The first business to feature in our business directory is Junkldn, a bright and bold sustainable swimwear brand, based in Brighton. I've been following Junkldn since I started my Instagram page for Mitra The Label and was instantly drawn into the colours featured on the page. Celia and I have had a few conversations about launching and our worries launching during a pandemic.
Over the last few weeks, Celia has been showcasing what she is launching at www.junkldn.com
All of Junkldn swimwear are made from recycled plastics using ECONYL® and REPREVE®. The first collection consists of the colours, hot pink, a green, teal, a dark mint and a white and red heart print. The styles consist of a supportive top with a tie up back, a sports bra vibe top with a tie up back and a swimsuit with tie up shoulders.
To read an exclusive interview with Junkldn's Celia, please continue reading.
*This interview was setup a few weeks ago*
A lover of sustainable swimwear, bright and bold colours? Look no further as Junkldn is the one for you. Junkldn is owned by Celia who is based in Brighton, UK. All of Junkldn swimwear is made from recycled ocean plastic and is made ethically in Bali.
Junkldn is launching 7th August 2020 6PM GMT, aka TOMORROW - set your alarms.
Introduction about yourself, what is your business called, and where you
I’m Celia the founder of Junk LDN, a colourful slow fashion label making swimwear
from recycled ocean plastic. I design the pieces in my Brighton flat, then work with a wonderful female collective in Bali to bring the swimwear to life. Everything is
ethically made as I strongly believe in supporting women in the garment industry.
I struggled to pick a name for my brand for ages, I wanted something short and
quirky. I played with the idea of using my name, but it did not feel right. I changed my mind on the name for months – then one day a song called ‘Junk’ came up from
shuffle on my Spotify from one of my favourite bands - Sticky fingers and it felt instantly right. After all, the swimwear is made from Junk.
Can you describe your business to us please, what items are you planning on
selling if you haven’t launched or are currently selling?
starting with a swimwear collection with around 7 styles in different colour ways.
Another reason behind the name Junk is because one of my biggest goals is to
branch out and design other items of clothing. I would love to be able to source
remnant & dead stock fabrics and make them into new garments in the future while
continuing to support ethical and fair manufacturing. We also plan to ship worldwide.
launch your business?
I’ve always loved swimwear because I’ve spent so much time living abroad and
traveling tropical countries. The idea came to me years ago when I was living in
Cambodia and saw how bad the plastic pollution was in Asia. It was not until about a year ago when I discovered that you could make swimwear from recycled ocean
plastic that I decided I need to do it. It's been almost exactly one year since I decided to create the brand and its been a long slow process, but I am finally launching in a few weeks.
What made you start your own business?
Seeing the damage plastic is doing to our ocean while I lived in Asia was what
sparked the idea in me to want to help. I also thought that having my own business
would mean I could travel more, but it’s the opposite! It requires a lot of time and
dedication to start a brand so it's important that you're doing it because you feel passionate about something that you want to change. For me, it was wanting to help clean our oceans & give back to local communities that had supported me so much when I was traveling. I feel strongly about creating positive change within the fashion industry and that keeps me going.
Did you have any business knowledge or work experience before setting up?
Nope! I have no background in Business or Fashion. Most of my work experience
has been in office admin which helps a little with the admin of starting a business,
but mostly I am just making it up and learning as I go. I think if you want to do
something you should just start, don’t let the lack of knowledge put you off because you learn the most when you're doing it!
What does a typical business day look like for you?
I try to get up early most days If I can (around 6.30 am) and make sure my phone is
on aeroplane, so I don’t get distracted with notifications or the news. I try to have a
good morning routine that is going to set me up for the day so that’s things like doing a workout or going for a walk first thing, yoga & meditation. Then I try to start working by 8.30 am & write down my to-do list and try to break the day up into chunk. Some days I struggle with productivity so it’s something I’m working on.
What is the inspiration/message for your brand?
I want Junk to inspire women to shop with a positive impact on the planet.
What has been your biggest challenge you have come across since launching
or pre-launching your business?
The main challenge has been that everything has cost more than I had planned and
taken longer than planned. I have tried to do everything as sustainably as possible
which has occurred a few extra costs – for example compostable hygiene liners for
the swimwear cost almost triple the price of the plastic ones. & of course, launching a brand during COVID 19 has meant delays with the factory & facing uncertain times which was a massive worry at times.
Is there anything you would have done differently in the first month/year?
I wouldn’t change anything because its all been a learning curve and I think you
need to make mistakes to learn important lessons in business. That being, I haven’t
launched yet so maybe ask me again in a year!
Lastly, what advice would you give someone if they want to start a business?
Just go for it, even if you don’t have any experience. I like the saying ‘if you aren’t
ashamed of your first product, you launched too late’ I strongly believe in giving
things a go and learning from your mistakes early on.