- Meet Alison Baker -
There are many women who work with Ethical Collection London that have helped to create our amazing brand. In honour of these women, we are dedicating one day a week, Wednesday, to introduce them and celebrate their achievements. We sent each of the women seven questions to answer about their businesses, inspiration and life. This week, we would love to introduce you to the amazing Alison Baker of Ally Bee.
Ally Bee’s immaculate knitwear is made sustainably with all-British sourcing and manufacturing. All yarn is gathered from Alpaca and Bluefaced Leicester herds that are grazed in the South of England. The yarn is spun from the herds and blended to a natural, undid colour palette. The knitwear is made in the Scottish Boarders using a supply chain that is traceable, local and uncompromised.
(Founder, Alison Baker)
What inspired you to join/start your Ethical business?
I was sick and tired of the excess of fast fashion - both cheap and high-end - and wanted to create a brand centred on sustainably sourced, and preferably local, natural fibre as an alternative to this. I was convinced there must be a way to create knitwear without the massive carbon footprint and environmental impact of many other sources of natural fibre.
What are the 2 points (or more!) that makes your brand Sustainable/ethical?
Ally Bee pieces are currently all factory-knitted in the UK in small factories operating according to British safely standards and labour laws. Nothing is produced by 'piece workers' in the UK, a method of production that demands long hours, low pay and zero work-related benefits. Secondly, the majority of Ally Bee yarns are British alpaca - a low impact, annually renewable resource farmed in small flocks across the UK, and the processing of the fibre uses less chemicals and detergents associated with many other natural fibres, and provides a wonderful palette of dye-free natural colours. And, when it comes to the 'end of life' of the garment, it is fully biodegradable because it is free from acrylic blends and toxic dyes.
What do you love the most about your job?
I love being a part, albeit very small, of a growing movement of makers who are committed to making, selling and promoting fashion with a gentler impact on people and the planet.
How do you balance work/home life?
Not every well at the moment! The brand is only 3 years on, and still the daily administration and logistics take up most of my time. However, the aim is to eventually get the balance right. What I am thankful for is the fact that no matter how busy I am, there is no daily commute into the city, and an office with a boss to answer to, and I am doing something I truly believe in!
What achievements are you most proud of in business and or life?!
Growing my business from a mere idea into a reality is one of my greatest achievements, and I will continue to evolve and grow the company as my knowledge and customer base expands. In my personal life, I would have to say my 2 children are my greatest achievements!.
What did you do before joining/starting the business?
Before this I had a life working in law - in my past incarnation I was a lawyer - and I have also spent several years dabbling in fiction writing. In a way, starting a business is like writing the novel I never finished!
Who do you admire and why?
Naomi Klein. She is an environmental activist who has researched and critiqued the conventions of business and consumption and advocates a way forward for a future that nurtures both the spirit of human community and the protection of the environment.
Shop our Ally Bee products here!