Based in Brighton, ILK + ERNIE create quality, comfortable and sustainable clothes. Our vision is to see every woman wearing clothes that not only turn heads but have a positive impact on the environment as well.
For generations of women that live in a society that want to pit women against each other, we see it as our job to resist that tyranny. We are for spirited, free thinking females. Our collections are there to empower you and to ignite your confidence of self. We are passionate about our amazing community and invite you to join us on our mission for change.
O U R S T O R Y
Hi, I’m Jess the founder of Ilk + Ernie. Like many others on a similar path, my career began after a somewhat rocky stint in the fashion Industry. I wouldn’t say I had the easiest start to my career; the fashion industry is TOUGH!
I worked in various roles but the job that got me onto my sustainability path was during my time as a visual merchandiser at Topshop. I was based in the flagship store on Oxford Circus. It blew my mind how much people shopped. An endless flow of people, day in, day out. This was 10 years ago, around the time that Fast Fashion was solidifying its permanent place in the market and changing our mindset and relationship with clothes.
For some time even I was momentarily sucked into the mindset that I needed more in my wardrobe than was necessary. I think we all have. That exact thought process is what drastically needs to change, not just within the industry, but as the consumers that have been marketed to this way of thinking.
I realised quite quickly that I wasn’t fitting into the industry in the way I'd hoped. Which is what eventually led me to launching Ilk+Ernie.
The fashion world has needed to change for a long time, we’ve lost touch with reality not just as consumers but businesses owners too. Working in high street retail opened my eyes to how wasteful the industry was, I knew that when it came to my business, I was going to do things differently.
M E E T T H E T E A M !
Say hello to our heads of departments.
First up is Sam, AKA boss man. His father Sanjay opened their factory 30 years ago. Sam and him have been partners for 15 years. A few years ago Sanjay decided to semi-retire, leaving Sam in charge of the runnings of the factory. Don't tell him we said this, but he works his ass off ❤️. We appreciate him A LOT.
Javid is our Master Ji, he has the most important role in our factory. The Master Ji is the factories head tailor. Javed oversees the pattern cutting, sizing and fit of every single one of our designs. He's a bloody wizard and we'd be lost without him.
Prabhu is the factories accountant, which is probably more of an important role to Sam than us, but we like him because he's got a fantastic smile.
We're super proud to also have women heading the departments in our factory (which can be a rarity in India!). Meet Samita our head merchandiser, she holds her own amongst all the men. We're big fans.
Finally meet Rohit (right) and Nafees (left). Rohit is the head of quality control. That's right, if there's a missing button, dodgy zip or wonky seam, he'll know about it. Nafees is head of sourcing, you'll often find him by our side, battling the crowded streets of Delhi looking for the best surplus fabric we can find!
Meet the Brighton gang!
Jess launched Ilk + Ernie back in 2018. After a long stint working in fast fashion in her 20's, she ditched the high street and began her sustainable, small business journey.
Saffy baby is a recent photography grad. Passionate about art, fashion and equality, she helps to create a lot of our amazing content. Check out her amazing photography work here.
Cosmea is our resident eco warrior. Having recently graduated in fashion media and promotion, she's now set her goals to helping others achieve a more sustainable lifestyle. You can catch her monthly blog 'Me, myself and the planet' aimed at instilling some inspired sustainable practices into our lovely communities lives. You can also check out her work here.