I remember opening my cupboard on multiple occasions to look for a jacket with a hood in case it rained, pockets large enough for my phone, wallet and keys (preferably on the inside) as well as outside pockets for my hands and a high enough neck to keep me warm … was that too much to ask? The struggle was real. I usually gave up and headed out ‘coatless’ in desperation, even in the middle of winter.
That was when the idea for culthread first came about. I was so sick of searching for the perfect jacket that I decided to make one myself.
At the time, I was working as CFO of our family business, starting my DBA at Warwick Business School and playing squash competitively (all on top of looking after my mum as much as I could, and occasionally making sure my two twenty-something year old kids were happy and healthy). Culthread started as a passion project, but quickly developed into much more than that.
In the process of moodboarding, drawing and dreaming up what the first collection would look like, I did a huge amount of research. The more I read, the more disgusted I was with the amount of animal products in garments, and the lack of accountability in the animal product supply chain. This spurred the decision to make my jackets free from all animal derived products. I found companies that could supply me with gorgeous high quality faux fur, so I saw my opportunity to show the world that I could create a truly beautiful coat without hurting animals, and I took it.
After my first collection, I realised that my values had evolved. A vegan brand was only the beginning; I wanted culthread to be a sustainable brand. This meant using recycled materials whenever possible, and ultimately recyclable materials as well. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced this year has been sourcing the best quality materials, especially the recycled ones. From day one I’ve refused to compromise on quality, but the reality is that there are still only a few recycled fabric suppliers that sell fabrics that I consider good enough for culthreads; the process has been difficult, but seeing the Hampstead jackets come to life has made the struggles worthwhile.
One of my biggest learnings over the last two years has been that there’s always more to learn! My husband and I have been in the garment manufacturing business for many years, but starting from scratch and creating a brand that’s both vegan and sustainable has been a completely new challenge. He’s been my sounding board and has helped me a lot along the way, as have both of my children in many ways. They’re here to listen to my struggles, offer me advice when I need it and they’ll always be the first to commend me on my hard work and determination.
Looking to the future, I’m excited to grow the collection and continue creating the most beautiful vegan, sustainable women’s outerwear on the market. With technology constantly improving alongside the demand for more sustainable fabrics and processes increasing, I’m confident that culthread will continue to evolve. I met a wonderful stylist at Bare Fashion last month who said to me “I know it’s hard but don't forget you are a pioneer”. This has really stuck with me, and I’m determined to continue pioneering for years to come.
The culthread motto is “no cruel, all craze”. For me that means no animal or environmental cruelty, rather integrity, quality and gorgeousness. We hope you enjoy wearing our jackets as much as we have enjoyed making them.
Founder of culthread