Here, we speak with Carrie Davies, founder of One Essentials – a business that produces premium essentials, made from organic and recycled cotton, designed with the end in mind and helping to reduce the harmful impact of the fashion industry on the planet.
What was the reason for starting your business, and the driving force behind your mission?
For One Essentials, offering the most sustainable product possible was at the heart of our business mission. I was passionate about proving that there was a better way to create product and a better business model that had the planet at the forefront of everything we do. I hope we are on our way to showing that.
“As someone who’s worked in the industry for nearly 15 years, I've been frustrated by the lack of action.”
What has been your proudest moment since starting your business?
It’s very hard to pinpoint a moment – as a business owner, the highs and lows are very real, and it can just sometimes feel like such a huge slog.
Personally, [being featured] in the Sunday Times Style Magazine was a huge achievement. As a publication that is widely read and well-regarded by the public and industry, it felt like a huge step. And raising an initial investment round as a solo female founder is something I need to remember to congratulate myself on. I hope 2023 will bring some more proud moments and, hopefully, time and headspace to recognise and celebrate them.
How do you try to ensure sustainability is at the heart of everything you do?
Circularity is embedded into the business model. We create products thinking about the start and end of their lifespans.
[We’ve reduced] our use of virgin materials by using a blend of 50% recycled and 50% organic cotton; we use no toxins in our dyestuffs; and we are removing all plastics from our products by replacing conventional elastane with a cradle-to-cradle gold-certified alternative. We’ve removed all plastics from our packaging, using only FSC [certified] or recycled card products, sugar cane paper and a dissolvable poly bag alternative.
We also want to be part of the clean-up, not only creating products better, […] we are also on track to implement a new recycling scheme […] to turn your old pants, regardless of their composition, into new products.
What were your expectations when you became a Stylus Changemaker, and how would you describe your experience so far?
I had no expectations going into this, [I’m] just very grateful to be included and awarded the Stylus Changemaker badge. There’s such a huge array of wonderful businesses in the group, and it’s inspiring to see what everyone else is working on.
“Access to the information on the Stylus site has given me a much more rounded view of the market and future landscape. It’s an invaluable information tool for both product and consumer attitudes.”
Below: Meet ONE Essentials Founder, Carrie Davies