Congrats for making it to the middle of Jan! The blues are finally starting to lift, Dry Jan is almost over and if you, (like myself) are getting excited about what 2020 has in store, I have an extra little treat for you.
This week I had the opportunity to chat to Rina L. Einy, the founder of Culthread. Culthread is a luxury, vegan outerwear brand that creates top quality, practical and gorgeous jackets from mainly recycled materials. To find out more about the brand and the woman behind it all, keep reading. We hope you enjoy this week’s chat!
Hi Rina! Thanks for joining me. Let's start at the beginning. Could you tell me a bit about your childhood and how you feel that has influenced you today?
I was very sporty growing up and played tennis on the women’s tour in my teenage years. Then, I quit the tour at a young age and became a Trader in an Investment Bank after I graduated from university. My early choices and lifestyle led me to become a competitive person and a risk-taker. I love getting my teeth into a challenge!
I feel like that is an important attitude to have in business. How did you get started in the fashion industry?
After stepping away from investment banking, I began working for our family business, which produces high quality outerwear for international brands.
That must have been a great learning opportunity for you. So, how did Culthread come about and why?
When I finished my MBA in 2016, I was looking to start my own business and that’s when the idea of Culthread took hold. Being in the outerwear business, I had access to a large number of samples from some of the best-known brands, but found myself often heading out coatless, even in winter. I could never find the ‘perfect’ coat, so I decided to make one.
Culthread’s are high quality coats that are comfy to wear and gorgeous to look at, but also have hoods, inside and outside pockets (so that you don’t have to carry a handbag all the time). They’re mostly made from recycled materials, and animal fur-free. I wanted to create a brand that was owned and run by women; so often in our industry women’s brands are owned and run by men, even though a large proportion of their employees and customers are women.
That’s so true! I’m all about championing women in business too. So, how do you come up with new ideas for pieces?
I do a lot of research! Whether this is taking in the sights and sounds on the streets, visiting fairs or talking to people in the industry. I try to keep learning and thinking, and the ideas seem to follow.
Feeling creatively stimulated in your everyday life is so important! What about social media and influencers? Has working with influencers always been key to the brand?
We love to partner with influencers who love who we are and what we do here at Culthread.
Tell me about how sustainability fits into your brand ethos?
Sustainability is integral to Culthread, but it is important to think about it as a process. It is also important to define sustainability and adapt that definition as progress is made along the supply chain. Our first goal was using as many recycled materials as possible, while maintaining the high quality and look of Culthreads. All our coats are insulated with Thermore Ecodown ®, which is made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles; many of our styles are made from 100% recycled fabric, and all Culthreads are guaranteed vegan and cruelty-free. We use biodegradable plastic bags (when they are necessary) and we are constantly looking to improve sustainability on all areas of the production cycle.
It is clearly a vital part of your brand then! What is your favourite thing about having started Culthread?
I love that every day is different and there are always new challenges!
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is when I receive an email from a customer saying: “I had to write to tell you that this coat is my absolute favourite!”
How lovely! And which piece is your absolute favourite that you’ve ever created?
Every new Culthread style that I try on I fall in love with, and then the next one comes along and I fall in love all over again. I can only hope that never stops!
That’s so great! Starting up a business can be a really difficult time. What were your biggest challenges in starting up Culthread?
The first big challenge was coming up with a name. It’s amazing how many names (even nonsensical words) are patented for use in the fashion industry! Sourcing high quality recycled fabric was, and continues to be, challenging as well.
What would you say makes Culthread stand out?
Culthreads offer consumers a product that was not widely available before: high quality, stylish outerwear that is also practical, as well as completely vegan and handmade from mostly recycled fabric. The collections are also very limited edition.
What’s been your biggest “pinch me” moment?
When a stylist said to me: “Good on you! You are a pioneer!”
I bet that felt good! What inspires you?
People who stand up for what they think is right and try to make a difference in the world.
Me too! 100%. And what’s your average day like?
With Culthread, I really don’t have an average day. I travel frequently and work at all different times, in all different places.
Do you think you have a work/life balance?
I don’t think of these two things as existentially separate. I am lucky to love what I do and fortunate enough to be able to both work and play with members of my family and close friends, who are supportive and always in my corner.
That’s a really healthy way of thinking about it... What words do you live by?
Take calculated risks. Show appreciation. There are no bad ideas.
There certainly aren’t. That’s a lesson more people need to learn. So, what’s next for Culthread?
We are working on some non-outerwear wardrobe essentials, using our core Culthread values: slow fashion, sustainability and vegan-friendly. And for Winter 2020, a line of 100% recycled faux-fur coats.
Like what you read? Head to Culthread to shop. Or if you fancy checking out some previous interviews you can find them here. All images are via Culthread.