Jenny McPherson of Enamore talks Exclusively to The Natural StoreJenny's Story
|Pistachio Spring Dress
available Mon 27th March
I have been in Britain - mainly in Brighton - for the better part of the last 8 years, after growing up in Saskatchewan, Canada. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated by clothing, fabrics and colour. My mother used to make many of my clothes at home and I would turn up at school in a head to toe colour way including some quite elaborate dresses, pull up socks and matching ribbons in my hair. Mum always encouraged my interest in sewing and I recall making trips to fabric shops, from about the age of five, to pick out material and patterns. It was always something I loved to do, whether for a costume or for my everyday clothes. I caught the recycling bug from my father who had caught it from his father – both have always made many different types of objects from reclaimed materials such as wood, glass, mirrors, and sculptures.
I started sewing from about 12 years old but when I reached high school, for some reason I stopped. It was when I was 21 and had just moved back to Canada, after my first couple of years in the UK, that I started to sew again and began recycling again. I did this by either re-making old clothes from my wardrobe or from second hand shops, or buying vintage curtains and patterns to make something new. I moved back to Britain in 2001 and started to develop my ideas and skills by taking courses in pattern cutting, design, and art. Shortly after college I approached the Prince’s Trust and began developing my business plan. I had started using hemp whilst on my college course and felt it was important to me to keep using it. I knew that the world of fashion was highly competitive and my chances of getting the sort of work I enjoyed were poor without a degree. I also would not be able to choose the materials I wanted to work with unless I started my own business. I received funding from two charities to get started, The Prince’s Trust and the Fredericks Foundation, who have been a great source of support over the last couple of years. I’ve also had an amazing amount of encouragement from total strangers, who have emailed or telephoned to express positive feelings about what I am doing.
The Attitude Towards Ethical Fashion
The attitude towards organic and ethical fashion is starting to change
dramatically. It takes good quality, interesting and exciting products to
show people that making conscious decisions when shopping can both feel and
look good. I enjoy working with retailers and consumers who share similar
ethics and environmentalist values. For me, using hemp and reclaimed
materials is my way of making a positive contribution to the world that has
given me so much beauty and opportunity! At present, Enamore clothing is
hand-made in the UK on a small scale, with many designs being limited
editions. In the future I would like to get involved in Fair Trade by moving
some production to ethical producers in developing countries.
A Great Year So Far
It has been all go this year. Enamore was recently on the Catwalk in Dublin at ‘Future Fashion’ February 17th at Trinity College and at ‘Forward
Fashion’ by the London School of Economics held at Café de Paris in Piccadilly. Enamore returned to London this week, showing at ‘Alternative Fashion Week’ at the Old Spitalfields Market on Wednesday, 22nd March.
What Does The Future Hold
The future for Enamore includes expanding the range of designs and sizes available. I am also working on a Hemp Lingerie Collection, which is a collaboration with designer Ayten Gasson and will be produced in London. Without giving too much away, you can look forward to a very beautiful Lingerie Collection available in black, bronze and sand hemp/silk charmeuse, which will make you look and feel gorgeous! I have just started working with a great new supplier in the UK and so have access to some fabulous new colours in hemp fabric, that I have embraced in my Spring and Summer Collection. The Collection includes a great new skirt shape, which I hope you will like as much as I do! The full Spring/Summer range will be available at The Natural Store by the end of March, so please keep checking back.