My name is Ismay and I am a fashion designer mum with a passion for the environment. After working in graphics for some years following my BA, I graduated with a masters degree from the London College of Fashion. I went on to work as a designer both in-house and freelance for various small companies including a brief stint at the street label, Firetrap. Designing for men’s, women’s and childrenswear, print design has become my specialism.
I always wanted to start my own business and having my son made me see a potential gap in the market. Boy Wonder came about from a desire to clothe my son in beautiful designs that are ethical and sustainable and being frustrated at the lack of choice in boys clothing. After caring for my late husband I decided I had to give the dream a chance and so in 2016 the blog began. The blog tells the story of setting up the business and my research into ethical & sustainable fashion and green issues. My son is now 10 years old and loves Lego, video games and swimming. He loves the bright colours and prints in the collection, but is a bit embarrassed about being a model!
Why I Do This
When I became pregnant with my son I became aware of the multitude of nasty chemicals in everyday products and so tried to reduce my unborn child’s exposure to these by using natural products and eating organic food. As a baby my son suffered with severe eczema and I soon found out that non-organic cotton contains lots of toxic nasties too that I didn’t want near my child’s delicate skin. As he got older he also developed asthma, which has been very serious at times and now research has shown that it is linked to air pollution.
Over the years since becoming a mum, I have been learning more and more about green issues triggered by my concern for my son’s health and wellbeing. This fed into my work as a fashion designer as I began to research ethical and sustainable fashion. I soon realised that the industry was based on the exploitation of people and the precious resources of our planet. Shocking statistics and stories of child labour, especially in conventional cotton growing, reinforced my preference for organic cotton. I couldn’t bear the thought of children the same age as my son working in terrible conditions often for no pay. I have written a lot about these issues in my blog over the years.
I chose to make in Britain because I grew up in an area rich with textile history; the birthplace of the modern textile factory system, the longest running textile factory, hosiery makers, silk spinning and lace making and I worked during my school holidays at Janet Reger’s design studio. Over the years I saw this vibrant industry that I had always dreamed of working in, all but disappear as companies moved production off shore. I believe in British craftsmanship and skill retention and that local production benefits the community and the planet.
I want my son to have a fairer, greener, cleaner future, which is why I strive every day to drive change in the industry and to offer a kinder, brighter product to other parents who want the same
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