flat pack products to cut & sew

Fast Fashion is a Feminist Issue...

Sally CookeComment

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, which also falls at the end of #fairtradefortnight I thought I’d share some of my views on fast fashion and why it’s excesses prompted me to create sallysally flat-pack cut-and-sew products.

 One of my motivations for designing products that help people make their own clothes, is because for centuries people (and by people I mean predominantly women) have been exploited by the clothing industry. Often forced to work on low pay in dangerous and inhumane conditions. The argument often used to justify this is that working for clothing manufacturers gives women jobs they wouldn’t otherwise have. But the question is at what cost? And this isn’t just the case for workers in countries where wages and the cost of living in general are lower either, exploitation is alive and kicking in the UK too. The UK Parliament’s recent Environmental Audit Committee report Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption & Sustainabilityfound garment workers in the UK being paid less than half the National Minimum Wage.

 I’m not saying that all mainstream clothes brands are exploitative or that the alternative is that we all make our own clothes – there are many stories of past drudgery here too. But, I do know that lots of people gain real enjoyment from making clothes for themselves and that many more would if only they knew how. Once you know what it takes to make a garment it’s hard not to question who is really paying the price for our fast fashion purchases. And why would I want to line the pockets of the likes of Philip Green at the expense of wonderful talented women around the world anyway?

 Designing flat-pack clothing kits was just part of my response to all this. I definitely see fast fashion is a feminist issue. If we want to change the fashion industry where better to start than at home with what we do and what we buy. There are lots of great resources out there to help inform us about the change that needs to happen, find brands that meet our values, and join the most exciting of campaign for change

Making your own cloths can also be a form of sustainable fashion activism. If you want to learn to sew and make for yourself, there’s lots of help out there too – local classes, great new indie pattern designs and the mighty YouTube, which is full of helpful sewing tutorials. And of course, if you want a little extra help to get started, our flat-pack cut-and-sew kits are specifically designed to make it easy and fun for anyone to make their first garment – no sweat(shop)!

Happy International Women’s Day Everyone

 #internationalwomensday #fastfashionisafeministissue #fairtradefortnight

sallysally - so good they named it twice!

Sally Cooke
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I’ve been asked more than once why I called my business sallysally. Here’s my top six reasons:

  1. When the business was just an idea and my best mate’s husband was explaining domain names to me, he said ‘if your business was called sallysally for example…’ and we all agreed it wasn’t a bad name for a business…. Some wine had been drunk!

  2. A few months later, I pitched my idea as part of a business Summer School at Leeds Arts University using sallysally as the project’s pet name. People seemed to take the name to heart and I won a business mentoring award...

  3. I looked up the definition for the term ‘to sally forth’. It means ‘to leave a safe place in a brave or confident way in order to do something difficult’ which is 100% what starting a business feels like…

  4. Also, I’m sure I heard or read somewhere that it’s not what your brand is called but what it says that matters. I may have misheard but I knew I had plenty to say so I took this as a green light…

  5. When it came to the point that I had to commit – to domain names, labels, marketing etc. - every other name I came up with was compromised in some way – so sallysally became a thing…

  6. Now some people read the name ‘salllysally’ and say to me ‘so good they named it twice’ which sounds like a mission and that’s good enough for me!

Maker of the Month!

UpdatesSally Cooke
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I am very excited to be featured as Maker of the Month in the November issue of The Simple Things magazine. Thanks to the lovely Louise Garrod who also blogs, bakes and photographs at It's great to be seen in the company of Seasalt, Boden and Toast as well as other smaller brands on this wish list. The magazine is on sale in supermarkets (Waitrose, Tescos & Sainsburys) and WH Smiths - so I am hoping it will introduce me to lots of lovely people just in time for Christmas.