February 12, 2018
Spotlight on British brands: Verry Kerry
The natural world is an abundant source of inspiration for many designers – Arra Textiles gorgeous blue hues are inspired by seascapes, and Maria Steffani’s travels have a huge impact on her clothing designs.
The influence of the landscape is evident in Verry Kerry’s vibrant loungewear. We chatted to Kerry about her colourful creations, her ethical vision for the future – and why a bamboo kimono is a wardrobe staple.
Where did the initial inspiration for Verry Kerry come from?
I’ve always had a passion for colour and prints. I was born in Zambia where the vibrant, bold textiles (and abundant mangos, storms, stars and fireflies) always brought a smile to my face. I was also very lucky to grow up in Australia where I found my love of casual, relaxed shapes with a beachy feel.
However, I could never find clothes that were ‘me enough’ and often ended up taking my sketches to a local tailor to be made. It was only a matter of time before I started making my own.
I’m constantly taking pictures on my phone of shapes on the ground or the way the light hits something. But mostly I get inspiration from the loves in my life – travel, festivals, nature, flowers and animals.
Talk us through your design process from start to finish
Sometimes I illustrate a print with watercolour and colour pencil, and scan it into the computer, but mostly I illustrate on the computer. I develop my final designs with amazing screen printers – finalising the scale, colours, borders and fabric.
Each print has a different energy and mood so I like to be there for every part of the development. It’s always such a thrill to see something I’ve imagined come to life on fabric. I literally squeal with delight – and if I don’t squeal, I don’t run it.
We’re loving the rise of slow fashion and sustainable design. How do you ensure Verry Kerry’s process is ethical and environmentally friendly?
I started Verry Kerry with the intention to give back to less fortunate people and I could never accept exploitation in the process. Being as ethical and sustainable as possible was never something to contemplate – it was an absolute must.
All of our suppliers have clear labour practices that do not involve child labour. We make sure they offer good conditions with excellent tools and a wage 1.5x the average. There are regular breaks, holidays, promotions and training.
We also work with different projects, such as Kikora in Kenya, Malambo Grassroots in Zambia and Street Kitchen here in London. Trying to help others and the environment is at the forefront of everything we do.
What are your favourite Verry Kerry garments and why?
Ooh tricky! At the moment I am living in my Cleopatra bamboo kimono – it’s so comfortable, but also makes me feel really special without any effort.
I love tunic blouses – I’m a casual girl and they give me the practicality I need on a daily basis while still being elegant and unique. That’s my kind of blouse.
What’s next for Verry Kerry?
I’d like to expand into childrenswear, homeware and swimwear. But I have a big vision to expand into experiences like vegan supper clubs.
My goal is to bring passionate, creative people together to share skills, collaborate and give back. Ultimately I want to inspire a more considered, kind and ethical approach to life, the planet and each other.