In this months Conscious Conversation, we chat to Lucy, the founder of Bare Kind. After seeing a gap in the market for Eco-socks (not many will buy a pair second hand!) Lucy has poured herself into making good quality, conscious socks which support different animal conservation charities, according to the animal featured on your new pair of socks!
Tell us a little about your background - and how did you get to where you are now with Bare Kind?
I started Bare Kind in 2018 whilst working for a large bank, I wanted to do my bit for the planet that I couldn't get from my day job. Initially, I sold reusable straws to help people reduce their single-use plastic waste, which helped me get to grips with the business. I then built a brand and eventually introduced new products, Bamboo socks being the main feature these days!
After a very successful partnership with the Turtle Foundation, I brought in four more designs that are linked to different animal conservation charities, with 10% of the profits being donated to protect the animal featured on the socks! In November 2020 I took the leap to run the company full time, and I haven't looked back! There is something wonderful about having an impact on the world with the humble sock. The charities I work with do such brilliant work and I am so glad I can help in my own way. I hope to have 20 sock designs, all supporting different charities, by the end of the year.
Why is it important to you to work responsibly and charitably?
I'm not interested in doing business in any other way. I want to showcase that in donating 10% of my profits, I can truly have an impact as well as running a profitable business. Imagine if every product company in the world ran by this model. There would be millions, if not billions, of extra funds going towards charitable causes. In role modelling this behaviour I hope others will follow suit.
From production to packing Bare Kind is a family run business - why is this important to you?
Simply because it's a really enjoyable way to run a business. Mum and I have had such a good time over the last few years, watching the company grow from strength to strength. I realise that my current family model may not be scalable, and as we continue to grow, a warehouse space will be more practical. But my humble beginnings are what makes the brand so loveable.
What do you listen to whilst you’re working? Podcasts/radio/music? Do you know any good eco/slow living podcasts or programs you can share with our customers?
Whilst I am working I listen to 'chill beats', so it doesn't distract me too much. I love the radio and podcasts but I can't listen to them whilst I am working. I don't have any slow living ones as I tend to listen to business ones, but a great podcast for anyone out there is 'The Mindset Mentor', it's helped me deal the challenges of being a solo founder and find the motivation I needed.
Can you offer any thoughts for consumers to consider when making the choice between sustainable and fast fashion?
The sustainable option is the one already in your wardrobe! I take great pride in the shoes and clothing that I have owned for years. Some of my jumpers used to be my mum's so they're getting on for 30 years old and still going strong. But naturally, we all get urges to shop. If you're going to buy new, at least buy something that lasts. But first, have a clear out in your wardrobe, you might find some old gems you forgot you had!
Sustainably handmade or 2nd hand for your own wardrobe?
I definitely have a mix of both. Second hand is preferable but sometimes I treat myself to something new and it will be from a high-quality, small and sustainable brand where possible.
What are your top 3 ethical, independent brands?
Lucy & Yak, Stay Wild Swim (haven't bought from them, saving up to treat myself one day) and Passenger Clothing
What's your star sign/zodiac sign? - Would you say your personality is typical to that sign?
Sagittarius - I can always relate to what they write in my horoscope, but that's probably the idea right!
Can you offer 3 pieces of advice for those of us who want to live more ethically/consciously?
- You don't have to spend a fortune, buy only when you need to.
- Track your spending habits to understand where your 'problem' areas may lie.
- Don't try and do it all at once, take one aspect of your life at a time and see what positive changes you can make.