S3 E9 : Lydia Bolton

The slow fashion designer making major changes at the core of the industry

In this episode:

We were honoured to welcome Lydia Bolton into the Club to share her incredible founder story during this very special live episode of the podcast.

From realities of working in the industry as a fresh fashion grad, to the moment she realised she had a responsibility as a founder to create the designs and changes in the industry that she want’s to see.

Since this moment Lydia has taken the industry by storm and become a leading force for upcycling movement. Not only creating her own sell out line, but making huge changes by collaborating with major fashion brands (such as as Nike) create real impact at the core of the industry.

This journey really showcases the real and raw realities of growing a business, with the need to balance various roles to make ends meet and the need to learn the business skills to turn your passion into a successful venture.



Included in this episode:


  • Lydia’s realisation after leaving University that it wasn’t going to be easy to secure a job in the industry.
  • The reality of taking the first steps in the fashion industry by having to work full time in a pub every evening and all day in an internship in the day.
  • The moment she realised she needed to follow her values and make a change in the industry “as a designer it’s your responsibility to create what you believe in”.
  • Leaving her internship to focus on growing her own brand whilst still working full time in the pub. Seeing starting a business a her own internship in business.
  • After completing a sustainability in fashion course she discovered exactly what she wanted to you. She focused on giving life to the clothes in charity shops that people didn’t want to buy. Contacted Trade and gathered the textiles they knew wouldn’t sell, and offered a donation.
  • After seeing Lydia’s University final year showcase, Lydia was contacted by an Artist who was playing at Glastonbury and asked for Lydia to create a piece for her to wear.
  • Learning how to make it into a business. Lydia soon realised she needed to up-skill and learn how to sell if she was going to make it successful.
  • Core lesson during lockdown that she needed to create pieces that people wanted, rather than just created lines for her own pleasure. 
  • She needed to become a brand, rather than be seen as a hobbiest.
  • As she worked more on her brand identity she was approach by Nike for a collaboration in store. This snowballed into being approached by many more brands. Lydia puts this down to being clear on her purpose and communicating it clearly. 
  • Lydia’s passion for working with bigger fashion brands as she knows she can reach new audiences of those who are less sustainably minded and make a bigger impact.
  • Lydia’s thoughts on the future of sustainable fashion: Creative thinking around serious issues and the need to lean towards transparency.

More from Lydia Bolton