FoundHer: The woman changing the face of sustainable fashion
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
I love shopping, and I have the wardrobe to prove it. However, I, like many others, have reached consumerism saturation point. We simply can't go on filling our closets and then landfill sites with throw away fashion that was not built to last. This month I am joining lots of my fashion-savvy friends in reviewing my shopping choices, which means not only buying much less but being a lot more selective in what I spend my money on.
Finding truly conscious and sustainable brands is not an easy task, but it is an important one, so I was thrilled when Pam from Brooks and Sharpe got in touch to tell me about her wonderful shopping platform that curates the very best in independent, eco-friendly luxury fashion brands.
The platform boasts brands that are passionate about their craft and desire to do better in the fashion industry, producing fashion in a way that empowers communities and pays everyone involved in the production cycle a fair wage.
All of the styles you’ll see on the site are limited editions, specialist collections, and even one-off pieces, so we’re sure you’ll find something unique to you.
I spoke to Pam about what life looks like behind this highly worthwhile brand.
What do you do? What is your business?
My business is called Brooks & Sharpe. We are an online platform that curates the very best in eco-friendly independent luxury beauty and fashion brands. Our customers get to know the stories behind the brands on our platform, meet the people behind the brands, discover new designers and enjoy a shopping experience that allows them to shop from as many brands as possible and try on before they buy.
What does your typical day look like?
I am up at 6am in the weekdays. I have a quick read through the (mostly depressing) news in bed before getting up to get my little one ready for school. I start my workday at 9.30am by checking my emails, replying to emails and get any meetings out of the way in the morning. I have different tasks set out for every day of the week eg Wednesdays and Thursdays I have dedicated slots for PR, brand scouting and talking to brands. I close my laptop at 3pm for family time, dinner and any homework. I usually get back to my laptop around 8.30pm after my son has gone to bed and work until 11pm and unwind with Netflix - I just finished watching Titans on Netflix and I am impatiently waiting for season 2. I am in bed by 12am - I am trying to get into bed earlier but I think my body is used to this sleep pattern now.
What is/are your biggest success/es to date?
Setting up our platform Brooks & Sharpe. There were a lot of roadblocks, stumbling blocks, all-round frustration and moments I just wanted to curl up and cry. It is really amazing seeing how far we have come with the platform, in terms of the technology, the brands we have on board, traffic growth, partnerships and as a brand overall. I like to celebrate all milestones and wins.
Why does sustainable fashion mean to you?
There is a preconception sustainable fashion is either unfashionable or comes with a premium price tag. We want to re-build that image by curating fashion brands/designers who are passionate about ethical and sustainable luxury but never compromising on style or quality – being an eco-warrior does not mean you have to look like an eco-warrior. Beyond products, we have a vision for the platform to serve as a style community for women and encourage sustainable practices to both brands and consumers
Which tools can't you live without?
Photoshop, Dropbox and Canva. I honestly don’t know how I would get on without these tools.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years time?
I would love the brand to be one of the leading platforms to discover new and exciting eco-friendly fashion brands from around the world.
What would you tell your younger self at the beginning of your career?
To not be afraid to go for what I want. 5 years ago, I was quiet and shy, not someone who would have ever put myself forward to be the face of anything and preferred to work quietly in the background.
Is there anything you’ve had to sacrifice for your career?
My social life. Building a business means you are always on call and sometimes it is hard to clock out - this leaves very little time to maintain a social life.
What are the biggest surprises you’ve experienced in motherhood?
There have been so many surprises along the way! However, I am always in awe at how fast my child goes through the snack cupboard. We get our weekly food shop on Sunday and by Tuesday I am getting requests for ‘more of snacks, please’. I wish I could still eat like that…because the other big surprise is how fast my metabolism left me.
Do you have any tips for new founders?
Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is no blueprint for business success and you will make a lot of mistakes, have some down days and terrible days - but do not give up on your dream! Keep at it and be consistent no matter what day you are having.
Finally, what quote do you live by?
In business, not everyone is going to get what you do, why you do it or even like it. And that is absolutely fine. Focus your energy on finding your people, ‘your tribe’ - no point spreading yourself thin trying to please everyone because that is just not possible.
For more of the sumptuous yet sustainable fashion curated by Pam, check out brooksandsharpe.com.