Alpaca Love

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We're super thrilled that the uber amazing Ted & Bessie has joined the #makeoveramillion campaign. For every purchase of one of their children's beanie hats, they donate a meal to a child. Ted and Bessie is the love child of Catherine Price and the result of her love for sustainable clothing, made ethically here in the UK. We wanted to get to know Catherine a little more..

Hi Catherine! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your wonderful knitwear brand.

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I created Ted & Bessie a couple of years ago after my grandparents (Ted & Bessie) passed away. I wanted to create a brand that took the principles they had when growing up at a time where clothing was made to last. They grew up in the war so being sustainable was key to making things last. Of course, I knew this had to come ethically because of my love of animals and their welfare. Each alpaca has a name and is selected for his or her beautiful fleece in order to make our knitwear. We now work with other breeders around the UK who share our ethical practices and collect fleece from them to use for our products. Each item is finished by hand and customers can visit our alpacas to see how well we care for them.
 

Each knitwear product is hand crafted here in the UK, why was it important to you that all aspects of the brand remain local?

Keeping the carbon footprint of the business to a minimum is one of the reasons but I feel it is important to keep manufacturing in the UK alive. Without brands using them they will have no option but to shut. The quality of manufacturing here in the UK is so high, which is a reason I didn’t want to go abroad. I can also visit the factories easily to ensure each process of manufacturing is of the highest quality and completed in an ethical way.

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What are your thoughts on fast fashion? And why is it important for the future to buy sustainably?

We all need to know where our fashion comes from and also where it goes once it has finished its lifespan. Our products come from one of the most sustainable animals on the planet. The processing requires very little water and once the products, over years, have worn out we know they will be 100% biodegradable. The issue with fast fashion is the impact it is having on the planet. Manmade fibers do not break down naturally and end up in our water systems, eventually heading to the ocean and killing marine life. Fast fashion creates items that are disposable and this means consumers expect much more and to pay much less to wear an item maybe a handful of times before disposing of it. We have created a brand that is true to our values and our passion to preserve this beautiful world we live in.

Starting a business can be tough. If you had any advise for someone starting their own venture what would it be?

You have to start with something you love doing. All of your spare time and money will go into your new venture and if you do not love doing it and feel passionate about your cause you will very quickly loose interest. Love what you do first and anything you gain from your business will just be a bonus.

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You are now apart of the vastly growing Hope + Story market place, what would you say to other brands who are keen to get involved?

It is so easy to get involved and help with a great cause. Knowing your sales are helping to stop children living in poverty is very rewarding and I know it will give our customers an even better reason to buy from us.
 

If you had to choose, who would be your favourite Alpaca? We’ll keep it shhh don't worry!

I have a few favourites, they all have such individual personalities but if I had to pick just one it would have to be Luke. He is very naughty but also so sweet and kind. He is always the first one to run over when he spots me coming and he loves to go on walks and explore new places.
 

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Tell us a fun fact we wouldn't know about Alpacas!

Alpacas get lonely so you must always have them in groups of at least three or more. They can get very sad if they are left on their own and make strong bonds with their herd members. They communicate to each other by making cute humming noises, I could listen to them chat for hours!

Click here to find out more about Tedd & Bessie and, of course, to look at their super beautiful, super soft range of Alpaca knitwear.

Suze Hancock