Make Thread is a curated fashion tech start-up and they have recently teamed up with our supporter, BBC presenter and model Natalie-Amber, who lives with Crohn's.
The Self Love campaign was founded by Katie Roche and Sarah O'Brien to highlight the importance of self-love during lockdown. We spoke to Katie and collaborator Natalie-Amber about this latest collection.
Katie and Sarah
Founders of Make Thread and the Self Love campaign
Firstly, what inspired the sustainable Self Love collection?
Katie: Self Love is about being happy with your life offline. Lockdown has affected so many experiences with people. Some of us haven’t been able to experience the happiness others usually bring us. Coronavirus has made us realise we cannot solely rely on others for our happiness. We’ve been given the opportunity to fall in love with ourselves and bring our own happiness moving forward.
What brought you together?
Katie: For Make Thread’s Self Love collection we wanted it to be more than just a meaningless quote on a t-shirt. We wanted to have significance behind the t-shirt message, especially given the world's circumstances today. Crohn’s and Colitis are close to my heart and I have followed Natalie-Amber on my personal Instagram for a while. Her positivity and openness in talking about her condition has helped get me through what seemed like very lonely times whilst I was ill. This was one of the main reasons why I asked Natalie-Amber to design with us; to share her amazing self-love and body positivity!
What does self-love mean to you?
Natalie-Amber: It means loving your mind, body and soul unconditionally and unapologetically. There is only one you, and you are unique. I think that’s really something special. It means not feeling bad about having to be a little selfish at times, saying no to things and putting yourself first.
Katie: Self-love isn’t a straight line. Practice your self-love and feed your love over your fear, for well-being and happiness.
What’s changed for you over the past year?
Natalie-Amber: Coronavirus has changed a lot for me to be honest. However, my life has changed for the positive. I have been working with some amazing brands, I have just been signed to a new model agency and I am also one of the BBC’s new presenters. I have come so much further than I could have imagined considering we have been restricted in what we can and cannot do.
Katie: So much! I started a fashion business right when the pandemic hit! This was difficult at first and still is given the restrictions, but we’ve grown and gained so much support over the past year that it has also been very rewarding. We do things a little differently from other fashion businesses with curated purchasing, so pre-orders are taken before the t-shirt is made. This means asking the customer to try something new and wait for their clothing to be made rather than it being delivered the next day!
The more people find out about what it is we’re doing and why, the more they believe in and agree with our new fashion concept.
Can you tell us about your design?
Natalie-Amber: My Design is just a little reminder of how much our bodies fight for us and love us. Sometimes we can forget that and not treat it with the respect it deserves. I would not have been here today if it wasn’t for my scar. I am forever grateful.
Remember, your body is your home, your best friend, your soulmate.
Why is self-love important?
Natalie-Amber: Self-love is important to me because it is giving ourselves back the love we deserve. This is so healthy for not just your body but for your mental health too. Self-love is your armour. When you are in love with yourself and at peace with yourself, comments from the outside world can no longer harm you. You know you’re the bomb and that’s all that matters. What other people think of you is not your business and self-love helps you really have that mindset.
Katie: We can’t rely on others to solely provide us with happiness, it’s unfair and puts a lot of pressure on our relationships. It must come from within first. When you choose self-love you nurture your own well-being and it helps to create healthy relationships with others. For those who don’t see the importance of self-love, I’d ask yourself this question; are you really loving others as much as you could be if you don’t love yourself?
Best advice you’ve been given or a good motivational quote that’s stuck?
Natalie-Amber: I want to give the speech that stuck, it means a lot to me. I was given this quote by a fellow Crohn’s Warrior who has now become a sister for life to me. I was so depressed and down and it was when I was first diagnosed and had overcome lifesaving surgery. I have never forgot this quote and the power of it is strong: ‘I refuse to be ashamed when the alternative was not living to tell the tale’
Katie: You are not your thoughts, they are not a true reflection of who you are. Once you detach yourself from your thoughts, you receive the ultimate freedom in life.
Who are Make Thread?
Make Thread are fashion industry disruptors. They challenge fashion’s unethical and unsustainable habits with a new sustainable solution to fashion’s global environmental crisis. They provide high quality, zero-waste curated fashion from independent designers and small brands.
Natalie will be donating all her profits from the Self Love t-shirt to Crohn’s & Colitis UK.