Good quality leatherwork takes time, as does building an ethical accessories brand

Good quality leatherwork takes time, as does building an ethical accessories brand. It's a common misconception that launching with a 'pretty product' spells success for fashion brands, and it's a mistake many fashion brands make. The fact is, good things take time, and quality is the key. 

When it comes to manufacturing good quality accessories, the slower the better. Leatherwork is a careful craft, and when it's executed with love, precision and intent, the finished product can last centuries, and hopefully, can be handed down from generation to generation.

Bridget Weiske and Claire Davies design with this concept in mind, and as the Founders of Empire of Bees, they too value good quality, timeless and sustainable accessories. The Empire of Bees brand was borne after Claire's experience living and studying in Indonesia, and her exposure to skilled craftsmen and women who would ordinarily go unnoticed...

Why are you so passionate about ethical fashion?
We are passionate about contributing to the change of slow, ethical fashion. Fast fashion has devastating impacts on our environment as well as the human factor too. We all need to do our part from thoughtful design and production methods through to conscious consumerism.

Why do you think sustainability is important in the fashion industry?
It is devastating to see industrial waste and pollution as well as the unethical human element of factory work, which all results from fast fashion. Fast throw-away fashion is destroying our environment at a rate we can never recover from and as one of the largest industries in the world contributing to this, we need a change and we need sustainability to be at the forefront.

What inspires you to do what you do?
We started our venture after being continually disappointed with the price we were paying for products that were not lasting a season, let alone a year. We saw how wasteful this was on a global scale and thought it would be wonderful to not only make something through sustainable methods but to enable, empower and help people in the process.

Why did you choose the materials you use and how did it influence your design process?
We aim to build and create a product that lasts a lifetime, not just a season. We hate seeing the toxic waste, industrial pollution, and landfill from P.U and vegan leathers. We make sustainable products that purposefully don't break down or get thrown away; instead, they are products that can be passed down through generations. We also love supporting traditional craftsmanship and seeing these skills being handed down.

How do you ensure Empire of Bees operates with zero-waste practices?
We have spent many years educating our tailors and makers about the importance of zero waste, however they were already familiar with many aspects such as saving leather and fabric off-cuts for later use, as working for themselves it was always of the utmost importance to be thrifty and re-use whatever they could to save an unnecessary expense. Our education has been more about plastic alternatives for packaging and labelling, as well as transportation, shipping and power usage.

Support an ethical and sustainable fashion future, and shop the Empire of Bees leather range here. 

The Fashion Advocate x





The Fashion Advocate ethical sustainable circular slow fashion business strategy mentor online course marketing how to

I spent my first five years in business stressed and in debt.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or if you're not making enough sales to survive, you're not alone. I've been there.

I was exhausted and I wanted to quit.

Then I worked out a strategy that dramatically changed my business, increased my sales, and saved me time. I want to share it with you!


Want to know the top three ways to grow a successful and sustainable fashion brand?


    Every week on Instagram, you can ask me anything about fashion, business, ethical manufacturing, sustainability, and growth to get the answers you need to overcome challenges. Marketing, PR, your strategy, sales, how to wholesale, Instagram engagement, customers, sourcing... Whatever it is, ask me your questions and I'll go LIVE on Instagram with the answers you need to move forward.



    To build a successful, sustainable and profitable fashion business, you have to empower yourself with knowledge and learn from others in the industry. I ran one of the largest online stores for ethical and sustainable fashion for over a decade, and I learned the ins and outs and the rights and wrongs of building a business. Now I'm sharing my strategies on my blog so you can take what you need to grow!



    The only difference between a big fashion business and a small fashion business is a different skillset. Everything your competitors know - you can learn. My online courses and masterclasses are specifically designed for ethical and sustainable fashion brands, labels and businesses, so you can build your skillset, level up, fast-track your success and increase your impact.