Updated: Jul 28, 2021
We got to know Harriet, the founder of Saywood, a local fashion brand that focuses on eco-conscious high-quality pieces that stand the test of time.
Who are you and how do you like your tea?
I’m Harriet and I am the founder of Saywood, a responsible and ethical slow fashion brand that I launched in October 2020 from my spare room.
I like a strong brew with milk, golden in colour. I like a cup of tea in the morning, and then one in the early afternoon at the weekend, or evening on a weekday - ideally with a biscuit or two.
How did you get started with Saywood?
Saywood is something I have been working on for the past four years. Working slowly to create the shirt blocks (‘blocks’ are the starting pattern you can turn into anything else), with a great fit, so I always had a good base to work from. The story has been developing over time, but it has been something I’ve wanted to do since I finished my fashion degree.
When lockdown happened, I just found I had so much more time; I had a weekday job for a brand, but not commuting just gave me the space and time I needed to finish pulling it all together and get it off the ground. The start of lockdown was perfectly timed with me literally having no more light prep work to do. My next step was to start to take action - the labels, the fabric orders, designing the collection, finalising patterns and details, and actually getting the samples made.
How would you describe your personal fashion style?
My personal style is fun and colourful. I love finding unique pieces that are versatile, styles that feel open and you can wear back with anything in your wardrobe. Dress them up or down, I wear the same clothes to work that I do on the weekend, sometimes it is just a matter of the shoes you pick.
What are your future goals for Saywood?
Right now I am focusing on getting the brand out there, making it known to people. But I have so many ideas of where I want to take it. I started out with a collection of shirts, I’d like to expand on this and start to add new product categories. I want to create a social aspect around the brand - being social is part of life, but it’s also part of our wardrobes. We wear our clothes to go out in, to say something about ourselves. I’d like to do workshops, collaborations; there are so many places you can take a brand, when you start you are focused on just displaying what you can, but the future holds a lot of excitement.
Slow fashion is a relatively new term in the history of fashion, can you tell us a bit more about it?
It is a new term, but in the context of fashion history, it is perhaps one of the older tricks in the book. Really fast fashion is one of the newer terms and phenomena, but it has taken over the way fashion is too fast for anything to keep up.
Where fast fashion is about churning out the latest trends in such massive volumes and unethically cheap prices, to be worn for only the next couple of months before you are persuaded to buy the newer trend, slow fashion is quite the opposite. Slow fashion is about small productions, design and make with care, effort and detail behind it. It is about making things last a long time, a lifetime, about pieces being timeless.
Just because something is timeless, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it, it is just not about being the latest trend for trend's sake. It is a way to consider clothing and become more conscious about what you add to your wardrobe edit.