My name is Kate Ryan and I am the designer behind the Sweet Violet label.
I have always loved the beauty of the Past. There is something comforting in a time when things moved more slowly, and there was less technology to absorb all of our attention. In other times, there was a true dedication to art and craftsmanship, which resulted in great works of beauty and excellence, which are often rare today.
One of my greatest inspirations has been the masters of the Arts and Crafts Movement, who rebelled against the rise of mass production and the declining quality of products during the second half of the nineteenth century. John Ruskin and William Morris offered a critique on the poor working conditions in factories (much like today, but ours are simply moved off-shore) and the division of labor in the creative process where a designer may be disconnected by many steps between their creative design and the final product, destroying the meaningfulness of a person's art. Just as importantly, William Morris is also known for his botanical designs and motifs, which emphasized the importance of Nature in art and our everyday lives.
These ideas are the underlying philosophy of why I created Sweet Violet as an artisanal fashion business. Firstly, I wanted it to be home-based, removing the need for a factory that creates waste and pollution, and contributes to climate change. I wanted to minimize the transport of materials and products, basing all design and construction work under one roof. The designer is the maker, which means every garment is handmade by me to the highest quality of craftsmanship. This avoids hired employees on-site or elsewhere that are often under-paid and are forced to do repetitive, meaningless tasks. Fabrics and packaging are sourced wherever possible from sustainable textiles and companies, and the company has a strict zero-waste policy.
My overall goal is to design and make the most comfortable, flattering clothes for you that will last year after year. My eye for detail and high standards create a quality control process that is second to none. I am proud to be a part of the Slow Fashion Movement, which encourages people to invest in high quality pieces that stand the test of time instead of consuming new items every season. I have been amazed and encouraged by how much this movement has grown recently and how it is gaining enormous momentum in the fashion industry.
Sweet Violet is all about beauty, respect for others and the natural world, and slowing down to enjoy the simple things in life. If you would like to find out more about my process, my philosophy, Slow and Sustainable Fashion and other topics, visit My Blog and sign up for My Newsletter.