All around us there are businesses small and big headed up by inspiring women. Some work online, some work in a physical space, some work during the days, some work during the nights, some work alone, some work together: the more we share, the more we can learn from each other. And the more we learn from each other, the more we can teach the ones following in our footsteps. May these women inspire you as they inspire us.
Today on the blog we talk to fellow small business owner Laetitia. Enjoy!
Hi everyone! I’m Laetitia, a French London-based product designer by trade. After studying business at ESSEC in France, I came to London to pursue my love for design and graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013. Then after working a few years as an Industrial Designer, I decided to set up my own business in ethical sleepwear, The Sundown Society. All our garments are designed in our Finsbury Park studio, and produced in North London, which I’m very proud of. I also free-lance on the side, researching into innovation and strategy.
Can you tell us what motivated you to start The Sundown Society?
After the birth of my son I quit my design-studio job and started to freelance, mainly from home – so I came to spend much more time in the house, and placed comfort before style in my daily life. But I couldn’t find clothing that was both very comfy and cool – all loungewear out there is grey or pale blue! That – allied to my love for illustration and textiles – made me start the Sundown Society.
How did you approach sustainability when setting up your business?
Sustainability has always been at the very heart of my business. We make sure that the working conditions of our factory machinists are good, and try to reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible by having things done locally and digitally. We manufacture everything in an ethical factory in North London, and our fabrics are digitally printed, which reduces the energy consumption of the printing process. However our fibres aren’t natural yet, but it’s our goal and we constantly try to source the right supplier for our small custom-print quantities.
What has been the most challenging thing so far in owning a small business?
Running a small business can be isolating at times, and we constantly try to meet up with similar brands to learn from their journey and experience. It’s a great ressource when you’re faced with a big decision and don’t know where to go!
How would you like to see things change for small, ethical businesses in the next 5 or 10 years?
I think there’s definitely a momentum for small ethical businesses at the moment. Brands are joining forces through partnerships, collectives and pop-ups, lots of support is available if you have an idea and want to start your own thing, all of that because there’s now a real desire from the customer to buy goods that are both unique and ethical. So I hope this movement will keep on going, and growing!
How important do you think it is for women to connect with other female business owners?
I think it is crucial to connect with other female business owners. As women we do things differently, and we’re facing life challenges in different ways than men do. For me it’s really important to look up to female role-models and meet inspirational women along your journey, to find both inspiration and strength in sisterhood.
Thank you Laetitia! You can find The Sundown Society’s online shop here,