Innovative Upcycling: An Interview with Ella from Hermit London

Deborah Mistry

As a sustainable brand owner (and someone who has been guilty of not making the most sustainable fashion choices in the past!) I am always in awe of people who have found ways of producing clothes in environmentally conscious, innovative ways that go beyond simply making beautiful items ethically and making them to last. You can imagine my joy then when I discovered Hermit London, a nightwear brand that repurposes luxury hotel bedlinen which would otherwise be designated for landfill, into the chicest nightwear. I had to find out more, so I got in touch with founder, Ella Campion and am delighted to share her story here…

Your idea of repurposing hotel bed linen to make nightwear was so genius. How did you find out about the problem?

It all began when over lockdown I read an article in Vogue by Madeleine Luckel, Why Bed-Linen Waste Might Just Be the Next Big Sustainability Problem You’ve Never Thought of. As textile designer I am passionate about doing everything I can to work against textile waste, so this really sparked my interest on wanting to know more. I began looking into the lifecycle of bed linen especially thinking about the hotel industry. It was then I realised the issue was much bigger than I thought! learning quickly that millions of tons of the highest quality cotton bed linen are sent to landfill prematurely each year due to small marks, pulls and frays. It was then I began reaching out and speaking to luxury 5* hotels and members clubs wanting in any way I could to give this luxury cotton a new life.

What has been the biggest challenge in setting up the business?

The biggest but also the most rewarding challenge has been incorporating sustainability in everything we do. Hermit’s core mission is to support small and British businesses from our printing, packaging and the making of our beautifully crafted one-of-a-kind pyjamas. Finding the right people to work with takes time which has been a big lesson, especially if you are looking to work with people who share the same ethos. We have been so lucky in everyone we have worked with and met so far on our journey, building up an amazing network of people who are also on a mission to build a more sustainable future.

I love your logo and how the scallop design is echoed through the collars on your pieces! Is it meaningful in any way?

I have always loved the sea and collecting shells since I was little, so when it came to designing Hermit they both became a big part of the creative and making of the brand. The logo is based on one of my first shell drawings which I used to inspire the scalloped collars too!

Are you already planning future collections?

2021 was amazing for getting feedback on our idea and what people would love to see from Hermit in the future. We are starting to plan our drop 3 but our main purpose for 2022 will be focusing on how we can grow and save as much luxury bed linen as possible.

One of the keys to sustainable fashion is of course choosing things well, caring for them, and finding different ways of styling them year after year. What is your favourite item in your wardrobe and why?

It has to be my Shrimps coat which I got in one of their sample sales in London about 4 years ago. It has flowers as elbow patches which I love. It is so warm and has been the perfect coat to come back to every winter. 






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