Introducing Thread Tales

We found Thread Tales after speaking with several different knowledgeable and stylish friends who all sang this brand's praises. The deal was sealed once we read about Thread Tales using lotus fibre, something we'd never heard of before but were utterly entranced and intrigued by. We took a trip out to Oxfordshire to meet with founder, Katherine, and her team to discover more and we are so excited to share their story with you. With every brand added we see our mission blossom and with the addition of Thread Tales it has now grown to embrace new materials, new techniques, new ways of supporting traditional craft and new ways of working in a responsible, sustainable and ethical way to deliver luxurious, unique products.

Thread Tales founder, Katherine Maunder, started her career as a womenswear designer for major high street brands. Over her 15 years in the fashion industry, Katherine realised that designing thoughtful products with a social and environmental consciousness was where her passion lay. This led her back to her mother's amazing experiences as a midwife, teaching in Myanmar (previously Burma). While there, her mother found this incredible traditional Burmese material, hand picked and hand woven from the stems of the lotus flower. She brought a sample back to the UK for Katherine, who was intrigued by its potential to create beautiful designs. Discovering the lotus fabric and travelling to meet the community of artisans that weave it by Inle Lake in the Shan Hills led to the creation of Thread Tales Co in 2017. As the name suggests, Thread Tales is about the narratives behind an exceptional product, and from the outset Katherine built the brand upon strong ethical and environmental principles, extending from the lotus fibre to encompass a sumptuous variety of rare and noble fibres sourced with great care from around the world.

"Aesthetically beautiful, ethically sound."

Katherine Maunder, Founder

What are the three things about your business that make your heart sing?

  1.  We are our own small world of women at Thread Tales, spread across the globe. From our team in Oxfordshire to our suppliers and artisans in Nepal and Myanmar, mothers and daughters pulling together.
  2. We support a community of artisans in Nepal, providing opportunities to learn and perfect skills, earn fair and respectable livelihoods and work in a safe space or flexibly from home. To be able support this incredibly talented people and continue to create beautiful textiles that are the carrier of the story of their culture.
  3. The products we create are not only ethical but luxurious and designed to last a lifetime. I love the idea that we are creating future heirlooms that will remain in people's closets for several years to come.
What are the key sustainable and ethical elements of Thread Tales? 

Our values align with Plum & Belle because we are committed to crafting modern and luxurious pieces without compromising ethics and key values. The brand takes into consideration where materials come from (only working with natural materials) and works with the suppliers and weavers to ensure good working practices and fair living wages. We also build circularly into our production process with our zero-waste collection.

Thread Tales key values
Giving back
Thread Tales’ Giving Back programme is designed to make an impact, environmentally, sustainably and economically.
To the planet
We source beautiful, unusual and rare sustainable fabrics that are ethically produced and thoughtfully made. We ensure our products and processes are as environmentally friendly as possible and reuse waste materials wherever possible.
Supporting People Sustainably
Through resurrecting artisanal hand-weaving skills in danger of being lost and supporting and developing them as a sustainable vocation.
Connecting Communities
Through creating collaborations between artisans working in remote areas, generating a sense of shared purpose and enterprise and creating opportunities beyond their immediate locality.

Do you have a signature product, something that really sums up what your brand is about?
Our mulesing-free merino wool wearable blankets. These are made from handwoven, mulesing-free merino wool, with hand-stitched pockets and a dramatic hand-twisted fringe detail. It's an excellently versatile 'value for wear' piece.
We only use mulesing-free merino, which means that our merino sheep are not harmed by the cruel practice of removing strips of skin from the breech. This is traditionally done to prevent flystrike but there are kinder ways of doing this through diet and washing.
What about Plum & Belle feels like it has particular synergy with your brand?
We believe in doing business in harmony with the planet.
We believe in creating jobs that have meaning and purpose.
We believe in creating fashion that is aesthetically beautiful and ethically sound.
We believe you should wear something that means something.
We believe in progress, not perfection. 
We believe in keeping our word and honouring our promises.
We believe in focusing on less, but doing it better.
What are your future aims for your business?

The future will be an exciting journey as we feel we have only just begun. As a small business we cannot claim to be the solution to all the problems perpetuated by present fashion industry practices. Nevertheless, we can do our part to build a better future. We believe that to make the difference, you need to start with one step at a time. One person at a time. One community. One field. One herd. One piece. One customer.

To see our full selection of Thread Tale's beautiful products, look here.

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