In the past, slow fashion has held a reputation for being dull, shapeless and dominated by beige. Speaking from personal experience, it put many fashion-loving women off starting their sustainable journey. Fashion is self expression after all, and until recently, there was nothing on the eco-friendly market that catered to those who embraced the maximalist aesthetic.
When I first spotted Megan Crosby’s rainbow gingham and strawberry-printed dresses on Instagram, it signalled a change. Megan’s label, By Megan Crosby, was the first of its kind I’d seen back then, offering a host of bold, bright and expressive pieces that were made to order directly from her studio.
READ MORE: Meet The Maker: Karina Molby from Molby The Label
Sustainability is clearly at the core of Megan’s brand. She and her team at By Megan Crosby use remnant, organic, sustainable and deadstock fabrics, while their dyes are OEKO-Tex certified environmentally-friendly too. MMC’s packaging is 100% recyclable, reusable or biodegradable too.
When I ask her about why it’s so important to the label and to her on a personal level, she speaks with passion and excitement that leaves me feeling inspired to make changes too.
It’s this passion that has driven the brand’s incredible success since it launched in 2019, receiving recognition from countless magazines and newspapers and creating a passionate community of over 60,000 Instagram followers and By Megan Crosby devotees. I know, because I’m one of them!
I got the chance to speak to Megan as part of Wear Next’s Meet The Maker series, in which we’re meeting the women making waves in the sustainable fashion industry. Here, Megan tells us all about By Megan Crosby’s journey to success, the power of small businesses and why sustainable fashion is so important to her.
Catch us speaking to Megan live on Instagram this Thursday at 6.30pm, here. She’ll be answering all your burning questions and filling us in on what’s in-store for By Megan Crosby.
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Hi Megan! When did you start By Megan Crosby and what inspired you to do so?
I started BMC in May 2019 because I just couldn’t find the colourful, fun, sustainable styles on the market that I was looking for!
What inspires your beautifully colourful designs?
It honestly just comes from my head. Since I was at school as a kid in art and textiles, I would always naturally gravitate towards ALL the colours, all together in these meshed, rainbow-y ways. I love a busy, clashing print and I guess as I’ve grown into myself over the years, I’ve just developed a really strong visual aesthetic which I’m so happy to have found. I’m always just designing what I want to wear, or what I imagine BMC babes are needing in their wardrobe. I’m also super obsessed with street style and scandi bloggers. Give me *all* the pastels, please.
What’s your fashion background?
I studied Fashion Design at the Arts University Bournemouth and graduated in 2018. I have lots of work experience working for small designers and entrepreneurial stuff, so creating my own biz felt natural!
What’s been the biggest pinch me moment since you started BMC?
Deffo seeing my pieces in Selfridges at the Hurr pop up. That was crazy! I’ve always dreamed of having my styles in Selfridges, so to actually see them with my own eyes in the store was absolutely mad.
How long does it take you to cut and sew a BMC item? Do you have employees to help?
I have a small team of 3 and we’re in the process of hiring some more babes. My team help me cut and manufacture styles, pack things up and all sorts! In terms of making styles, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on what the item is.
What’s the hardest aspect of running your business?
Juggling the workload and managing a team, I think! The things I never set out to do (like managing a team), that are now part of my day to day that have been interesting and fun to learn alongside growing the actual brand.
What are your dreams for the brand’s future?
I love how things are going at the moment. I just wanna keep growing and making the fashion industry better! I want to keep changing consumer mindset around fashion and how we can all enjoy fashion in a more positive, mindful way.
Who would you love to see wearing one of your pieces?
Oh, I’m not sure! LOVE Scandi bloggers, so maybe someone like Anna Winck?!
Which other brands and creators inspire you?
I adore Megan Ellaby’s style, she’s been my girl crush since I was like 15! I’m obsessed with Lisa Says Gah, I want EVERYTHING!
READ MORE: Meet The Maker: Evie Ashwin from With Love Evie
What advice would you give any other creatives looking to start their own business or brand?
Work out what your sparkle is. What about your new brand is the sparkle that is going to make you stand out? You’ve got to focus on what is gonna make your customer become so obsessed with your brand, versus all the others out there. Focus on yourself, what brings you joy and gets you super excited about your brand (because if you’re not excited and obsessed, why would anyone else be?) and how to make yourself so unique so that your customer will instantly recognise you and NEED to be a part of your gorgey brand.
Love that! How has your attitude to fashion and your business changed during the pandemic? Have you felt more driven to succeed?
Absolutely. I think it’s made me realise how precious everything is! So I absolutely treasure the business’s success and am just so grateful for them, I’m always striving to do and achieve more for the biz!
Why do you think small, sustainable brands like yours are so important to the fashion industry now?
I think small brands are really making waves in the fashion industry as consumers discover more about slow fashion and how we can all make a positive difference. I think small brands are really, really rippling the demand for slow fashion and that’s so, so exiting.
Why is sustainability important to you personally?
Sustainability influences EVERYTHING. It’s why BMC was created. I have a sustainability pledge on my website, dedicated to all the ways that I’m upholding By Megan Crosby to super strict, planet friendly practises. My original reason for dreaming up BMC back in 2018 was because I wanted to be able to fulfil my love for clothes but I didn’t want to continue killing the planet to do so.
Sustainability is what it’s all about – my main mission in life is to inspire people to learn about slow fashion, about personal style, about how they can change up their habits to satiate their fashion wants without damaging the planet and the people that make their clothes. I used to be that girl, who was always buying a new outfit because I honestly had such an insatiable habit for new clothes, the feeling it bought me to buy and the feeling of wearing a new outfit and how great it would be. But you don’t have to shop all the time to get that feeling, you really just need to have those few amazing pieces in your wardrobe that genuinely bring you all the joy, those pieces that fit really well, the pieces that every time you put them on you’re like ‘YES! This is me’.
Annie Bamboo Rainbow Print Midi Dress, £160 – buy from 30.07
Heli Organic Cotton Gingham Midi Dress, £130 – buy from 30.07
Printed Floppy Sun Hat, £40 – buy from 30.07
Rae Pastel Rainbow Gingham Wide Leg Trousers, £90 – buy from 30.07
Max Oversized Collar Jumpsuit, £200 – buy from 30.07
Emily Fruit Salad Print Midi Dress, £175 – buy from 30.07
Sara Floral Fantasy Print Quilted Waistcoat, £130 – buy from 30.07