In conversation with Hannah Beaumont- Laurencia, the Founder of Beaumont Organics, Beaumont Foundation. A serious passionate sustainable fashion leader.
Would you like to share more about your brand and how you got involved in sustainability?
I set up by Beaumont Organic in 2008 with the primary focus it to be an organic cotton clothing brand and so we started with eight organic cotton t-shirts and we began whole selling them around stores in the UK. Our products are all made in natural organic cotton colours so it was all in ECRU which is the natural color of the fabrics that were made in. We primarily focused on the UK market, so we were selling in various different shops by the end of that year and then in 2009 started venturing into other markets primarily Japan. Actually at that point, we were starting to source of other ways to produce organic cotton things in a sustainable ethical way. And also how we can look at dyeing things and other eco fabrics as we grew.
As we grew, we’re now selling across several different countries from Europe including Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands and to the UK. I’m selling online and we also sell in Japan by wholesale channels and then we sell directly in our store here and also on our website.
How your brand is trying to be sustainable?
Starting from the conception of the product all the way through. We’re using sustainable fabrics so we still use a lot of organic cotton and also sustainable fabrics like linens and hemp and fabrics that have a traceable history so we know about where the yards come from. That translates through to where it’s made. So it’s all made at ethical factories even in Portugal or here in the UK.
Next, we took into considerations with the labelling and the marketing behind it and then into transportation like how it ships. So because we’re making in PORTO and sending to England, we can ship things easily by road.
We don’t need to be using air freight and when sending out to our customers, we are re using packaging and keeping everything vertical. So this (the outlet in Manchester) is our whole hub, including upstairs where things are shipped and sent out to our customers. For our packaging, when it delivered to web customers it’s all in recycled brown boxes and just translating conscious decisions really all the way through from the beginning to end.
What have you achieved an aims to achieve?
We were quiet kind of early pioneers at the beginning and we have been doing a lot of educating to our customers about what the benefits of organic cotton are for the farmers, producers and the end users and also you know the why. Why they should really be buying that product and as we’ve evolved and awareness has grown.
Our journeys kind of evolved with it regarding about awareness. Also there are new people entering the market to support it and so we’ve gone from stocking a few shops in England to stocking various stores around Europe and now here.
Our mission is to be a global destination for organic and ethical luxuries so that we’re stocking and clothes and where you can buy the artisan home products and everything within kind of one hub but for it to be for the modern woman so it’s not kind of all I, I don’t like to use the word Hemp cause actually hemp it’s quite nice nowadays but when I first started hemp clothes were very kind of crispy and crunchy and very nice oh it’s kind of like a very heavy linen its which kind of but it’s quite it’s quite rough but the idea is that we our vision is that it’s very modern it’s very contemporary and that
it’s organic because it’s so beautiful not because it looks like it’s just kind of falling out of a tree.
For yourself why do you think it’s important to go sustainable for fashion and what inspired you creating your own sustainable brand?
So when I when I founded it, I was actually working for a high street high fashion and that open my eyes to the kind of reality of fast fashion. The amount of clothes that are made and wasted and made really cheaply and in terrible conditions for the factories and the people that are making them and the mills and the yard suppliers and the farms and just that whole path
I just wanted to create a brand where everything was very transparent and everything was done correctly and that people could really buy into that brand trusting, knowing that were buying the product that has everyone had been respected along the journey. So that’s why I wanted to form it and I felt that there really wasn’t enough available in that area and especially in 2008. But even still now I still think there’s a lot of very fast fashion, really cheap clothes that people wear a few times when they throw them away. It’s really bad for the environment and it’s just it’s not helping anybody.
So it’s about buying less, buying very good quality stuff that’s got longevity.
Why do you feel consumers should care about sustainability and how they can take that first step to being sustainable?
So why should they care because we’re all living in the world and really we should respect our surroundings and so really that that’s the bottom line of why they should care.
Taking first steps can be tiny you know it might for someone as a start to recycle the rubbish for beginners and for other people it might be about growing in their own vegetable their own garden that’s actually also being sustainable within it within the house .
So the key is to take the first step.
I think doing your research and reading about brands and actually understanding a little bit of what’s going on behind the scenes is quite a good first step. Rather than rushing into it, a lot of the things we buy we buy really quickly it’s all like impulse buying. but actually if you if you buy a bit more consciously in a bit slower that’s quite a good a good starting point and then it’s quite a lot of help now and advice on blogs and people are talking about it so much more so there is opportunity there to do that research and then if you can obviously try and connect with the brand so ask questions if you’re not sure about something anyone no more details if they’re transparent run they’re going to give you an answer so it’s worth kind of just spending that extra time before you purchase it and making sure it’s a really considered purchase.
so I think that if you’re if you’re making that conscious decision to want to buy something more ethical you really should try and delve bit deeper so ask questions ask the brand and any queries or questions you might have and if they are a transparent ethical brand they will answer and give you an honest an honest opinion and that should be that reassurance that you trust them. I think that’s massively what it’s all about when it comes to buying. It is about trusting, connecting and believing in the brand and in what they’re doing and what their mission is.
I think you’ve got to do and live in a way and doing something that you believe in.
I think that goes all the way through, from sustainability to all parts of your life. But you know if you really don’t believe in in the planet or you don’t believe in the enviroment it’s not going to become part of your routine.
So if you’re recycling thinking: “I don’t even think I need to be doing this” then it’s not going to be part of your routine. so I do you think you have to live a life that you believe in and also I think regarding the business and about the longevity and keeping it going. You’ve got to just keep trying. So there’s a quote that I always write at the bottom of questions when people ask me, it’s if at first you don’t succeed, try try try again. I was dyslexic at school and traveled a lot through school and my mummy said that to me all the time and I think it’s quite a good thing to practice in life because there’s always kind of a way through and if you believe in it enough then you can get to where you want to go
I think perseverance is massive and especially I mean it it’s through every stage of your journey through life actually whether it’s through your business life, your personal life and whether you’re in different mindsets each day. You have to coach your brain and everything you know. You have to persevere and be quite strong. In the early stages it was all about knocking down the doors trying to get people to believe in what we were doing and now as we’re growing, it’s actually about building that audience bigger. So we’ve got the core customer, we know who they are, we know they’re buying from us but actually now we need to be looking at a bit the bigger world. So it’s always another challenge and it’s always about believing in what you’re doing about reconnecting with the core and about what you’re all about and then just persevering because it will happen, it does happen if you know where you want to go.