Ethical and sustainable fashion is becoming increasingly important to young people in the fight against climate change. If you are trying to cut down on your fast fashion habits, Newcastle brand Henry and Katherina could be a great place to start.
Set up by Newcastle University alumni Connie Hall, the brand makes sustainable t-shirts decorated with inspiring women’s names such as Amelia Earhart, with 20% of the profits going to women’s charities. We caught up with Connie to discuss feminism, thoughtful fashion and her advice on starting a business.
Henry and Katherina is focused on slow fashion and feminism, with only 1886 t-shirts in each design made, homage to the year 1886 when the first petition for women’s suffrage was delivered to parliament. The t-shirts are produced by a company called Salvage where 60% of each top is made out of organic cotton and 40% is made out of recycled bottles. Inspired by the ‘Me Too’ movement, Connie decided to donate 20% of the purchase price to women’s charities. Touching on the debate of whether it is responsible to have children in the current environmental crisis, Connie added that her sustainable business makes her feel like she is trying to help the future for her daughter, even in a small way.
“60% of each top is made out of organic cotton and 40% is made out of recycled bottles”
Branching out from inspiring women’s names on their T-shirts, Henry and Katherina have created a t-shirt with the word ‘uterus’ on it, with 20% of the purchase price going to ActionAid and Freedom4Girls in a bid to tackle period poverty. Noting that many women feel shame about their bodies, Connie chose to have a bold word like uterus on the T-shirts to promote acceptance of women and taking control of their own bodies. It’s clear Connie has done ample research on the charities and issues she is fighting for and it makes the business even more worthwhile.
With fast fashion being so affordable and accessible, it makes it difficult to make a conscious choice against it. Connie acknowledged how there is a pressure on young women, particularly in the age of Instagram to always be wearing new things and keeping on top of trends. When asked if she had any advice for fighting fast fashion, she stressed the importance of buying second hand or buying good quality, versatile pieces, that will last years. As students, this change can be difficult to make but slowing down our fast fashion habits will prove beneficial for our environment. Connie added that “every pound you spend can make a statement” and that the way we choose to spend our money can make a big difference.
“every pound you spend can make a statement”
If you are an advocate for sustainable, charitable businesses, or if you want to make a small change, Henry and Katherina could be a brand to have on your radar. The t-shirts are available to buy on their website here.
Image Source: https://www.henryandkatherina.co.uk