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Behind the brand: the company creating customisable sustainable garments


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Started in Peckham, Doc Cotton is a sustainable brand with a difference. Founder James Pickard talks us through the secrets behind the brand, from their ethos of fighting fast fashion to what makes Doc Cotton unique.



Image courtesy of Doc Cotton

Rejecting fast fashion…

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James was inspired to start the brand after finding he was tired of the same old fast fashion that fills the British high-street. “The mission behind our brand is simple: fed up with mass-produced fast-fashion, we are on a mission to personalise the nation’s wardrobe, creating affordable, customised and sustainable clothing.

Sustainability is a really important aspect of Doc Cotton, with all their clothing being made in the UK. The brands' mission is to take a stand against the fast fashion industry and support local artists and manufacturers.

So what does James think about fast-fashion retailers? He says: “You have a famous person wearing an outfit and a fast fashion retailer will have it in the shops a day later; it’s not right and hurts the environment, the people and customers in the long run.

“Of course, sustainability has become big over the last year and it’s finally being talked about, what with the news and industry issues - but it’s still not enough for fast fashion retailers to take on sustainability purely for business. They really need to address the consequences of their actions.”

A unique selling point… 

Doc Cotton stands out from other brands because its unique selling point allows its customers to design their own prints and customise their items. The best thing about this? All of the products are sustainable.

James says: “The idea of empowering the nation to design their own garments through sustainability was the driving force for Doc Cotton. We wanted to be able to buy the clothes we wanted to wear and offer that opportunity for the wider public.


(Left)  Shirt dress, £72 (Right) Trousers, £80 // Images courtesy of Doc Cotton

“After researching, talking to friends, family, and industry insiders, looking at existing companies and websites as well as small boutiques, one vision was in mind: to make bespoke sustainable printed garments a growing trend and the norm.”

Personal style is really important to James, so this is something he wanted to get across through Doc Cotton allowing their customers to create their own items. He continues: “As we wanted the option of wearing what we choose, the idea of choosing your own print and designing your own if you can’t find one that suits you is something we feel is important. Everyone wants to wear what they like and their personal style is reflected with Doc Cotton’s options!

“From the moment this idea was born to the opening of our first shop in Peckham, our mission statement remains the same: to empower you, our customer, to create your own wardrobe. We want you to create personalised clothes that you choose to wear rather than trawling through numerous retailers, only to settle on second best. We want you to let us be your own brand as opposed to being constrained by someone else’s. Individuality. Independence. Innovation. This is what we strive for.”


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Words of wisdom…

So what advice does James have for students who are hoping to get their big break in the fashion industry? “Start small! Internships, networking events, social media, there are so many ways of getting in the industry. Our team all started with focusing their education in fashion or in the creative arts and started with internships and worked their way up! Perseverance, commitment, and hard work is definitely the way in, it’s a fast-paced industry and there’s plenty of space to be a changemaker!"

Lead image courtesy of Doc Cotton


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