Because doing what you love doesn’t have to cost the Earth…
In this inspiring series we speak to successful entrepreneurs who are proving that success in business doesn’t have to cost the Earth…
We caught up with Victoria McQuillan of Think Boutique to find out all about her business in this Q&A…
How would you sum up your business?
The best in UK ethical fashion together in one stylish online boutique.
How did the company get started?
When I was studying for my MSc in Fashion Marketing an inspirational lecture on ethical fashion provided me with a lightbulb moment. I could combine my lifelong love of style with my concerns about the fashion industry’s moral code. After a long period of research and planning I gave up my job and launched Think Boutique in 2010.
Who’s your biggest inspiration?
I don’t know if I could pick just one! In terms of business I admire Jane Shepherdson for her ability to create brands that are exactly what customers want. In terms of fashion I’d have to say Vivienne Westwood who is constantly and completely true to herself and her beliefs in everything she creates and who uses her position to campaign for good.
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
I love meeting and interacting with customers and getting great feedback about how much they love the products. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.
What was the biggest challenge in setting up the business?
Finding brands for Think Boutique that produce ethical, stylish, high quality fashion that shoppers will love to wear for many years to come and that are affordable. It was quite a list of requirements but the research paid off and now almost three years on we have built great relationships with all the brands we stock.
Why do you think being eco-friendly is so important?
I think its the old adage – if we don’t do it who will? A change in the fashion industry towards more ethical practices must come first and foremost from the customer. By stocking eco-friendly products that are desirable we are making a good start in getting customers to stop and think before they buy. Showing them that there is an alternative, and its a good one that they will want in their wardrobe!”
How are you greening up the world?
We currently only deal with UK based brands to help support the industry close to home, we try to stock as many items that are made in the UK as possible and those that are made elsewhere are made in fair trade factories. All our fabrics are sustainable, fair trade or up cycled too. We ensure that our ethical practices run through all aspects of the business. Its nice to be nice! Part of the joy of the ethical industry is that everyone is working together to create something amazing, raise quality of life and use resources sustainably across the world”
Do you have any advice for aspiring eco-entrepreneurs?
It’s you that will make things happen. There is no magic formula just a lot of hard work and a strong conviction that your idea is a great one!
Here comes the science bit…
GC articles show you one of four ways (the one in bold) to live greener…
Pic: Think Boutique