?

Ocean and marine life is really important to me and I want to make sure that this is carried into my brand – by creating an item that will last a long time and be kept from becoming waste that ends in the ocean. 

I also name my range of products after a marine animal and use this to try and raise awareness for why I chose that animal. Such as the Risso purse to raise awareness about orcas and dolphins who are used as entertainment and treated unfairly. 



Get to know our directory of ethical brands carefully handpicked by our founder. Connecting the conscious consumer to brands that care so you can look good, feel good and do good.

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