July 10, 2017
Spotlight on British brands: KJF-From Scratch
From babygrows and handmade lamps to woollen scarves and dog beds, we love working with British brands. To celebrate the uniqueness of British design, we’re putting the spotlight on some of our favourite designers, makers and crafters to learn a little bit more about their work.
KJF-From Scratch creates handmade children’s clothes that bridge the tricky gap between comfort and style. We chatted with founder Kim Fentiman about her thoughts on independent makers and what it’s like to run your own clothing brand.
Hi Kim, firstly thank you so much for answering our questions. We’re going to start with a burning one: what inspired you to set up your own childrenswear business?
When my little girl was born, I noticed there wasn’t much choice for babies who wore cloth nappies. Normal high street clothes generally didn’t fit very well.
I had a few friends who were in the same position so I decided to start making bits for our babies and toddlers. My business has grown from there!
While trying to find my feet as a new mum, I did what a lot of parents do and bought cheap clothes because little ones are only in them for a short time. I quickly discovered that cheaper definitely isn’t better and realised that clothes could last longer if they were made well in the first place.
I also became aware of the journey our clothes go on before they arrive in stores. I wanted my clothing range to be created from sustainable resources, not adding to the landfill of clothes thrown away each day.
My clothes are made from high quality fabrics that wash well so they can be handed down or sold on. By extending their life, we can help to do our little bit for the planet.
Each year you send 50% of your profits to various charities, this year’s being A21 Campaign. Can you tell us about why you chose this charity?
I give at least 50% of my profits to a variety of charities throughout the year.
A21 help to rescue girls and guys who have been trafficked around the world. They also help to educate those who are vulnerable to prevent them from becoming one of the 27 million people in modern day slavery today. Unfortunately the fashion industry is one where vulnerable individuals can be easily be exploited. Therefore I felt it was fitting to support them in our first couple of years.
I’ve also supported them previously as an individual by organising and fundraising for their annual Walk For Freedom event.
Tell us more about your clothing – how do you manage the tricky task of blending comfort and practicality?
Being a stay at home mum, I’m all about blending comfort and practicality. Long gone are my days of wearing uncomfortable office wear and tight court shoes!
When it comes to my designs, I choose jersey knit fabrics with a very high cotton to Lycra ratio (over 92% cotton). This means the fabrics are always soft on the skin, breathable and stretchy for little adventurers.
I’m also selective about the types of clothes I make, opting for items that are naturally roomy around the ‘pinch points’, such as the bottom and the thighs.
Parents care about what their children are wearing and are starting to question where their clothes are coming from. It’s a slow process but I do think the tide is starting to turn for independent businesses.
What is your next big goal for KJF-From Scratch?
I’d love to have a pop up shop in my local town and I’d really like to see more independent retailers on the high street. One day I hope to collaborate with fellow makers and crafters and sell our items to the general public on the high street. Watch this space, we might be opening in a town near you soon!
In the meantime, I plan on continuing to grow my online business by updating our range. I’m excited to start adding some new lines.
That sounds exciting – we can’t wait to see designs from your next collection. In the meantime we’ll just have to obsess over your uber-cute Instagram feed. Thanks for chatting with us Kim.
Do you have a unique brand or product you’d love to share with us?
Head over to our Instagram and pop us a message to feature in our next round of submission.