My name is Katie Walsh. I am a fashion designer, mother and sustainability advocate. Raised in Dublin, I studied fashion design in London and worked for Alexander McQueen before launching my own labels: Poltock & Walsh and later, Bolzoni & Walsh. My designs were featured in Vogue and were worn by internationally acclaimed women including Rihanna, Kate Moss, Florence Welch, Emma Watson, Susie Lau, Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung. Following the birth of my second child, I took a step back from fashion to focus on my family.
Six years later, considering a return to fashion, I became increasingly alarmed by the catastrophic toll the industry has taken on the environment. Coupled with my unease towards the burgeoning trend for ‘fast fashion’, I vowed to be part of the solution, starting a journey that has taken me into the heart of the circular economy where garments are designed to make a positive impact on the natural world. Principles of sustainability, zero-waste, protection and versatility became the foundation of THE RE-PETE PROJECT.
I formed partnerships with like-minded companies such as SympaTex, a German textile mill producing high-quality, high-tech fabric from recycled plastics since the 1980s. I commissioned London based sustainable designer and lecturer, Mala Siamptani, to hand-make my toggles from used plastic milk cartons donated by local London eateries, while a company in Holland supplies her recycled PETE cord. Every single component of the anorak is made with recycled materials, right down to the thread.
Garments are manufactured in Europe by properly paid workers in a Gore-Tex certified factory. You will find no labels, swing tags or unnecessary waste, just non-toxic biodegradable packaging with care instructions printed on the inside of garments with environmentally friendly ink.