In today’s Ethical Brand Directory interview we meet Annie the co-founder of Flock by Nature. After interviewing Annie and finding out all about the ethics behind the brand, we were delighted to welcome this stylish brand our community and directory. Flock by Nature offer beautiful luxury merino knitwear in a range of classic sustainable capsule collection worthy colours.
What were your reasons for joining us and investing in the EBD directory and community?
I believe that a collective voice of many is far more powerful. We’re all trying to raise awareness of ethical fashion, which until very recently has seemed pretty niche and by working together, we can combine our individual efforts into something far greater. Working in a community brings together like minded souls and entrepreneurs & its great to have a forum to collaborate on and work together.
Can you give me a brief overview of the Flock by Nature brand and the type of products you sell?
Flock by nature makes luxury merino knitwear (socks, jumpers and cardigans for women) designed with both style and wellbeing in mind. We are guided by a very clear philosophy on how to make clothes; we love luxury but we care about our natural and social environment and don’t believe one should be at the expense of the other.
What are the 3 most important things that your people should know about Flock by Nature?
Please can I have 4?! Well, firstly our knitwear is designed with both wellbeing & style in mind; our clothes are relaxed yet elevated with carefully considered details to create elegant silhouettes. Secondly, it is hugely important to us that our tread on the environment is a light one & we have a clear Philosophy guiding how we produce our clothes. Finally, all sweaters & cardigans come with the Flock Promise of complimentary repairs for life. Because we are not fast fashion.
What was your WHY? What inspired you to set up Flock by Nature?
The dream of my own label had been floating in my head for years but for many reasons (confidence!) I never put my thoughts into action. Motivation struck on maternity leave, following the birth of my daughter. Awareness of my wellbeing was very high & I came to truly value quality, 100% natural clothing. I couldn’t find the elegance that I wanted & coupled with a new desire to set an example to my daughter of what can be achieved if you put your mind to it, this was the inspiration I needed.
What challenges do independent brands like Flock by Nature, face?
Many of the challenges actually turned out to be positives; it was a challenge finding the right factory to work with for example. But I’m very pleased I went through the process I did as I can be absolutely confident now that I am working with partners who share Flocks values. Ultimately the fact that I am independent and don’t have to fall in line with high street & fast fashion ‘rules’ makes all the challenges worth while.
Why is it important to be ethical in business?
I feel very strongly that business ultimately should run for the benefit of the community (both local and wider), not just for the profit of a few. Unethical practices will always undermine this principle.
What is the link to your page on ethics on your Flock by Nature website?
What steps are you taking to ensure Flock by Nature operates as ethically as possible?
We have a clear Philosophy which governs how we do business and how we produce our clothes. We keep these principles front of mind and evaluate all our activities against them to ensure consistency and compliance.
How important is sustainability for businesses? What are you doing in Flock by Nature to reduce your environmental impact?
Sustainability is so important; perhaps the most important! Without sustainability, by definition there is no future for a business. Flock is by no means perfect and we have a huge amount we want to work on but, as a minimum, our commitments include:
- Only using natural fibres which are renewable, biodegradable & recyclable
- Our packaging and marketing materials are either recycled or recyclable
- We produce in very small volume so as to minimise wastage through the supply chain
What awards and accreditation do Flock by Nature have?
We are delighted that Flock has been awarded the Butterfly Mark, powered by Positive Luxury, in recognition of being a responsible brand that minimises our environmental footprint while maximising social good. We are also a proud support of the Campaign for Wool
In 10 years from now where would you like to see the fashion world, from a business and a consumer perspective?
To a place where disposable consumerism has moved onto thoughtful and mindful consumption and everyone has full access to the impact that their purchases have on their social and physical environments.
Do you have any favourite ethical/sustainable quotes, or any key influencers that inspire you?
There are a number of people I will mentally refer back to… either for inspiration of what to do, or in the case of some special individuals, for inspiration on what NOT to do! They are all personal connections, from the friend who launched her own business in her early 20’s and first brought the concept of ethical fashion to my attention, to a Director at a previous company who kept ethics front of mind even when it wasn’t necessarily promoted by the company itself.
Why should the general public care about supporting ethical and environmentally responsible brands?
Ultimately the public vote with their wallets. Big industry giants have the power and the influence to make changes but will need nudging along and every single penny spent or T-shirt bought that supports ethical and responsible brands is a little nudge in the right direction.
Interviewee: Annie Colley, Co-founder
Brand name: Flock by nature
Check out their EBD listing here
Roberta is the founder of Ethical Brand Directory and Roberta Style Lee. She is a speaker, coach and sustainable stylist. You can connect with her on Instagram: @robertastylelee and on Facebook: @robertastylelee