Muddy meets Surrey fashion label Bojest
It’s tres hard launching a fashion label these days, especially if you’re committed to sustainability, social accountability, embracing environmental challenges – and you’re British-made to boot! But Bojest is not only managing it, but is also quietly bringing about a fashion revolution, encouraging us to ask ‘who made my clothes?’
The gorgeous Lou, editor of Muddy Cornwall (oh yes, Muddy is everywhere ) met up with Surrey-based Bojest designer Tamsin Allsebrook to talk eco cred, designing dreams and about how a sewing machine became her saviour.
Eco-credentialled up to the eyeballs, this is fashion made exclusively in the UK. Non-toxic water based pigment inks are used on all the fabrics and are not chemically pre-treated for printing. All fabrics are GOTS certified organic and bamboo certified by Oeko-TEX.
Bojest is aimed at women who are unafraid to break the rules of fashion in a laid-back yet deliberate kind of way. She’s stylish but not too fussy and proudly embraces the intentional half-done look (tick! oh yes that’s me!) and seeks well made British handmade clothing which can be worn from season to season. The skirts are made from organic cotton, which is beautifully soft, this allows the skin to breath in warmer weather and are of a suitable weight to keep you warm in cooler weather. And of course the season-less prints are perfect for layering all year round. They have fabulously charming names like ‘sunflower power’, ‘young at heart’ (with a fabulous flamingo design) and ‘easy like Sunday morning’.
It was during a career break that Bojest designer Tamsin Allsebrook, from Kingston, was rescued by a sewing machine: “Really, honestly, truly! From that moment things changed for me. I had forgotten the pleasure of using my hands and being creative. It was wonderful to be doing it again and I loved it! The sewing and design classes I had when I was younger came flooding back. The rest was self-taught, some hard grafting and plenty of mistakes! I will never forget the first bag and skirt I sold in little art gallery in France to a woman I had never met before, all my previous customers had been friends and family. This was someone I didn’t know. This was serious! And I was hooked!”
So here we are over a decade later, frustrated by high street boutiques that didn’t (and still don’t) inspire her, a forever career break in psychoanalysis, a stint in France, two super kids, a great right-hand-man, one totally daft but adorable dog, a creative adventure into textile design from which she plans never to leave, zips, totes and many skirts later, Bojest’s first spring/summer skirt collection and not forgetting the many hurdles that caused her to stumble.
But her dream to design and create well-made eclectic accessories and clothes for women who know who they are, and are not afraid to write their own story, is now in fruition. Inspired to build something that would have a positive impact environmentally and socially, personally Tamsin endeavours to live a thoughtful and spiritual life, so it felt only natural and just to create a business in-line with that.
Personally, I’m a little bit in love with this pretty tulip box pleat (£95) – gorgeous, feminine with a flattering drop waist.
So what’s next for Bojest? As an outsider and a small business Tamsin says she’s learning so much at every step. So the future is naturally slow and steady, which suits the brand’s ethos of slow fashion. The Bojest brand is increasing to include a full range of wardrobe staples (I’m SO pleased to hear this) and is looking to collaborate with UK based artisans to create an autumn winter range of wool accessories inspired by fishermen of the 1930s. Think tough-guy with a feminine edge knits for women. The Bojest brand is available to buy in a boutique in her home town of Kingston-upon-Thames: “I am so excited not only to be stocked in ZI-Zone, a Kingston boutique but I will also be there in person two days a week. The chance to meet my customers face to face and to build a ‘real’ personal relationship is such a wonderful and exciting opportunity.”