Emma of Socko (4 min Read)

Radical Giving - Socko Good Business Uprising Interview

What is your life motto?

Knit fast, die warm. I’ve been a life-long knitter and even with the odd hiatus, it’s a hobby I always come back to. Knitting is a wonderfully meditative craft and there’s something so satisfying about transforming one continues line of thread into a practical garment to be worn and treasured. I say “knit fast” but unless you’re a competition level speed knitter, it’s something you can do in your own time, allowing you to really immerse yourself in the process.

What have you learnt so far?

I’ve learnt so much since starting my own business and continue to learn but I suppose a part of that is what I learn about myself and my mind. I’ve always been an advocate for talk therapy. It’s something I’ve done on and off since my early teens and it has benefitted me enormously. One of the biggest revelations I found through cognitive behavioural therapy was my propensity for black and white thinking. All or nothing. No grey areas. Acknowledging it was the first step in learning to control it.

Where is your favourite place?

Bed! I’m a proper home bird and find nothing more comforting than being bundled up in a nest of pillows and blankets. I of course love getting back to nature too but having not left London in a year I’m relying on dog walks to get my dose of fresh(ish) air and exercise. I’m looking forward to seeing the sea and getting away again.

Name your three favourite words?

Make, do and mend.

What do you think makes a good company?

Transparency is fundamental for a truly sustainable business. Part of the joy of being your own boss is that every decision about your business, from finance to packaging, is on your shoulders. There’s no bureaucracy, no departments with competing agendas. Just a conversation between you and your customers. That personal connection deserves honesty and transparency. In my opinion, that’s the best way to run a business.

Can you describe your workplace?

I have a small studio in the roof of a warehouse in Tottenham, north London. It’s a bit of a creative mess but it’s where I go each day, where my stock is, where I wrap and send out orders, where I wind the cards for the packaging and where my knitting and sewing machines are. It’s walking distance from home (it’s such a luxury to separate the two) and has a great independent coffee shop downstairs. It’s a great making space but I hope to outgrow it this year.

What is your favourite food?

Pasta. I used to work in an Italian restaurant in Paris and on split shifts I would have a big bowl for lunch and then another for dinner. I never get sick of it. It may not always be very gourmet but even a tomato sauce puts a smile on my face. I love my food. Definitely the way to my heart.

What can you not live without?

Comedy. There is no fuller feeling that a full on, uncontrollable belly laugh. It’s not an everyday occurrence but seeking the humour in everything is. However inappropriate...

What is the last thing you bought?

Well I can’t remember the last item of clothing I bought. It’s been a very long time. But I have been treating myself during this lockdown. Most recent purchases include a bottle of Pentire for my 5.30 tipple and 10kgs of epsom salts. I also bought a refill from the wonderful Atlas and Ophir. Verbier is my favourite scent of theirs.

What advice would you give to the younger generation?

I would advise them to quit fast fashion. When I was in the Post Office on the launch day of my book How to Quit Fast Fashion both behind and in front of me in the queue were people heavily laden with armfuls of branded bags of clothes they had ordered online and were returning. Those clothes are sadly destined for landfill and I feel that that quick pick-me-up just isn’t worth the impact on the people who made those items or the planet.

Proudest moment?

Seeing our socks on the feet of Bethany Williams models at London Fashion Week. It was our first collection and it really felt that the stars had aligned.

What’s next?

Our online darning course is about to launch and longer-term I’m hoping to set up our own micro factory and become B-Corp certified.

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