I was first introduced to Sancho’s in September last year by a good friend. She spoke about the incredible ethos of Sancho’s and her love for their products, especially the ethical lioness print t-shirt she has. I was quickly sold on Sancho’s.
Sancho’s was founded in 2014 by Kalkidan and Vidmantas. They witnessed the devastating effects of fast fashion through travelling to developing countries such as Ethiopia. When they returned to the UK they created their own sustainable clothing and lifestyle shop. The shop is in Exeter, Devon where they stock clothing (womenswear and menswear), gifts and accessories from organic and fair trade producers. The clothes are constructed from sustainable natural materials and the aim is to allow us, as customers, to make conscious and informed decisions about what we consume. At last count Sancho’s stock over 25 ethical and sustainable brands including their very own foundation collection designed and made in Devon.
Full disclosure: I’m a massive fan of Kalkidan. I’d go as far as saying I’m a proud fangirl. She is an ethical fashion activist and a Black woman working in an industry dominated by white men. When she realised she didn’t have a seat at the table she created her own table. She’s an incredible woman and a true force for good. Kalkidan wrote an article for The Guardian last month on racism being at the heart of fast fashion. In the article she explains that fast fashion is reliant upon a legacy of colonialism and economic exploitation. The article is insightful and beautifully written. Please read it because it’s brilliant. I’ve linked it here.
You can imagine my shock and elation when Sancho’s reached out to me to ask me about collaborating with them. The timing was perfect because I was in the midst or relaunching this blog to focus on Black-owned businesses. It was a stroke of serendipity.
I was gifted a couple of pieces that I selected. I chose a white cotton t-shirt and navy dungarees, which I had my eye on for a while. Both these pieces are made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. The pieces arrived in simple minimal packaging and of course, no plastic, which is great. The t-shirt is soft and long in the body which is perfect for me. The first thing I noticed about the dungarees was the texture. They feel thick and durable but not heavy. There are no buckles or hardware on them which makes them more classic and easier to style. I sized up to a medium as I wanted them to have a slouchier look. Also, I’m tall (5’11’) and I was worried they may not be long enough in the body for me. I needn’t have worried because they fit perfectly. In fact, the tie fastening shoulder straps means that you can adjust the fit, so if you’re shorter than me (most people are) then they will still fit well. Like most people, I’m a huge fan of pockets. These dungarees have two deep patch pockets on the side of the dungarees which makes a nice change from a scoop-style or trouser-style pocket. They have a straight leg which adds to their versatility as they will look great with chunky boots in the winter. Both these pieces are brilliant and I’ll wear them for years to come. Wearing these pieces makes me feel great because as well as the quality and fit being spot on there’s a peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re wearing fairly and responsibly produced garments.
By buying ethically made clothes you’re voting with your wallet to ensure that the environment and workers are treated with respect. This is an area I’m learning more about and Sancho’s is working diligently to help make a difference. Check out the Sancho’s site as they have lots of lovely pieces. The Sancho’s newsletter is a great source of information on blog topics such as tips for a zero-waste lifestyle, local businesses to support as well as fashion content. When you sign up you’ll also receive a discount code to use online. You can subscribe on the site. You can also support them by following them on instagram @wowsanchos and engaging with their amazing content.