If you are fed up with mass-produced fast-fashion, Doc Cotton comes with the technology for you to design your clothes in the most print-full way! Organically and sustainably sourced in the UK and handmade with just organic cotton and 3D printing. This brand is on a mission to personalise the nation’s wardrobe, creating affordable, customised and sustainable clothing. Individuality. Independence. Innovation. Because bespoke sustainable printed garments are a growing trend in our ethical world!
If you are ready to personalise your wardrobe and design your clothes, the guys of Doc Cotton have brought us the tech we all were waiting for – and with 400 prints to choose from. We can only be sustainable if we truly love the garments buy and make them last. Ready to jazz up your wardrobe and learn about this amazing brand? Without further ado, we let you with James, Dayland and Zohra!
What made you start Doc Cotton and what is the mission behind the brand?
James Pickard (Founder): Starting Doc Cotton with the idea of empowering the national to design their own garments through sustainability was the driving force for me. I wanted to be able to buy the clothes I wanted to wear and offer that opportunity for the wider public. After years of research, talking to friends, family and industry insiders, looking at existing companies and websites as well as small boutiques, I envisaged one vision in mind: to make bespoke sustainable printed garments a growing trend and the norm. The mission behind our brand is simple: fed up with mass-produced fast-fashion, we are on a mission to personalise the nation’s wardrobe, creating affordable, customised and sustainable clothing. From the moment this idea was born to the opening of our first shop in Peckham, our mission statement remains the same, to empower you, our customer, to create your own wardrobe. We want you to create personalised clothes that you choose to wear rather than trawling through numerous retailers, only to settle on second best. We want you to let us be your own brand as opposed to being constrained by someone else’s. Individuality. Independence. Innovation. This is what we strive for.
What is the solution you offer to fight fast fashion and chose a more sustainable and ethical way of consuming and producing clothes?
At Doc Cotton, we want to minimise our impact on the environment, empower our employees and produce high quality, personalised garments built to last. We are leading the backlash against disposable fast fashion. Join us in our movement taking up arms against fast fashion. We use 100% cotton sourced from trusted sustainable and organic suppliers, we are making progress and always striving to achieve this with our suppliers. When it comes to printing garments, we use the digital printing process, which lowers water use by 60%, the energy consumption by 55% and CO2 emissions by 95%. This, in turn, prevents the industrial water pollution caused by fabric dyeing and treatment in emerging markets. Other ways we endeavour to accomplish ethical ways of producing clothes is that our garments are manufactured in-house at our Peckham studio, minimising transport costs and reducing our carbon footprint. Our talented seamstresses and production team are at the forefront of designing your garments and are paid a rate in excess of the London Living Wage. Additionally, we like to ensure that no garments are wasted as each garment is made specifically for their owner- this ensures fair disposal and minimising wastage.
As for your name, we would believe you use cotton to produce the garments. And are you using any other materials and where do you source it from?
Yes, that is correct, our clothes are organic and we are constantly striving to make all aspects of our business and supply chain 100% ethical and sustainable. We use trusted leading UK companies who are proud of their ethical stance and values when it comes to materials and supplying materials.
What is the process someone goes through when deciding to design their clothes?
Customers firstly choose from the different garment style they like and the size they want, then choose from over 400+ prints supplied by our local artists via the website or on our Ipads in the shop. Alternatively, they can upload their own designs and we encourage them to use their own artwork! If they are not using their own artwork, as long as they have sought permission from the artist, they have free reign when it comes to choosing their own prints. They then can view the mock of their new garment and adjust the size of the print. Our top of the range digital printer prints the design onto the fabric, ensuring a high-quality finish. The fabric is treated and cut to size before our talented seamstresses construct your garment by hand at our studio in Peckham. Last but not least, finishing touches with the additional options of buttons and threads to jazz up the garment. Finally, the personalised, hand-made garment will be sent within 5-7 days of making an order.
Also, what kind of packaging do you use?
We are passionate about our 0% plastic packaging and use recyclable cardboard boxes to package your handmade garment. This is then secured with quality biodegradable natural fibre jute string. All our boxes come marked with the name of our talented production team-member, so you always know who made your shirt.
What have been the most creative clothing pieces people have designed on your website?
There have been some amazing designs come through, we are always impressed by people’s’ creativity! We had someone recreate a vintage poster with The California so think sunsets, palm trees and a sports car. Some creative clothing pieces are wacky and out there and some are very simple – it’s all about the people’s’ taste!
Any top prints that are your clients’ favourites?
As we feature over 15 designers, we can’t disclose any favourites! However, we do have over 400 prints to choose from which is really exciting for those who want to jazz up their garments from a wide selection. Having said this, we do see the same prints come up here and there from the same designers which just shows good taste! It really depends on personal style and taste and what you like the look of on our website. It is so easy to come away from the website getting a garment of every style in different prints which is great for making a sustainable wardrobe.
You are based in the UK, how does a social entrepreneurial venture look like there? Do you feel there’s a change happening in the country?
As we are really lucky to be based in Peckham Levels which has a close-knit community feel, this really helps us do our work as we have amazing brands and people within the building, which helps and inspires us with our work. It changes the way we work too and allows us to collaborate more effectively. We definitely think there is a change happening in the country as more and more people are leaving bigger companies to work for brands and startups with a social entrepreneurial viewpoint. The recently shift and enquiry into sustainability, global warming and climate change has really forced people to take notice of all the issues at play, what with the BBC documentary with Stacey Dooley and the Parliamentary Select Committee enquiry into fast fashion. The fact companies, individuals and the government are publicly acknowledging the effects of our action means we are well on the way to strive for progress, if not perfection.
What has been the greatest success of the brand so far?
The biggest joy for us is seeing how people create their own designs and their reactions to the finished garment they’ve chosen. We also really love looking at how our customers style outfits and incorporate it into their wardrobe, which is a major factor for us.
Is there any advice you’d like to give to other businesses trying to make a difference for good?
We’d say to set out your values early on in the process and stick to the moral and ethical purpose and the rest will come naturally!
If you could write a message on a big wall that the entire world could read, what would it say?
Daylan, Production Manager: “Buy our stuff’
James. Founder + CEO: “Sustainable doesn’t mean boring”
Zohra, Marketing Manager “Be a flamingo, always”
Finally, where can we find you? Shops, online, worldwide…?
We have a shop based in Peckham Levels where our studio and workspace also is! You can come into the shop and order on the spot and browse through our current collections or shop online via our website. We offer worldwide delivery. We are also appearing at events throughout the year including York Fashion Week and Beckenham Place Mansion Yuletide Fayre so please keep an eye on our social media so you can check us out in person!
UPDATE 2019! DOC COTTON JUST LAUNCHED A MARKETPLACE
Doc Cotton has just launched its new marketplace. The marketplace is an innovative way of purchasing sustainably and ethically made clothes by independent designers. Garments are made to order, with no stock being held, adhering to Doc Cotton’s pledge towards sustainability.
The marketplace allows designers to launch their own store in minutes as Doc Cotton provides the framework for designers to apply their own prints to a range of pre-designed garments. The entire production process is managed by Doc Cotton, including the sourcing of fabric, digital printing and construction of the items to ensure the strictest sustainable and ethical practices.
Doc Cotton have also launched their #LovedClothes policy where customers can return their used Doc Cotton garments in return for a 20% discount off their next order. These garments will then be re-used or upcycled in an environmentally friendly way and customers will be notified about the destination of their old garments.
Is there any other similar brand you know or are curious about? Comment below, and we will make it happen!