Introducing Loskey: How Lori Cunningham Empowers Women via Her Sustainable, Fairtrade Clothing Brand

Loskey is a sustainable, fairtrade and women-focused capsule clothing brand I set up in 2017 after a life-long search for the perfect, durable and sustainable t-shirt,” say Lori Cunningham, founder of the clothing brand. “My initial collection was soft launched in October 2018. Loskey’s core mission is the economic empowerment of women through education and opportunity. With a range of exclusively ethical, GOTS-certified organic and fully sustainable tees and tops, Loskey is fully committed to minimise wastage and respect the environment. From production to distribution, everything is carefully thought and tailored so it has a minimal impact on the planet.

“My products are sourced from India, and manufactured by my wonderful supply partner, Sonica Sarna Design. When I was first starting the brand, I flew out to Delhi to meet with number of potential suppliers, but as soon as I spent time with Sonica at her family-owned factory in Delhi, I knew that I had found a true partner. Sonica herself represents everything that Loskey is about – women’s empowerment, and ethical and sustainable production. As an Indian woman, she is breaking the cultural norms by starting her own business in cooperation with her family’s factory. She has a deep and personal commitment to organic fabrics and artisanal design developed over decades of working with Fairtrade cooperatives across India. And, most importantly, she has a long-standing commitment to women’s empowerment and training through her amazing #projecthrive initiative – a sewing centre for at-risk women from the slums of New Delhi aiming to empower women with no socio-economic opportunities.”

“My initial collection was soft launched in October 2018. Loskey’s core mission is the economic empowerment of women through education and opportunity.”

“Loskey is committed to the protection of the planet through the use of GOTS-certified organic cotton in our products. The Global Organic Textile Standard certifies the organic nature of the fibres, environmental criteria for all dyes and chemical inputs (e.g., bleaching), as well as social criteria for the workers involved in its manufacture. We want to ensure all workers involved with production and harvest are safe and not exposed to toxins. We are also fully committed to sustainability in all of our collateral. Our tags are made from sustainable paper using elephant and rhino dung by the amazing Elrhino Paper in the Assam Forest of India. Our letterbox packaging which we use to ship our tees to customers is made from 100% recycled cardboard, and our tees are packaged in handmade, reusable pouches. Most importantly, Loskey tees are designed to last and be worn for years, the antithesis of ‘fast fashion’.”

“I’ve always believed that a t-shirt worn and styled well is the epitome of effortless chic, and this was my inspiration for my initial capsule tee collection. I have read many articles over the years that have peddled the idea of women needing to suffer for fashion. Whether that meant tottering in heels that were just too high, or wearing styles that made breathing difficult, it was all in the cause of making a style statement. I believe that style and comfort should be synonymous, and there’s nothing I love putting on more than a well-made t-shirt. I also believe that the chicest outfits are crafted from a collection of pared-down essentials. I’ve designed Loskey’s collection of elevated essentials to form the building blocks of any woman’s wardrobe.”

“I’ve always believed that a t-shirt worn and styled well is the epitome of effortless chic, and this was my inspiration for my initial capsule tee collection.”

“A new lifestyle and product shoot is actually taking place this week, and I’m very excited!” exclaims Cunningham; the results of which can be seen featured in our gallery above. “Given that Loskey is all about effortless chic, California style is my inspiration. The Californian aesthetic is the epitome of stylish comfort, so I am thrilled to be partnering with a Californian-based photographer, Melissa McArdle, for this latest chapter. The new imagery will be on our website by the end of October.”

As for who she enjoys working or collaborating with most: “That’s a really difficult question, as I have been fortunate to partner with so many wonderful people on this journey. I have made a deliberate effort to work with women whenever possible, as women’s empowerment is the core purpose of Loskey. I celebrate each of my many collaborators as Women of Loskey on my website. However, if I had to choose just one, it would be Sonica Sarna. From the moment we first spoke, she and I have been in lock step on the ethos and journey for the brand. I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful partnership that enables us both to deliver our respective missions.

“It is one thing to set out with a mission of economic empowerment and education for women, but another to meet and spend time with those women in order to see first-hand the impact it has had on them and their families.”

“Following on from the above, the highlight of my journey has been spending time with Sonica in India, and getting to know the women she works with, particularly those in #Projecthrive, her sewing centre for at-risk women in Delhi. It is one thing to set out with a mission of economic empowerment and education for women, but another to meet and spend time with those women in order to see first-hand the impact it has had on them and their families.

“There are many brands who are doing wonderful things in the sustainable fashion space, but one that I particularly admire is Po-Zu, the ethical and sustainable footwear maker. Like Loskey, they are committed to not only find ways to make production more sustainable, but also to protect and promote the artisanal skills of shoemakers. They are leading innovation on sustainable footwear materials, including vegan leather which, if not manufactured correctly, can be quite harmful to the environment. They also make great shoes that are designed to last.

“Alongside the launch of our new lifestyle and product imagery in October, we will be introducing a few new styles, and an increased size range for some of our more popular tees. We hope to follow that up with the launch of our first long-sleeved tee in 2020.

“As a direct to consumer brand, you can always find us online at Loskey.com, or via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We also pop-up live from time to time – if you sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social, you’ll be the first to hear!”

Photos: Melissa McArdle

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