Turtle Doves

23.3.16


It's been a chilly time here in the UK, and I've been really thankful for a pair of cashmere gloves that turned up from Turtle Doves!

Based in the UK, Turtle Doves is owned by Kate Holbrook. Nestled in the hear of Shropshire, the Turtle Doves team specialise in turning pre-loved cashmere jumpers into practical and gorgeous new accessories.

Kate shares her business story below.

What’s the story behind your business? 

I had the idea for the business after breaking my leg and having to stop work to recuperate. I dreamt up the design for unique wrist warmers which are also fingerless gloves. I tested the idea at a local school fair and to my delight they were a success! We soon launched new products and our business continued to grow, with surprising international appeal.

What have been the highlights/challenges? 

I love the design side of the business and the ‘people’ side too but struggle with paperwork and numbers…some parts of the job of running a business require help from others with the right skills.

Why did you decide to run a business that has clear environmentally friendly credentials? 

 I have always preferred to re-use, whether it’s making my family share bath water – that makes me unpopular, or turning an old pair of jeans into a bag. I worked for a fantastic recycling company called ‘Scrap Scrap’ years ago run by Jakki Moase and that’s where my inspiration came from.


What’s the inspiration behind your design process? 

I call the process ‘waste-led design’. My main aim is to use as much of every garment that we can. The caveat is that the design must be attractive and above all useful.

Who would you love to see wearing an item from Turtle Doves? 

I love it when anyone wears what we make really!

What are your future plans for Turtle Doves?

We are always experimenting with ‘new’ fabrics and designs. At the moment we are trying to create a new fabric which will make us a zero waste business. I’m not sure if it will work…wish us luck!

Turtle Doves
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