How did the business get going?
We started as an ethical own-brand label based in New York, combining modern luxury and contemporary design. Working with global artisans we forged partnerships that promoted business growth in global economies and reviving ancient techniques.
With a flagship store on Crosby Street and having run the brand for around 8 years, we began inviting other brands with similar values and approach into our space. With the ethos that brands work better in collaboration we transitioned into a collective and relocated to London in 2016, now using our collective voice and platform to promote wider positive change.
What values bind the collective together?
We've designed a code made up of eight pillars; Ethical, Responsible, Prosperity, Community & Education, Innovation, Aesthetic, Positive Impact and Artisanal. We approach this code with a holistic view and use it to establish which brands we're aligned with and whom are committed to trailblazing real change.
Storytelling is a big part of what we do, fostering the creation of authentic relationships that drive lasting change.
What brands do you admire?
We've had the pleasure to work with 150 brands across various categories worldwide and remain genuinely excited by every diverse founder and unique approach to a more considered way of working.
We have such a diverse collective that it wouldn't feel right to select just a few, but perhaps it's more about the qualities that we admire and see across all of the dynamic founders and entrepreneurs in our community.
Primarily passion, drive, innovation, resilience, comfort with being bold, taking risks and moving the industry forwards, the ability to brand people together through shared consciousness and create community, which is imperative within our industry.
What gives you your inspiration?
The brilliant ideas we are fortunate to be surrounded by, our brands, innovative retail, change makers, travel, art and galleries, perspective, cultural diversity, beauty in all of its many guises, connection, community and facilitating a journey of discovery through our retail spaces.
How do you think creative people are responding to the current situation?
We are firm believers that within every challenge lies opportunity and the creative community around us has truly breathed life into this over the previous strange months. You can learn a lot about yourself and your values when faced with the unexpected. We have seen within our community that our brand partners are thinking smart about how to best move forwards which has involved a lot of digital development into engaging their individual communities from 'a far' – so there is still a sense of connection and a coming together, albeit virtual.
What's your point of view on businesses needing to be more sustainable?
A more conscious approach to consumption, production and innovation is imperative to creating systems in which all of society can thrive. This starts with awareness, education and consideration; there is no room for ignorance nor perfectionism and consumers are asking more and more questions.
We believe this is a journey, and having an open dialogue around development instead of encouraging a 'blame culture' and striving to identify 'greenwashing' in place of real integral change is the best place to start, facilitating accountability for both businesses and consumers.
What emerging brands do you think are doing things well?
There are so many brands who inspire us daily, but in terms of innovation in approach and particularly material use Riley Studios, Pangaia, Groundtruth and Tincture are making exciting moves.
Where do you want to take the business in the future?
We want to continue to grow our platform to facilitate wider change, greater accessibility to conscious brands and continue to readdress true value; proving that sustainability does not mean compromising brilliant design, luxury and quality.