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Founder & Designer
Interview with Cat
Could you tell us a little bit more about yourself and what made you start the business?
I launched MAiK in 2016 after working in men’s streetwear, I'd become frustrated at the lack of care for the environment and ethical practises. I made it my mission to start a design-led brand that made high-quality products ethically and from sustainable materials. We only work with manufacturers that share our values. When I started MAiK, I wanted to work with manufacturers in the UK and EU to ensure that we were working with companies that have equal opportunities and fair labour standards. It was a priority to ensure that there was no child or forced labour. We pay more for our products to be made in the UK and EU but we know that the people making our products are treated fairly.
What inspires your work?
Colour! For the last few seasons, there has been very little in the way of colour, I want to brighten up people’s homes and colour brings joy to peoples lives. I am always looking at the patterns and colours that surround me in everyday life. Our SS16 collection was very much inspired by Spanish tiled floors after a trip to Barcelona. I don’t chase trends; the aim is to produce fresh designs that are timeless and stylish. I want our customers to be using our products for years to come.
What is the most important thing for you in your business?
By being open and talking loudly about sustainable materials, fair labour and plastic-free packaging, it encourages other brands to look at their business and make changes to the way they source their materials and who they work with. I get emails from other businesses asking about our packaging and how I have found our manufacturers. I always take the time to respond and to help them make changes that will have a positive impact on the environment. I price our products fairly as I want to show that ethical brands are affordable. People are put off buying from sustainable brands, as the prices tags are usually very high. I want to make sure our products are obtainable for all customers.
A little story or an anecdote you would like to share?
Someone once told me to always say yes to a cup of coffee as you don’t know what doors might open for you.