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Scandinavian pottery, colourful knits and comfortable underwear: Three sustainable businesses to support in 2022

By Nora Marie Vatland Feb 13, 2022
Two people sitting back to backGreen checkerboard silk boxers. Credit: Alia Mehta

With Valentine’s day less than a weekend away, you might be looking to gift your loved ones or find a way to treat yourself.

However, February 14, in many ways being a shopping holiday, also presents us with an opportunity to reflect on our overall shopping habits and the chance to take a step back and reflect on the importance of filling your shopping cart with sustainable and ethical items.

So, if pottery inspired by Danish minimalism, custom knits and fun and comfortable underwear sounds like something for you, there is no need to search wide and far for sustainable and local brands.

Meet KU alumni Alia Mehta, Ellie Perry and Sophie Sprately who are making their way in their creative fields.

Person in lingerie
Baby Love’ Cotton Ruffle Knickers by This Belongs To. Credit: Annie Godwin-Austen
Person wearing underwear and a fuzzy hat infront of a red background
Valentines Collection made with fabric from Rose Petals. Credit: Melody Berkery

With the use of recycled bottles and rose bush fibre, BA Fashion design graduate Alia Mehta created the underwear brand This Belongs To during the uncertain times of the first lockdown. 

Her motto “underwear that you won’t want to hide” is all about creating pieces that are comfortable and sustainable while still being beautiful.

Today, nearly two years after its launch, all pieces are sewn in Twickenham. When asked to describe her brand, cowboy, confident and cosy were the words that came to mind. 

“I was hoping to brighten up someone’s day, when they were sitting in their flat or house because they’d put bright yellow knickers on with a cowboy boot on it,” she laughed. 

Her new collection which is a collaboration with @houseofroxylondon is inspired by Valentine’s day and created entirely from rose bush fibre. 


From her ceramics studio in Camberwell, Ellie Perry, creates minimalistic, sustainable and practical ceramics that will add a Scandinavian twist to any student accommodation. 

After winning the Global Design Graduate Show in collaboration with Gucci as well as the John Lewis & Partners Award for Design and Innovation, she graduated with a BA in Product and Furniture design last year. 

“I think it gave me that confidence boost straight out of uni,” she said. 

In terms of sustainability, she creates her glaze out of industrial waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. 

“I get glass waste from glass manufacturers, and also collect stones. And those two things are what’s normally in a glaze anyway. But instead of digging it up, I get the stuff that’s about to be chucked away.” 

To purchase, she is mainly using Instagram. 

“I would say that my work is conscious, both in the fact that it is handmade, and the time that goes into it, and the art of making things by hand, but also the material choices. It’s also very representative of all the different things I’m interested in.”

Plates designed by Ellie Perry.
Plates designed by Ellie Perry. Credit: Ellie Perry
Person holding ceramics.
“A response to the global sand crisis…”Credit: Ellie Perry

After graduating from BA Fashion in 2021, Sophie Spratley’s fashion brand and artist name rabbit uses all natural-fibres, some British wools and recycled, deadstock or antique materials to create her ethereal, playful and caring designs. 

“My take on sustainability also includes the appreciation of hand craftsmanship. I screen print my fabrics by hand, sew everything myself, I just have my mum who helps with some hand knitting and crochet.” 

When asked about some of her favourite memories from running her business, she reflects on when she was featured in Vouge, “I went to an event at DSM fashion week with the lovely sound artist Damsel, who has recently been featured in Vogue, where I met some big people in the fashion industry who really love rabbit.” 

The cottagecore inspired pieces are of limited availability so head over to Instagram if you want to get your hands on them.

Model: @cidella_toni_ann . Credit: Lluna Falgas
Model: @_frankie_butler . Credit: Lluna Falgas

By Nora Marie Vatland

Nora Marie Vatland | Editor | she/her My main interests include slow and investigative journalism, sustainability and plant-based cooking.

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