About us

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, to ignite your confidence of self and to bring as many glorious female souls together as possible. We are passionate about girl power and invite you to join us on our mission. 

We are fashion forward, without compromising on ethics.

If there’s anything we’re learning in the news at the moment, it’s that fast fashion is one of the most harmful industries affecting our planet.  Larger fashion corporations throw away huge quantities of fabric every season. This fabric is considered dead stock, waste fabric, that if not bought by little brands like Ilk + Ernie, would soon end up in landfills.

Every season, we travel to India and spend weeks trawling the markets where these fabrics are cast off. We purchase, recycle and re-use these disposed fabrics by taking them off the street and turning them into the clothes you see on our website! Our method of doing things also means that we don’t produce fabric, saving on greenhouse emissions and the millions of litres of water used to produce fabrics worldwide every year. 

We not only want to reduce waste with the fabric we use, but in our factory's supply chain as well. Once a year, left over samples and unused garments from all the brands working with our factory are collected and distributed to homeless children in Delhi. 

Hi! I'm Jess, the founder of Ilk + Ernie.  

 When I set out to launch Ilk + Ernie it was after a career in high street retail where I got to experience fast fashion first hand. The fashion industry has needed to change for a long time. Working in high street retail opened my eyes to how wasteful the industry had become. I knew that I wanted to do things differently. 

My main focus has always been my garments workers, I needed to know that whoever was producing my garments was cared for, not just financially but physically, they needed to be safe.

A very close second was dealing with the waste in my supply chain, I couldn’t unlearn or unsee what the fashion industry was doing to our planet. Larger fashion corporations throw away huge quantities of fabric every season. This fabric is considered dead stock, waste fabric, that if not bought by little brands like Ilk + Ernie, would soon end up in landfill. So every season I trawl these markets buying up fabric and turning it into the clothes you see on our website ❤️.

All of our collections are designed in-house by myself. I have been designing clothes since I was a kid, dreaming up outfits for the Spice Girls in my sketchbooks at home (I literally had a folder dedicated to just that!)

When it comes to designing for Ilk + Ernie I always consider two things, comfort and head turners. I want girls to feel effortlessly cool without compromising on comfort. So I avoid slim flits without an elasticated waist, I make sure there are plenty of pockets and if it’s not in a bold print, it will be a bold colour. Like many designers I design clothes that I want to wear, but I listen to my friends, I take inspiration from what I see girls wearing in the street and I make sure I'm putting stuff out that I know people are going to want to wear for years, not just a season. 

All of our collections are ethically made by a talented team of men and women in Delhi, India. They receive all of the amazing treatment that a lot of us take for granted: fair wages, holiday pay, health insurance, safe working environments and EU standard working hours. 

Sam our factory owner has worked tirelessly to achieve these ethical standards through out his factory, so much so that he is now officially Sedex certified, meaning his factory is recognised worldwide as doing things ethically - which is pretty cool!

Meet our heads of departments

This 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.

 

 

Meet our Master Ji Javed. 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.

 

This is Prabhu he's 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!

If you fancy a chat or want to know more about our little business, we are an open book! Drop us an email, we'd love to hear from you - info@ilkandernie.com