A big part of what we do at Vevolution is to encourage and showcase businesses doing good in the world. Earlier in the year our Vevolution Topics: Ethical Fashion event highlighted entrepreneurs creating cruelty free fashion.
So we were excited when earlier this month Vevolution speaker and TV personality Tiffany Watson launch her cruelty fashion brand THREESIXFIVE. Judy sat down with Tiffany to ask her some questions about this exciting new brand.
To start this off it would be great to know what introduced you to the idea of veganism? And when did you decide to switch to a vegan lifestyle?
I have been vegetarian from a very young age due to growing up on a farm and developing a strong connection and love for animals. I had never thought further into veganism or the dairy industry until my sister invited me to a PETA talk all about the dairy industry and straight away after that I became fully plant based and then started making changes to my lifestyle and choices to be vegan.
So you’ve recently launched new vegan leather brand THREESIXFIVE. Congratulations! How did the launch go?
Thank you! The launch of Threesixfive has been amazing and so much more then I could have ever hoped for. It is always nerve racking launching your own business or product and the reaction it is going to receive, so to receive so much positive feedback so far means the world to me.
What does THREESIXFIVE mean?
I called the brand Threesixfive because our brand motto is ‘Make Every Day Count’. We wanted to create a brand that encouraged people to be the best versions of themselves and plan and focus on their goals with our motivational planners. There is also the aspect that we want to encourage people to make good choices every day that help the planet and the animals that live on it, which is why all our planners are vegan leather and recycled paper. We believe if we all made small changes like this every day then the world would be a much better and happier place!
How did the idea for THREESIXFIVE come about?
I have always wanted to start my own business from a very young age. Before going on Made in Chelsea, I went to business school and am very organised and business minded. After being Vegan for about two years, I identified a huge gap in the market for vegan leather luxury goods such as stationary. I myself love buying a lovely planner/diary at the start of each year but don’t want to buy into the leather industry so I wanted to create an alternative for people.
What we find super exciting about your THREESIXFIVE diaries is that in an increasingly tech and online focused world we crave to get offline and go more analogue. Was this your intention to get people offline and to connect with the written word again?
Definitely! I think most people nowadays use their phone and laptop for just about everything, myself included. However I do find writing things down now is so much better for me and therapeutic! Especially when it is goal and wellness focused and you want to have the time to sit down and think about these things before writing them down. I find writing down my goals or what I want to achieve each day really helps me to feel much more relaxed and in control of our stressful every day lives.
Who do you envisage being your main customer - the vegan, fashion or wellness community?
I would like to imagine it as a mix of all three. A few people have said ‘Oh I’m not vegan so I can’t buy this product’ which is not what I want at all. I want to be able to show people who aren’t vegan but that are into fashion or wellness there are great alternatives to leather and vice versa.
For people who don’t know the horrors of animal exploitation in the fashion and leather industry what do you think is the most effective way of communicating this information?
This is a really tricky one as I have found myself on my own personal social media pages that if I try to explain what goes on with animal exploitation people get angry and say I’m being preachy and turn away from it. If I’m honest I have found the most effective way of communicating this is by showing all the great benefits of being vegan, the amazing food, the health benefits etc. I’m still trying to work out the best approach to showing the horrors behind animal exploitation so I will keep you posted!
Ethical lifestyle and fashion has not always been sexy. Now it's mega sought after. Why do they think that’s changed?
Totally! I think there used to be a stigma that someone who was vegan was a hemp wearing hippy and nowadays it is a complete norm which is so great! I think this is down to influential people within the vegan community spreading the word and showing they live a very normal lifestyle and it’s cool to be kind.
What material is the THREESIXFIVE diaries made from?
They are made from a PU fibre. We spent a lot of time researching and testing out different materials to make sure we had a material that felt and looked similar to leather but harmed no animals in the process. We also made sure all our diaries are sewn at the spine as oppose to using glue, which often comes from whales or fish.
There are people within the vegan world who believe that faux leather products promote the idea of leather being cool. What are your views on this?
I would have to completely disagree with this. It is similar to faux fur. I myself love faux fur and wear it often, however a few people have commented saying I’m encouraging people to wear fur as it looks cool. My response is that I am simply advocating that there are great alternatives to fur and leather and none of us need to wear or use fur and leather that harms animals when we have such great and easily accessible alternatives all around us!
A big part of your THREESIXFIVE diary seems to help and encourage people to be more mindful with being able set intentions for the week, note healthy eating, daily fitness routines and water intake. We think this absolutely brilliant! How do you personally maintain a work/life balance and ensure that you stay on top of every element of your wellbeing and life?
Yes, a huge part of the Threesixfive 2018 planners is encourage people to set goals for themselves and remind people to work out, eat well and drink lots of water. It is definitely a struggle to stay on top of every element of our wellbeing with our crazy and hectic work schedules plus the other 100 things we all have to keep on top of in life but for me I really enjoy eating well and working out so I will make sure I find the time to fit in work outs and will make sure I make those healthy choices when it comes to eating. Of course there is always going to be times when you can’t do these things, for example sometimes my weeks will be just too busy to fit in a work out and late nights and early starts and a lack of sleep makes me crave easy and often unhealthy foods but I am not hard on myself when this happens as we can’t be perfect all the time! I definitely need to encourage myself to drink more water though because I often forget and find myself getting to the end of the day and having only drunk a couple of glasses, which is why having the tracking system in our planner is a great reminder in the morning to drink lots of water to keep us hydrated and feeling great.
You must have learnt a lot by setting up your own business and launching a new product. What advice can you offer to someone who wants to setup a new business and/or launch a new product?
My advice to anyone starting a new business would be that you need to have a passion behind the product/concept and believe in it or I really don’t think it’ll work. I also would advise to not get stressed when things don’t go as planned as I have found when starting a new business there are constantly things going wrong and time delays so you just have to roll with it and try and keep calm and positive!
What are your hopes for THREESIXFIVE in 2018?
My goals for Threesixfive in 2018 is to bring out further vegan leather luxury products and continue to grow the business and hopefully build up a loyal customer base!