Lulu O'Connor, Founder of Clothes Doctor, wanted to help people extend the life of their clothes by the way they clean, protect, repair and alter them. With their eco-friendly detergents, plastic-free clothing care products and awareness around fast fashion, Clothes Doctor is playing an important role in looking after our planet.
We hope you enjoy our conversation with Lulu.
Tell us about your background.
I grew up in the countryside, in the depths of Cornwall – quite idyllic really! I studied Economics at university and had a career in the City before launching Clothes Doctor.
How did Clothes Doctor come about? Why did you see a gap in the market?
I think my interest in clothing care stemmed partly from my own ignorance and terrible shopping habits. I made all the classic errors of impulse buying stuff that I didn’t need, filling my wardrobe with clothes that I had no idea how to look after properly, but once I realised that most of these would end up in landfill when I was finished with them, it really changed my mindset, and that’s how Clothes Doctor was born. I suppose I thought that if I didn’t have a clue, there would be lots of people of my generation who had grown up with fast fashion, and also didn’t have good information or understanding of how to care for clothes.
What’s been the biggest challenge you have faced as a brand so far?
I reckon it would have to be the quick adjustment to the pandemic in March 2020. At the time we had an office in London where customers could visit us and we took their orders for repairs and alterations. With lockdown, we had to close our office and return our business model to being 100% digital. We also closed our workshop and our seamstresses began working from home. Our customers quickly adapted to this and it was a very positive year at Clothes Doctor, in spite of the crazy circumstances.
What inspires you and motivates you?
The constant positive feedback and reviews from our customers. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them so it’s always great to hear what they have to say.
What are you most excited to work on over the next few months?
Our new Subscription boxes! Our team has gathered some of our favourite eco-friendly laundry products in fun, informative and convenient subscription boxes, designed to suit your laundry personality! We really want to bring a little slice of pleasure and luxury to your routine by finding your laundry personality, and start looking forward to laundry day! In each box we’ve also included a useful guide on how to use all the products and how to care for your clothing properly so that everything is delivered to you by a simple click of a button.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to set up their own company or starting a new project?
If you really believe in your project, be 100% persistent and dedicated to it!
What does sustainability mean to you as a brand?
It means that you are making the most of your wardrobe and creating a “long term relationship” with your clothes. Whether it’s by the way you wash, refresh or repair your clothes, it’s very important for us to know we’re helping you make your clothes last and keeping them in circulation.
At A LITTLE FIND you can find brands and products for all your home and beauty needs, with a particular focus on sustainability and being kind to our planet. What would be your top tip to help encourage others to live more sustainably and mindfully?
There are really very small changes you can start doing that can really have a huge impact on our planet. Buy plastic free, cruelty free and naturally fragranced detergents (just like ours! :)), wash clothes at cooler temperatures, choose to hand wash where you can, and repair/alter your clothes rather than buying new!
What do you look for when finding the perfect gift?
I totally agree with what William Morris said, that you should have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful, so I try to stick to that when it comes to gifts. Although I have learnt from experience that if it comes down to it, then beautiful usually trumps useful! :)
What are your LITTLE FINDs (Top 3 favourite products on our site)?
- Mint Sea Soak Bath Salts by French Girl (just moved into a new house with a bath – it’s my new thing).
- Silk Turban in Leopard by Slip.
- Hydrating Duo Set by Pestle & Mortar.
It’s always fun to end on a quickfire round...