Let me tell you a little bit about My Little Green Wardrobe and how it came into being.
My name is Lucy, and I’ve spent the last fifteen years of my life working as a journalist for BBC News, but ever since I can remember I've dreamed of running my own business.
As a teenager, I remember thinking to myself I just need one great idea and then the world would be my oyster. I used to fall asleep trying to think up what this ‘great idea’ might be, but alas, inspiration was in short supply, and anything I did think up didn’t seem all that great by the morning.
So, I set my sights on something else: radio and journalism - and after landing a dream job at the BBC, life was pretty good.
Until I had children, that was.
The news cycle is an unrelenting, 24-hour, all-consuming monster which requires early starts, late finishes, overnight shifts and being on-call most of the time.
Not unlike a baby actually... and having a demanding small person as well as a demanding work life became increasingly untenable.
During my first maternity leave, that voice in my head reappeared: “You just need one great idea…”
And I hilariously thought, as new mothers have a tendency to do, that over the following year, I’d have the time to finally put some real thought into what I would do and set up my own business.
I mean, the books say small babies sleep up to 18 hours a day right…?!!
Needless to say, that didn’t quite work out and there were days when my husband would get home at 6pm and I'd only have got dressed an hour before, with the place a tip, and having only managed to eat a piece of toast the whole day.
Back I went to work when the time rolled around, and we had various intricate plans involving a nanny, nursery and my mother. All the while praying train connections would be good to us so one of us could race home in time to pick up baby.
The arrangements just about held - although there would be the occasional major fail - and we were, of course, all exhausted by the end of the week.
When my second maternity leave came around, it felt like a godsend as we were no longer beholden to this punishing regime.
The voice in my head got louder and more urgent with the ever-looming prospect of school and its shorter hours - how would we ever manage school drop-offs and pickups?
But in a way, it was starting school that came to the rescue.
Since my eldest daughter was born, we’ve been fortunate to receive good quality hand-me-downs from nearby family - and we’ve only had to buy a few bits and pieces to top up.
When our second one came along, and was a girl too - it was all the better as we could reuse all the baby things I’d stashed away in the loft.
But ahead of school starting there was a long list of items to purchase that would be purely for school use. And much of it was a duplication of things we already owned.
The prospect of buying another pair of wellies, another puddlesuit, indoor and outdoor trainers etc… made me feel sad. I knew they wouldn’t be well looked-after and ultimately it meant more plastic items ending up in landfill.
I set about trying to buy second-hand but, guess what, in August there aren’t that many wellies around!
So the next best thing was to buy something that was more sustainably-made. There must already be a website that had a great collection of sustainable children’s apparel, and a variety of awesome brands?
But try as I might, I kept going down deadends. Either I would be on a website that would have a sustainable section, find a product I liked, only to realise I was no longer in the sustainable bit.
Or I would discover a decent ethical brand, but only like one thing from their site and hesitate to pay the postage for just one thing - and so carry on shopping around to find a website where I could get everything under one roof.
It was exhausting, and took me a whole afternoon to buy just TWO garments. And even then I'd had to go to the Swedish brand website of one of the products to find out more info about the thing I was buying, as there wasn’t enough information on the online shop I was browsing.
The great idea I'd been seeking for so long finally hit me. Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a website:
- That ONLY stocks ethical and sustainable apparel - where you can’t stray into the fast fashion section.
- Where the brands have already been checked out - and do what they claim to.
- Where you can choose to filter the clothes by the values important to you.
- And ultimately, where you can shop from multiple brands and kit your child out from top to toe in sustainable clothes if you choose to.
So that’s what I’m aiming to do. I hope with time My Little Green Wardrobe will fulfill all of these points, and I hope you like what you see so far.
I'm no Central St Martins fashion graduate, I'll leave that to the clothing designers. And I’m no sustainability expert either, I'm on a learning journey just like you.
But what I do have is skills in fact-checking and journalism. I’ll put these to good use in scoping out brands before giving them a platform on my site, so you can trust the labels you are investing in are actually behaving in the manner you’ve paid them to.
I have the passion and drive of a mother of two young girls, who wants to make a difference in the world and leave it in a better state than we currently find it.
What’s more, I have the integrity and determination of someone who is living her dream after finally discovering my ‘one great idea’.