At Emperors’ we work hard to live by our core values, we believe that the fashion industry should be transparent, sustainably produced and inclusive in its representation of every part of society.
We are always striving to do better to lessen the environmental impact of our clothing production. We provide a safe + supportive working environment for our employees. So that The Emperor’s Old Clothes brand + the products we produce are as sustainable, inclusive and as accessible as possible. We always try our best but don’t claim to be perfect on any of these fronts and value constructive feedback from our customers, followers + peers.
Running a business sustainably is at the heart of what we do and that means working in a radical way to minimise our environmental impact.
We work with limited amounts of vintage + deadstock fabrics because we are dedicated to using up what already exists rather than adding to new textile production. We are working to make our entire supply chain including haberdashery as transparent as possible, working with local manufacturers where we can to lessen the overall carbon footprint of all our products.
We have a strict zero fabric waste policy in our Brighton studio.
All our garments are made from end of roll fabrics, the remnants created during the cutting of our garments go to making our accessories and the tiny leftover scraps are either donated to local craft projects, textile recycled or made into scrap kits so you can take part in the handmade joy and get crafty at home.
We are proud to be working with RePack to provide an innovative circular packaging system. Want to know more?
We are so proud to be a living wage employer in the UK.
This means that each member of our team is paid the living wage or higher for Brighton & Hove. This includes our seamstresses, marketing assistants and models.
Unusually for our industry we also ensure that our core team are salaried. This means no zero hour contracts, no being paid ‘per items sewn’. We set an hourly rate and have clear contracts in place so everyone knows where they stand. This may seem obvious for those who work 9-5 but this is very unusual in the fashion industry, especially in garment production.
We believe employers have a responsibility to be transparent, to invest in their teams and to ensure job security to the best of their ability.
Despite being small we have centred these values so they are firmly in place as we grow.
MEET THE TEAM
HEAD OF SALES / MARKETING + CO-OWNER
Hi I’m Cecily and I founded The Emperor’s Old Clothes in 2012. With the help of our team I design our collections, pattern-cut all our designs and cut out the many of our garments. I also run our customer service, marketing and do a lot of our photography – the many hats of a small business owner!
I have the amazing job of sourcing all our beautiful fabrics. I also do lots of the less exciting jobs which make up the day-to-day aspects of the business.
If you get in touch whether via email or Instagram it’s very likely to be me answering your queries and helping you design your wardrobe with us.
HEAD OF PRODUCTION + CO-OWNER
Louisa runs production here at Emperor’s HQ making sure everything in the studio is running smoothly. This includes overseeing our traineeship programme helping them develop their skills and understanding.
Louisa is an incredibly talented seamstress. She does a lot of sewing here at Emperor’s including overseeing the beautiful finishing on our ready to wear and your design your own pieces.
An integral part of the team for the last five years, Louisa is now a co-owner of the business. She does the majority of our HR to look after our awesome team as well as other fun jobs like book-keeping behind the scenes.
Lucy joined us in December 2019. She’s an awesome seamstress who works alongside Louisa, Alice, Camilla + Daryna creating your design your own garments and ready to wear collections.
She also helps me (Cecily) with pattern tracing + cutting garments so they’re ready to sew.
CUSTOMER SERVICE, INVENTORY + SEAMSTRESS
Alice is a super talented seamstress with a background in teaching sewing. She works alongside Louisa + Lucy creating your design your own garments + our ready to wear collections. Alice also helps with the fit testing of our extended sizes.
Alice works alongside me within customer service helping customers with your orders and sizing queries. She runs our fabric inventory making sure every one-of-a-kind fabric is accounted for!
Camilla is an awesome seamstress who works alongside Louisa, Lucy, Alice + Nicki to bring your design your own garments and ready to wear collections to life.
Camilla is also part of our cutting team alongside Lucy + I (Cecily).
Camilla joined us in June 2020.
MARKETING + GRAPHIC DESIGN
Ella makes sure our online shop is kept up to date and running smoothly. She does a lot of our photography, writes for our blog and performs general marketing activities. She also does all the graphic design here at Emperor’s HQ.
Ella has been part of the team on/off for the past five years in between her studies and travels.
Nicki is also currently doing her trainee seamstress placement with us. Under Louisa’s supervision she is learning all about production here at Emperor’s HQ, developing her sewing skills and gaining experience in our working studio.
Nicki joined us in September 2020.
Nathalie makes sure your items are wrapped and ready to send out to their new homes. She wraps every item, sets them up with their circular packaging RePack envelope so they are ready to ship.
Nathalie joined us in August 2020.
WORK WITH US
We believe in giving back to our community + doing our bit in making sure that creative production is accessible in our industry.
Our traineeships are 4-6 months long with one day a week at the Emperor’s studio working as part of our team. Trainees gain essential sewing skills, develop their understanding of garment production and get the opportunity to make themselves one of our garments from start to finish to cement their learning (which they get to keep of course).
Trainees also gain experience in a working studio which is an essential first step to breaking into this industry.
Traineeships are free. We believe in inclusivity – there is often a large financial barrier to developing this skill set as many people either pay to study it or teach themselves at home (equipment, fabric and other materials needed to build up skills are not cheap). This is why we feel it’s important to offer this placement for free.
As a small business we are putting time and resources into our trainees but this is something we are proud and committed to doing.
If you are interested in our traineeships please get in touch.
We work with local schools and colleges to offer two weeks of work experience for their students each year.
Practical skills and an understanding of the workplace is SO important for young people.
We try to give back by giving our students a snapshot of our creative processes with a week in the life of Emperor’s studio.
If you are interested in our work experience placements please get in touch.
MODEL FOR US
We care about intersectionality + this very much applies to our models. We want to work with models of different ethnicities, marginalised genders, abilities, ages and sizes. Sick of only seeing thin, white, able-bodied, young cis women in fashion campaigns? Us too!
We aim to represent different intersections of society in our marketing but we can always do better and you can help.
We work with a mixture of professional and non-professional models including some of our customers – professional experience is not essential but you must be comfortable in front of the camera.
Models must be local or be able to come to Brighton UK where we are based.
Our shoots are very low maintenance with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. We pay all our models an hourly living wage (or in store credit if preferred).
If you are interested in modelling for us please get in touch.
Amazing things happen when we work together.
We love to team up with like-minded organisations, brands and artists to work on exciting, relevant projects.
You will see from our social media that we have very strong opinions on topics like representation, sustainability and fair pay so it won’t come as a surprise that we are only interested in projects that align with our ethics.
Have something in mind that you think we might love? Please get in touch