Every week, we’re shining a spotlight on the best small brands we think are worth shouting about. We love our great British high street, but there are so many fantastic independent brands out there making products from a place of passion and love and we need to support them – now more than ever.
From fashion and beauty to homeware and accessories, we’ll be bringing you the best small businesses you need on your radar. This week, we chat to lead buyer Kady Edwards at sustainable fashion brand OMNES, which just so happens to be the brand that Kate Garraway just wore on Good Morning Britain.
How did OMNES come about?
OMNES officially launched in July 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, having been born out of a frustration with the lack of genuine progress in sustainability on the high street. Other sustainable options available were really expensive, and therefore unattainable for most people, which is why OMNES was set up – to provide responsibly made, beautifully designed, fairly priced fashion; clothes and accessories that are desirable, ethical and accessible.
What does OMNES mean?
Omnes is Latin for all and the brand was created to make sustainable fashion accessible for everyone.
What 3 words describe the OMNES style?
Confident, Playful, Feminine.
Who is the OMNES woman?
She’s a confident, independent and self-assured woman who is conscious of the world around them and wants to look good and feel good in what she wears.
Sustainability is clearly important to the brand, how do you achieve this?
The team starts with the knowledge that 80 per cent of any garment’s environmental impact is defined at the design stage. There are many reasons why the fashion industry is one of our world’s top polluters, but this is the easiest and most cost effective to change – it’s far less difficult to adjust your course and avoid a problem before it arises. So our designers consider where will the fabric end up? How does it need to be cared for? Can it be recycled? Will this be a style that will last beyond one season?
We are also committed to exploring every detail of our business to ensure that each element is as kind to the earth as we can make it. From the labels in our garments – made from recycled plastic, recovered from the world’s oceans – to the ink we use on our packaging – vegetable-based – everything we do is carefully considered.
We also meticulously research the factories, mills and suppliers we work with, ensuring that they meet our high standards of sustainable production and employee welfare.
How does OMNES combine sustainability and affordability?
Designing to our sustainability credentials goes hand in hand with being affordable: we’re smart with our pattern shapes and ensure that pattern pieces fit efficiently on the fabric to reduce fabric waste and garment costings. We also consolidate fabrics and prints across various styles as this helps us get a better price on the fabric, which is one of the main factors that make up a garment costing.
We avoid using trims as much as possible to ensure garments are recyclable at end of life (they also add to the cost of the garment) as well as designing and building the range digitally to ensure we don’t over-sample (this reduces sample waste and therefore costs).
Finally, we could mark-up our products to the customer much higher than we do, however we charge what we feel is a fair price as want to make sustainable clothing accessible to everyone.
Which OMNES piece are you most looking forward to wearing this year?
We have some beautiful pieces coming in for the rest of the year so it’s hard to choose. My personal favourite is our upcoming summer Reversible Daisy Print Dress that can be worn front and backwards – two dresses in one! This piece will be every girl’s best friend when it comes to all the social events we’ll have to catch up on this summer and beyond.
Anything exciting planned for the brand this year?
There are a number of exciting developments in the pipeline. We are extremely proud of our debut denim range that will be launching imminently, made up of 50 per cent recycled denim and 50 per cent organic cotton. It’s unwashed and left in its natural state in a beautiful slate blue colour, which has significantly helped in reducing the amount of water used in developing the fabric.
We’re also exploring options to open our first retail space in Central London. It’s always been part of our plan to allow people to experience first hand what we’re working on and developing as a brand.