Organic Fashion from Cornwall
In my research into ethical clothing companies, I was thrilled to discover EKO, or Earth Kind Originals, hailing from beautiful St. Just in Cornwall.
Being slightly cynical, I did wonder whether this company's head office was based here and manufacture took place in a developing country, but I need not have worried, as for once EKO mean exactly what they say by 'Made in Cornwall': a good selection of their pieces are made right here, from organic cotton that has been knitted in Nottingham.
I chat to EKO Founder, Helen:
Tell me a little about your journey into Earth Kind Originals!
In a nutshell I woke up one day and decided I needed to escape London and move back to the Cornish coast. I think your past shapes who you are and what you feel passionately about, and having seen my dad run his own business and growing up in Cornwall, have all had an impact. Leaving my job as a commercial fashion design in London and setting up my own eco friendly clothing label seemed like a natural progression. Combining my passion for good design and natural fibers, while working somewhere so inspiring has been a real driver.
You're clearly passionate about EKO, and about Cornwall, what motivates you to work so hard?
I love living in Cornwall, designing and creating feel good ideas, so being able to combine all of these things to create a brand is very exciting. Most days consist of number crunching, juggling cashflow and making tough decisions, but there are also times when the music goes up a notch, designs are created and ideas are hatched, and these days make it all worthwhile. Motivation comes from the journey of all these things, the curiosity of learning, making mistakes and feeling like I am building something truly unique, one brick at a time.
What is the most satisfying thing about your job?
I can wake up every morning take my dog (Buster the crazy but lovely working cocker spaniel) out along the Cornish ciffs, then settle down in the office with a cuppa and work my way through the morning to do list. I try and appreciate this everyday. Although, what brings a real satisfying smile to my face is the lovely comments and cards we get from happy customers, who love the range as much as we do. Happy customers are why we do what we do, and make is possible for us grow and move the brand forwards.
What is your favourite item that you sell?
It has to be the Emily Jane Dress, which we have sold from day one, and we are super proud to be now making this style in Cornwall. It has our signature sculptural shape, timeless style and practical slouch pockets, made from super soft organic cotton jersey sourced from a mill in Nottingham.
Who is your heroine?
It has to be Anita Roddick, as I feel she was a true inspiration and pioneer of how business can be a change for good. I read her book while at uni studying fashion called ‘Business as Unusual’, and its always stuck with me. She is best known as the founder of The Body Shop and combined her brand with relentless charity work, campaigning for fair trade practice, and raising awareness on environmental issues.
How would you like to be remembered?
For being nice and doing good things, like putting a smile on your face after a tough day.
|happily earth-kind packaging|
Being completely in love with both ethical fashion and my local area, I was thrilled to receive this package- and especially to see that it arrived in a beautiful (and biodegradable) brown paper package.
I know you're as excited as I was to know what's inside: I received the famous Emily Jane dress, and also a pair of Relax leggings.
My first impressions as these exciting pieces tumbled out of the pack were of the quality of the fabric: the 95% organic cotton jersey feels really substantial: these are no throw-away pieces. The 5% elastane gives them enough stretch to keep their shape, and they are both lovely and opaque.
|new favourite outfit?|
I don't often wear black, but when I do I want it to be classic, elegant and terrific quality. So, the Emily Jane dress fits the bill perfectly! The sculptural cut has a flattering empire-line waist with smooth pleats below, giving you shape in all the right places. The tulip-shaped skirt is the perfect length, and it has pockets! You know how much I love pockets!
|the Emily Jane: shapely black organic cotton jersey...|
The leggings in shade 'charcoal' are actually a flattering buff colour, which will work well with black of course, but will also tone nicely with the other colours in my wardrobe.
I opted for a Small in both pieces, and they fit my 8-10 size really well. The size charts on the EKO website are easy to locate and easy to interpret, which is definitely a plus.
|...with perfect pockets!|
The leggings were also the perfect length, and fitted well around the hips and waist. I loved the turn-over waist band, as it seems to allow for maximum comfort and a soft silhouette.
|super-comfortable organic cotton leggings|
As well as being made from beautiful fabric, the quality of the manufacture is also really high: the overlocking on both of these pieces lays really flat (no puckers to be seen), and it is stitched really securely (no stray threads or wobbly bits either).
|paired together for a beautiful outfit...|
Teamed together, these pieces make a winning outfit that could take you anywhere and to any occasion. But they are also great wardrobe staples which can be layered up or down. I can see the Emily Jane being my dress of choice for an upcoming trip as it's just so comfortable.
I can see why these are both best sellers!
|...and a flattering silhouette|
Not only has it been a real pleasure to work with EKO, but I'm thrilled to tell you that my lovely readers have been offered a discount: just enter the code 'happiness' at the checkout for a generous 15% off until the end of August! Thank you so much, EKO!
|organic cotton leggings|
Would I buy again?
I would definitely shop further with EKO. I'd be tempted by the Day Dreamer Dress, which is similar to this one but with an exciting textured bodice, and sleeves: a great variation for colder months, or if you don't like to show your arms.
I love their take on the stripey top, and the long vest not only looks super comfortable, but is made from eucalyptus no less! That's definitely on my shopping list. I can see a lot of the collection making their way into my yoga wardrobe too.
|feel good about what you wear!|
I thoroughly recommend Earth Kind Originals: I not only support their aims and ethics, but the products stand up for themselves, especially in what can sometimes feel like a limited ethical fashion market.
We need to support brands like this who are working so hard with talent and vigour to stand up for what they believe in. It's by supporting companies like this with our shopping habits that we can show the garment industry how we want the future to look.
Grateful thanks to EKO for providing an outfit to review.