We recently met up with the beautiful girl behind ‘MADE BY RILEY’. Not only is Riley one of the most beautiful souls and one of the business women we really adore. She is also supporting a wide range of charities with her lovely lounge wear collection.
We love talking to women who do business from their heart and we can definitely say that Riley is one of them.
- What motivates you to continue with the philosophy behind your brand?
I wanted to help make giving back a part of people’s day to day and to show people that small actions really can make big differences. I have always had a really relaxed “off duty” style so starting a conscious and ethical loungewear brand to use as a vehicle for promoting giving back was a natural progression.
- Your brand focuses, primarily, on ‘basics’ – the type of attire that we need daily as opposed to other sustainable companies that have more of a focus on occasion wear. Is there a specific reason for that?
I think people are tired of consuming for consumings sake. People want timeless pieces such as basics that are not beholden to the cyclical nature of fashion.
- What kind of response did you get when you first started ‘Made by Riley?’
I started off only doing products with slogans. I work really closely with the charities. We spend a lot of time talking about their mission and then I create a slogan out of those conversations which is meaningful and appropriate to the charity but remains a subtle reference. The reaction from these products were great. It’s a subtle way to wear a t.shirt that promotes a charity you care deeply about. It wasn’t until later that I introduced the basic plain t’s and track bottoms.
- Tell us something you’re really proud Made by Riley has achieved?
Hosting our Trekcycle event a couple weeks ago for Trekstock – a young adult cancer support charity that we work with. We raised nearly £20,000. And even more importantly raised a huge amount of social awareness for Trekstock. It makes what we are doing so tangible and easy for others to understand the ethos.
- You do a lot of work for charities, did you always know (and plan) that Made by Riley would benefit a wider audience in this way?
I have been volunteering with different charities since I was young. My mom has an amazing charity called Zamcog. A school in Zambia that houses and educates street kids. I have been out to her school several times. When I was 17 I made a book of my photographs taken at her school and surrounding shanty towns and sold these books. The proceeds were then donated to Zamcog. After the success of this I designed 4 unisex t.shirts and did the same. That was the start of my whole idea to launch Made by Riley a few years later.
- Could you tell us some brands that you love, and would recommend to your loved ones (in the fashion, lifestyle or beauty industry)?
I love Victoria Beckham as a brand. Her clothing fits any women’s body amazingly and is so chic as well as super effortless.
Stella McCartney is one of my favourite designers to look up to. She is an incredible talent and visionary. She alines every action as a business woman with her core values as an individual and gives other people the opportunity to do the same.
I use only products on my skin that are ethically produced and have not been tested on animals. A couple of my favourite skin care products are ‘Amazon oil for healthy luminous skin’ by Rahua Body, ‘Lue skin solution’ by Jean Seo and ‘Honey skincare lip nectar’ by Therapi.
- Any tips for centering oneself and being still?
It’s so important to make time in your day to day life to just relax. Not many people have time to just let go and don’t realise the importance of switching off. I really enjoy yoga and occasionally attend classes that practice breathing exercises at the end of each session where you can be still and restore your mind.
- Any future goals for Made by Riley that you’d like to share with us?
Made by Riley is currently partnered with four charities. The goal is to be able to increase that number by at least one partnership each season.
- How does the business work?
Made by Riley partners with a variety of charities and collaborates on a t-shirt or sweatshirt design which features an uplifting slogan. A portion of all proceeds are then donated back to each charity. Beyond that we hold charity events and use our social media presence to increase awareness for the charities and to raise additional funds. The idea is to also create a platform that promotes making giving back as part of your daily life and promoting others to do the same. We want people to align their values with their actions.
You can shop these amazing styles online on Made By Riley