Here at House of Coco we love to champion brands that are challenging the world of fast fashion and Waring Brooke is one of them. A proudly British brand, Waring Brooke was founded by Samantha Brooke. After years of styling commercial jobs with international designers, Samantha became disheartened with mass production and the increasing damaging impact on the environment. Growing up in a family involved with recyclable energy, she has always been very aware of waste and carbon footprint, so being able to join her love of fashion and ethics made total sense.
Samantha produces everything at her knitting studio in Nottingham in a responsible way, she washes and presses pieces by hand to bring out the natural softness in the wool. The mix of traditional and contemporary designs will still look great in 10 years and the playful patterns, sleek designs and earthy colours inspired by the outdoors reflect a spirit of adventure just like its creator.
Since launching the brand, she has revelled in success and carved her path in the world of knitting. Here, we chatted to Samantha to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching Waring Brooke…
I started out my career in Italy working for Alberta Ferretti after she spotted me at graduate fashion week in London. I worked in Italy for a year, and returning to England, started work for Max Studio where I was surrounded by fast fashion and the waste it creates. This upset me by the destruction it was doing to the planet, and I thought to myself, we surely do not need ALL these clothes!? So I made a plan to develop a British made knitwear brand, inspired by the countryside and worn by the people in it. We bought a STOLL knitting machine which I learnt to programme. This opened up a whole new world of possibilities to me as a designer. Instead of spending money on stock that may not sell, I was able to make anything I wanted, and make it to order so there is zero waste. It also enabled me to create the personalised accessories which are totally unique.
You’re passionate about the move away from fast fashion, can you tell us more about how you will aid this?
I make quality pieces from biodegradable yarns, that the wearer will (hopefully) love and cherish for years to come. I keep the waste to an absolute minimum and reuse yarn wherever I possibly can. My personalised items are made to order, so there is no excess stock and yarn does not go to waste.
What is your mission with the brand?
I would love for Waring Brooke to be known as the innovative country knitwear brand that you come to for its quality products. To keep making products that people love and cherish for years and years to come.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes?
I want people to feel like they are wearing a quality premium product that they love and love to wear.
Also, being a woman, I know that wearing something your proud of makes you feel confident and comfortable. I generally design for myself, when I design something that I feel confident and a million dollars in, I know others will too.
What are your plans for the brand in 2020?
I plan expand the range of women’s dresses and personalised accessories and grow an online presence.
Who’s your dream customer?
Outside of the brand, what do you do for fun?
SUP and Yoga, and sometimes combine the two 😊 . Also, when I can I love ride my friends horses.
Looking back, since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
I’d be less stressed and look after myself more. Sometimes having a business, it comes first then you come second. It should ALWAYS be – take care of yourself then work.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
I was talking about this with my boyfriend recently. It is ironic, I am a sun seeker, but Iceland is on my bucket list to see he northern lights. The pictures look amazing and almost unbelievable.
What does self care mean to you?
Taking time to do what you want. Even if its getting into the office and making myself a drink before I start my day. My needs and health come first before any work.
For any aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to launch in the fashion industry, what advice would you offer?
Do you research then plan, then watch it not to go to plan. Jokes aside, it’s an incredible journey and if you’re serious about it (because there will be times when you want to pack it in) just never give up.
Find out more about this brilliantly British brand…