Our production coordinator Lily, plays many in this goal; it's her job to not only to source our fabrics, but she likewise helps decide where our off-cuts go; whether that’s how they’re recycled or even the bridesmaid dresses we partner with to reuse our fabric waste. We sat down with Lily for more information about her day-to-day roles, what inspired her to utilize fabrics and her plans and ideas on getting Sassi Holford carbon neutral.
COULD YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND; HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK WITH FASHION AND FABRICS?
Since a young age I have always were built with a passion for fashion and textiles; my research has always been dedicated to textiles throughout school, college on and on onto studying Woven Textile Design at Falmouth University. It was at university that my adoration for textile design really emerged and also over that time I developed my skills immensely. I would say I am employed in my dream job!
CAN WE HAVE AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR ROLE AS PRODUCTION COORDINATOR, WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
The most enjoyable aspect of my role is the fact that every day is totally different. Day to day I work alongside Sassi to source beautiful materials for brand new bridal designs and client orders, and exploring upcoming innovations and trends. With the current challenges we're facing within the supply chain and sourcing material, a significant part is liaising with this suppliers to make sure materials are here and ready for the amazing production team.
READERS MAY ALREADY KNOW WE TRY TO SOURCE OUR MATERIALS AS LOCALLY AS POSSIBLE TO KEEP OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT LOW, BUT CAN YOU TELL US HOW THAT ACTUALLY WORKS?
Tulle and net really are a major element within the make-up of the wedding gown, cheap we source ours from two suppliers within 22 miles in our workrooms is something we're very happy with. We also make use of a local fabric manufacturer who supply fusing for the garments.
Lily production coordinator
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE FOUND THE RIGHT FABRIC; DO YOU HAVE TO VISUALISE IT ON THE FINISHED GARMENT?
We come with an inspiration table full of new fabrics comprised of texture, silks, embroidery and laces. During the design stage we pull fabrics out, drape them over mannequins, layer different materials together and experiment with potential ideas. Until we begin to combine the fabrics and components together; this is where we begin to see the design get together. Understanding the material’s characteristics is really a key element to selecting fabrics. We must consider the composition, weight, texture, and search of the cloth from the design’s important elements and visualise the way it will work in the collection launch, when the garment has been manufactured up and also the story continues to be curated.
AS PART OF BEING A RESPONSIBLE BRAND, WE LIKE TO RECYCLE AND REUSE OUR FABRIC OFF BY WORKING WITH BRANDS, COLLEGES, AND CHARITIES WHICH YOU OVERSEE. HOW DO YOU INITIATE COLLABORATIONS AND HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH BUSINESSES TO WORK WITH?
Our fabric scraps visit a variety of artists, milliners, designers, local makers, and students. Many individuals approach us whether they have projects searching for scraps and off cuts. We are more than pleased to provide those to those who could make use of them! We currently come with an ongoing collaboration with designer Phoebe English who utilises our offcuts and turns them into garments and fabrics. LULU the Label who creates handmade accessories, as well as Inner Wheel who produce silk comfort cushions for cancer of the breast patients. Seeing the diversity of labor from our off-cuts is really exciting and inspiring. I am very keen to carry on exploring different options that our scraps could be utilised.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MEMORY FROM ONE OF OUR RECYCLING COLLABORATIONS? MAYBE THE WAY THEY USED THE FABRIC, OR A FINAL GARMENT MADE FROM OFF CUTS?
We donate some in our silk offcuts to Inner Wheel who make cushions for ladies who have had cancer of the breast operations. We received a heart-warming email captured from a patient thanking us for the contribution to her cushion. A very touching and inspirational thanks.
AND FINALLY, DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE IDEAS/PLANS IN THE WORKS FOR CONTINUING OUR AIM OF CUTTING DOWN OUR WASTE AND CONTINUING TO RECYCLE AS MANY BY-PRODUCTS AS POSSIBLE?
Absolutely! We are already relocating a positive direction for reducing waste and reducing our carbon footprint. Where possible, we're making changes to the key fabrics when eco versions can be found and will still expand about this. 50% in our threads are actually made from certified 100% recycled PET. We are still searching to find a recycled alternative for that remaining 50%. We still explore best practise across our entire supplier base working closely with them to make sure environmental, social and quality practises are met, and exceeded.
You can find out much more about our short bridesmaid dresses and responsibilities here, or check out at our new bridal and ready-to-wear collections on this link.