Why We Wear: O Moon and Its Repurposed Clothing for Kids
Tell us all the details
www.omoon.co.uk Founded: 2018, but properly launched online in 2020 Location: Hastings, UK Number of collections: An ongoing collection that moves with the seasons Best Seller: Big pocket trousers Where to buy: Online Ethos: “Colourful and bold unisex clothing for kids (and women) that are as comfortable and practical as they are stylish and sustainable”
Hannah Exley-Myers, founder of O Moon, answers all of our questions.
I spent many years as a pattern cutter for high end luxury womenswear (Vivienne Westwood, McQ, Ann-Sofie Back) but following the birth of my fourth child, the desire to follow my own passion for creativity, that worked around my busy family life as well as lessening my impact on the planet took over and O Moon was born.
Can you explain how you manufacture your garments and tell us about how you source the fabrics and materials you use?
All pieces are made by me in my home studio, most to order. As a pattern cutter, I am so happy that I am able to do the whole process independently, from design, through pattern drafting and sampling, to the end production.
As a lifelong gatherer of fabrics, I started out using what I had collected – a selection of vintage and eclectic fabrics. But as the brand has grown I have added in new fabrics (organic, or deadstock) as well as repurposing second hand clothing and bedding. I aim to use more and more second hand textiles as I develop the brand, meaning my impact on the planet is lessened, whilst keeping at least a small amount of waste from landfill.
Sourcing takes a big part of my time – looking for the right fabrics that fit within my brand, from a wide variety of places (charity shops, car boot sales, online auctions). But the best part is that working in this way means that almost every garment or micro run of pieces is totally unique.
I’m always very careful to source only natural fibres so that once O Moon clothing has been outgrown, passed on, and repaired, the garments are easily recyclable and are biodegradable.
What other elements differentiate O Moon from a traditional kids fashion brand?
Clothing is made to order, so I am able to make adjustments if requested. It means I don’t hold stock too. I have recently added women’s pieces to the collection too.
I think the style of O moon is quite distinctive and stands out from the other sustainable brands that prefer earth tones and classic styling. I love to make clothing that is bold in style and colour/pattern and will continue to add my craft of patchwork in too.
What pieces of advice would you give to new parents who want to lessen their environmental and social impact when choosing clothing for their kids?
Always start from a point of “conscious consumerism” – being in a society that encourages over consumption, it is worth taking a step back – consider each purchase, and try and minimise what you buy. Choose good quality clothing as it will last longer through wear and washing – and natural fibres always (kinder to skin, the planet and easier to repair when needed).
Ideally you want every piece in their wardrobe to be worn many times – it is one of the best things we can do to reduce our clothes’ carbon footprint. With this in mind; choose a size larger than you need, and roll up sleeves and hems. It makes sense to do this especially if you are buying ethically produced (often more expensive) clothing to make it last.
If you can’t afford to always shop higher quality new, then choose to buy second hand. There is a growing market of independent preloved businesses popping up especially on Instagram.
And finally – learn the basics of mending. Keeping those well loved items going for longer will extend their value for you. With this in mind, I now offer a free patch repair kit to customers for those times their O Moon clothes need some TLC.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is a word that is now becoming common place in the clothing industry, but true sustainability is actually harder to find. Consumption on the level it is at now is not sustainable, and I believe that we need to change our culture to value the resources we have, lessen what we buy, accept that the true cost of clothing (and everything we buy) is way higher than we’ve been used to if you choose to shop ethically going forward. We need to lessen our use of fossil fuels – and that includes hugely reducing the use of polyester and acrylic.
Essentially for me, sustainability is about being balanced in what you do to the planet – trying not to take more than you can give back.