Buy less, choose well & make it last
This week we sit down and chat to Lithuanian husband and wife Vilija and Rimsky, the co-founders of So Cosy. We discuss the journey behind building a sustainable and environmentally conscious homeware brand and why they chose Baby Alpaca Wool for their home accessories.
BABY ALPACA PERU
BABY ALPACA PERU
WHEN DID YOU REALISE THAT YOU WANTED TO START SO COSY?
So Cosy began its journey almost a decade ago from the stalls of Spitalfields market. Soon we realised that we were getting incredible feedback from our customers, receiving comments like 'This is the softest blanket that I have ever had' or 'It's like being cuddled! It's so warm' . This encouraged us to pursue So Cosy as a full time job and after a really successful weekend at the Country Living Show in 2011, we decided to quit our jobs and created So Cosy Ltd.
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE DOING TODAY IF YOU DID NOT FOUND SO COSY?
We would probably be working as fashion designers as this is something that we both enjoy very much.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE CHALLENGES OF BEING A HOMEWARE DESIGNER NOWADAYS?
I think that we face different challenges, from the creative process to the final production. However, when it comes to designing a new product, you have to trust that what you have in mind is going to work for your customer in terms of colours, materials and design and this can be a bit nerve wracking.
WHAT DOES A NORMAL DAY AS AN ILLUSTRATOR LOOK LIKE?
Everyday is different. For example, this time last year we were preparing our pop up shop at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which was extremely exciting!
When we are not travelling to other shows around the UK and Europe, we are at the office which is a 20 minute walk from our home. We deal with admin, e-mails, shop requests and proceed with the online orders.
We love plants so if it is a Monday, Vilija will be watering them!
BURNT ORANGE BABY ALPACA BLANKET
BURGUNDY BABY ALPACA BLANKET
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO USE BABY ALPACA WOOL FOR A LARGE PORTION OF YOUR DESIGNS?
We have always been inspired by the Peruvian crafts and textiles.
When we discovered the Baby Alpaca wool we loved that it has loads of benefits from a sustainable point of view to a more technical one.
It is light weight, hypoallergenic, extremely strong and incredibly soft and so we decided to use this wool for our blankets, shawls and scarves.
Our designs have been woven in the highlands of The Andes using traditional handlooms and weaving techniques. This allows us to have a clear and honest Fair Trade supply chain and origin for our products. Most importantly, this helps us create a positive impact on the Peruvian communities and individual artisans that we work with.
DOES BABY ALPACA WOOL COME FROM BABY ALPACAS?
We get this question a lot! :) Baby Alpaca wool is not wool that has been sheared from a baby alpaca. This fibre comes from the first ever shearing of an alpaca which makes it rarer and is considered much more valuable due to its extra softness.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE TO THE PERSON WHO PURCHASES ONE OF YOUR PIECES?
We love this Vivienne Westwood quote and would like to communicate the same to our customers: "Buy less. Choose well. Make it last."
A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO US AND OUR CUSTOMERS. COULD YOU TELL US WHAT YOU DO TO APPROACH YOUR BUSINESS IN A MORE SUSTAINABLE WAY?
Our products are made out of wool for a reason. Apart from being luxurious, soft and durable, it is environmentally friendly as it is naturally biodegradable.
We do not take our planet for granted and that is the reason why we decided to use this incredible fibre to produce accessories that won't harm the environment, and due to its high quality they can be passed from generation to generation.
IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ONLY ONE PRODUCT THAT YOU DESIGNED TO TAKE WITH YOU AND CHERISH FOREVER, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE?
Vilija never leaves home for her travels without the 100% Baby Alpaca blanket and I never leave the house without a scarf or a shawl!