Meet The Founder Of This Responsible Brand
Meet The Founder Of This Responsible Brand

Meet The Founder Of This Responsible Brand

In this series, we talk to the founders of fast-growing brands that are creating better circularity and encouraging positive change in the fashion industry. Ahead of World Earth Day tomorrow, ex-Vivienne Westwood buyer Esther Knight tells us more about her award-winning Fanfare Label.
By Sapna Rao


I’ve worked in the fashion industry for over 12 years. I started out as a buyer and worked my way up to developing collections across a broad range of womenswear departments. After experiencing first-hand how fashion businesses drive profits at the expense of protecting the planet – and the people making the clothes – I recognised the urgent need to create a brand that considers the end of a product's lifecycle and aims to reduce the wastage caused by the wider fashion industry. 

I got my start at Vivienne Westwood. During my time there I learned so much about sustainable fashion. About eight years ago, I predicted there would be a major shift towards more ethical practices in this industry – a change I’m proud to say I’m a part of. 

Fanfare Label is a sustainable women’s clothing brand. I manage the day-to-day running of the company, ensuring our operations are responsible and that we’re working towards a triple bottom line: profit, planet and people, and considering them all in equal measure. 

The goal is to change the way people shop and consume fashion. Fanfare Label only produces garments that ensure lasting longevity and recyclability. When I started the brand, my mission wasn’t just to create an alternative way to make garments but to educate the consumer on how to make more conscious shopping decisions.

My personal style is very focused. I like knowing I have pieces I can wear time and again, styled up in multiple ways. I love vintage clothes and anything oversized. You’ll often see me wearing our jeans, too. I buy pieces that will stand the test of time and that are higher quality.



Seek help in the areas that aren't your forte. There are so many different components that go into running a business – from intellectual property to accounting – and most young creatives don’t learn this side of things even during a degree course, so getting some advice on non-fashion related topics is extremely valuable. I did this through business support programmes, something I highly recommend young entrepreneurs use too. These mentorships helped me find direction in areas outside of my usual skill set – from building advisory boards to expanding my network.

Speak to as many other designers and business owners as possible. Talking to others who have done something similar is so helpful. Having that one-to-one mentor is key in the early days to make sure you’re headed in the right direction. The industry is extremely complex, and it’s often hard to know where you fit in, but the right support will keep you focused. 

Don’t shy away from social media. One of my biggest regrets was not pushing myself out of my comfort zone when it came to posting content about the brand’s journey. I shied away from it thinking people wouldn’t care, but I’ve since realised how important this kind of content is for building brand loyalty. It gives customers an insight into the company and allows them to get to know it and get to know you. If I could do things over, this would be something I’d really lean into. 

Be the brand. I can’t emphasise how important it is to live and breathe your brand. Being accessible to my community has made all the difference, so don’t be afraid to tell your story. Be proud of being a small business.


Sustainability is deeply rooted in our operations. Some of our circular initiatives include using the latest innovative sustainable fabrics, with collections made from sustainably certified materials such as OEKO-TEX and GOTS organic cottons, as well as ethically made linens and recycled textiles. 

Education is central to the brand. We want to use our clothes to educate and encourage a change in mindset and a more sustainable approach from our customers. We do this by inspiring a ‘buy to last’ mentality – to not regard any fashion piece as disposable. We start the design process by considering a garment’s end of life and are passionate about limiting the amount of waste caused by the wider fashion industry.

Each garment is crafted with purpose in the UK and Portugal. We use women-led suppliers and family run businesses, supporting the wider community and ensuring ethical production. We design and produce clothing that lasts longer, is durable, has good material health, and good recyclability and traceability.

Reducing waste is a top priority. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reported a stat that, each year, $500 billion is lost due to the underutilisation of recyclable clothing, and less than 1% of all materials produced for clothing are recycled into new clothing. I knew we couldn’t contribute to this, so Fanfare limits waste by turning clothing and textile waste into premium products. It allows us to be more innovative with our collections and intelligently reuse existing materials. We also have a recycled collection that takes clothing and textile wastage that would have ended up in landfill, and repurposes both into new garments. It’s called Fanfare Repurposed and it’s become part of the brand’s DNA now.



Our customer is a fashion-conscious person who likes to stand out from the crowd. They enjoy owning unique pieces that no one else has, and supporting small businesses. They also want to work towards building a sustainable, stylish wardrobe that will be relevant for years to come. 

Our linen and our jeans are our bestsellers. In fact, they have been since day one. We chose to focus on these two materials as they promote the best longevity. Linen and denim will always be relevant in your wardrobe.

My favourite pieces include the Navy Linen Co-ord Set – because it suits every body shape. I also love the High Waisted Organic & Recycled Wool jeans. They’re our signature jean and it was actually the first pair of denim we ever launched. The High Waisted Organic & Recycled Floral Trim Blue Jeans also have such a beautiful trim and when we were designing them, we wanted it to look like a hand-drawn illustration of leaves. 

The best thing about our collections is the versatility. You can wear our garments multiple ways – for example, jeans can be dressed up with heels or down with boots, trainers and an oversized blazer or jumper. Personally, I love wearing our jeans with an oversized vintage blazer, a white tee, gold necklaces, white socks and a pair of chunky brogues. 

My top care tip is to only wash your clothes when you need to. Over-washing wears out the fibres in your garments faster, creating holes and tears in your clothing. For clothes that are not dirty but need a little freshening up, airing them on a rack and giving them a quick brush is more than enough. When we wash clothes made out of polyester, nylon, acrylic or other synthetic fibres – all of which are forms of plastic – thousands of tiny microfibres shed from the garments, so it helps to filter out the microfibres by investing in a microfibre catcher (such as a Guppy Bag) for your washing. You can also wash your clothes at a colder temperature and avoid using the dryer. Finally, stitch pieces before you ditch them – instead of replacing your garment with a new one, repair the one you already have. 


2023 is an exciting year for Fanfare Label. We are looking at expanding into wholesale and have some key partners lined up. We’re also ready to make the most of Fashion Week, which is really exciting. We hope this will give our customers the chance to shop Fanfare Label pieces in person – sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about our workshops, events and socials.

Our next campaign is coming soon. As a brand, we don’t follow the traditional fashion model in terms of new drops – instead, we’re really proud to create products that stay in circulation and are relevant season after season. This next collection will expand our popular linen range and explore new takes on Fanfare Label silhouettes. We’ve also just launched a collection of upcycled denim. 

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