With what at times feels like 400 years spent working in fashion retail behind me, fashion has always been close to my heart. After countless business ideas to "take over the world" which mainly involved buying a domain name, then deciding that my idea would never turn me into Richard Branson, I had little more than a very thick folder of not so good business plans gathering dust in the corner.
It took the gut wrenching blow of my wonderful, tennis playing, horizontally-laid-back husband's diagnosis of Stage 3 bowel cancer early in 2017 to change my perspective. His bravery, optimism, stamina and sheer bloody mindedness in the face of much pain and fear has frankly been a kick up the arse. Love Sweat + Tees is not about building a clothing brand to rival Dolce and Gabbana, giving up the day job and living on a yacht in the Bahamas. It's about following my dream of building a clothing line, doing something that I love and sharing that passion with other people. Because life is ever so short and ever so precious.
What I've also come to learn over the years working for high street retailers, and through the realisation of how precious and fragile life is, is that I wanted to do things differently. A business with sustainability, ethics and environmentally conscious fashion at the core was, in my mind, the only business that I could feel truly good about.
After sampling at least 32 different sweaters and t-shirts to find garments that are ethically produced, just fitted enough, just relaxed enough, super soft (and stay this way when you wash them)... after coming up with countless designs and slogans and whittling these down with the help of my lovely friends and family... after driving from leafy Bucks to a manufacturer in the freezing North to supervise / get in the way throughout the mixing of paint colours, positioning of slogans and sewing on of labels... after adding a liberal dash of love, sweat and tears... the first collection was finally launched in November 2017.
It's very much a team effort, with my now healthy husband taking on the lofty responsibility of "Distribution and Finance Director" leaving me to have all the fun with design, production, marketing and customer service. We have relentlessly pursued the most sustainable socially and environmental approaches to fashion and continue to do so. From changing our packaging to FSC certified paper, to switching to a garment printer that gives back to its workforce. Sustainable fashion is and always will be something that is core to the brand and ever evolving.
Since 2017 we've launched a further eight collections, learnt a lot about our customers, listened hard to their feedback (some of which has been so encouraging it has reduced us to tears) and had some amazing support from our growing following on Instagram.
We hope you like the collection! Please do get in touch via Instagram @lovesweatandtees or at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you think.