Last month Rachel chatted to Enki magazine, the home of design & architecture, about sustainability, the power of wool and her love for a classic lambswool jumper. You can buy the beautiful magazine online. For now here's a snapshot of Rachel's interview.
Your favourite place to escape to?
Anywhere by the sea. I grew up on the coast, and living in London means I no longer get to see it every day and I miss it terribly. If I had to pick a beach, it would be East Portlemouth in Devon. It’s steeped in memories from family holidays growing up. And hasn’t changed at all.
Something your home couldn’t be without?
Wool blankets. We have them dotted about everywhere... one of the most effective ways to stay warm is to wrap up in one.What’s your story?
Remember that sensation you get when you pull on your favourite jumper? The comfort. Like you’ve come back home and everything’s going to be alright. Navygrey takes the time to create things that bring that feeling back. This isn’t a story. It’s my life history. The funny thing is – my favourite jumper wasn’t mine. It was my mum’s. A navy lambswool with a round neck. I’ve spent the last 20 years trying to find a jumper that felt that good but I couldn’t, which is why I decided to recreate it and start Navygrey.
It’s the way that it makes you feel – it brings you home. What’s more, the environmental credentials of the traceable wools we work with make it one of the best possible fibres out there. 100% natural. 100% biodegradable. Naturally breathable and 100% renewable. We work with Scottish-spun lamb’s wool that’s certified by the Responsible Wool Standard, meaning that it comes from farms that follow the strictest environmental and animal welfare standards, that are increasingly regenerative.
How can customers best care for their jumpers?
We encourage you to wash your knitwear less. We believe in it so much that we decided to start a ‘Wash Less, Air More’ club. By airing your knitwear, giving it a chance to breathe and relax, you’ll keep it fresh. Wool is clever. It’s naturally breathable, resistant to odours and dirt, and it doesn’t really like water. What’s more, you’ll save lots of water. We always recommend folding knitwear, as this helps to prevent stretching. And another tip is to rest your knit between wears.What does sustainability mean to you?
If we’re honest about the state of the climate, we have to go further than sustainability – we need to regenerate. It can’t just be about minimising depletion of natural resources, we need to restore nature. It’s why we’re committed to growing organically, to do things at our own pace and ultimately put back more than what we take. Because we’re fully aware that when you create products like ours, you take from the environment. But we want to ensure that we build a business that creates value for our customers and for nature.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned on your journey of setting up the brand?
To not measure success in one day, one week or even one month. Building a good brand, one with purpose and a product that you really care about, takes a very very long time. Everything will take longer than you think it should. But that’s OK. We’re in this for the long run.To shop all of our knits head here.