HERMIT London is a sustainable fashion brand repurposing luxury hotel bed linen into unique, beautiful, and amazingly soft pyjamas. I spoke to Ella Campion, the founder, about setting up this fantastic business.
What is HERMIT London and what is your mission?
It all began when over lockdown I read an article in Vogue by Madeleine Luckel, Why Bed-Linen Waste Might Just Be the Next Big Sustainability Problem You’ve Never Thought of. As a textile designer, I’m passionate about doing everything I can to close the loop on textile waste, so this really sparked my interest. I began looking into the lifecycle of bed linen, particularly within the hospitality industry. It was then I realised that the issue was much bigger than I thought, quickly learning that millions of tons of the highest quality cotton bed linen are sent to landfill prematurely each year due to small marks, pulls and frays. The average life cycle of hotel bed sheets is only around 9 months. It was then I began reaching out and speaking to luxury 5* hotels and member clubs, and my journey towards building a brand to give this luxury cotton a new life began.
In what way, or ways, do you incorporate sustainability into business?
Sustainability is at the core of every decision I make when designing each element of Hermit pyjamas. All pyjama sets are produced in limited quantities to ensure as minimal waste as possible. Passionate about supporting British businesses, we source everything from within the UK, from our buttons and clothing labels to all of our printing. A team of talented seamstresses in Somerset craft each one-of-a-kind Hermit pyjama set. Fabric waste from the making process, and anything that is too small to be reused, becomes either one of our pyjama drawstring laundry bags, within which each order is packaged, or is used in one of our hair scrunchies. Some scrunchies are made out of recycled pillow covers also recovered from our hotels.
Are there any other sustainable fashion companies or platforms you recommend?
Along this journey I have met some amazing other small businesses who are paving the way for a better future for fashion by using materials we already have in existence. Designers such as Lydia Bolton and Freya Simmone up-cycle quilts and tablecloths into the most beautiful clothes. Hermit is stocked alongside some amazing other brands on Stories Behind Things and Stripped Store, platforms which are both striving to make shopping consciously much easier.
Do you have growth plans for the future? Are you going to expand your range?
It has been amazing receiving so much great feedback on our idea so far, and to hear what people would love to see from Hermit in the future. We are starting to plan our third drop, but currently our main aim has been focusing on how we can grow and scale as a business in order to save as much luxury bed linen as possible in the future.
How do you practice sustainable fashion in your personal shopping choices?
For me, it’s all about buying less and buying better quality clothes that I know I will wear again and again. I have always loved shopping vintage and second-hand to find those unique pieces that nobody else has. Now, with re-sale platforms like Vestiaire collective and Depop, it is much easier to not buy new.
Follow @hermit.london and check out their website here.