How origami inspired my sustainable fashion business
Ryan is 26 years old and the founder of a wearable technology company.
Ryan switched aeronautical engineering for sustainable fashion when he noticed how quickly his nephew was outgrowing his baby clothes.
Ryan used to work as an aeronautical engineer designing satellites. He turned his attention to the fashion industry when he bought some clothes for his nephew in Denmark, but by the time they reached him, he’d outgrown them.
Ryan learned that “children grow seven sizes in their first two years on earth” and was shocked by the idea of how many sets of clothes this meant, how wasteful the cycle of buying and discarding outfits must be, and how much harm it could cause for the environment.
So, he set about combining his engineering skills with inspiration from the world of art and origami, to create clothes that grow with children.
How can sustainable fashion help the planet?
When clothing is produced quickly, with cheap fabrics, cheap labour and to satisfy changing trends, it’s called ‘fast fashion.’
Fast fashion can have a lot of negative impacts. For instance, it’s wasteful. It can also be it’s harmful to the environment and wildlife because of the synthetic materials and toxic dyes used. In addition, some fast fashion factories are not always run in an ethical, safe or fair way.
Sustainable wearable technology companies, like Ryan's, aim to produce clothing without many of these negative impacts.
What to expect if you want to own your own business
Working for yourself looks different for each person and each business, but in general it means you:
run your own business and are responsible for its success
can decide how, when and where you do your work
charge an agreed, fixed price to perform your work
sell goods or services to make a profit
can hire people at your own expense to help you or to do the work for you.
The salary and working hours when you own a business can vary enormously but what's most important is you work hard and love what you do.
You can be both employed and self-employed at the same time. You can work for your employer during the day, for example, and run your own business in the evenings and at weekends. It’s important to contact HMRC for advice if you’re not sure if you’re self-employed.
You can get help with setting up or developing your business, through the government’s business support services, for example, for advice about tax or about how to find funding to start your business.