Graduate involved in organic clothing company rebrand
Cornish Potential graduate Sophie Treloar has been involved
in the total rebrand of a successful chain of clothing stores
in a bid for the company to lead the way in environmentally
and socially aware trading.
Wildlife, set up by the Chadwick family, has recently had
its name changed to Seasalt, after the organic clothing range
it designs and sells. In 2005 Seasalt became the first clothing
brand to be certified to Soil Association standards.
The business began with a single shop, set up in Penzance
in 1981 by Don Chadwick. His sons David, Leigh and Neil have
since opened seven other shops – in Falmouth, Truro,
St Ives, Fowey, Padstow, Totnes and St Mary's –
and employ more than 50 people. The shops sell a mixture of
Seasalt and other brands including Oska, White Stuff, Keen
and Camper. Seasalt clothes are also distributed nationally.
Sophie graduated in Textiles and Fashion from Winchester
School of Art. She was initially employed to assist in the
design and production of Seasalt clothing. This role includes
researching clothing trends and predictions, choosing colours
and fabrics and helping with range planning and design.
Unlocking Cornish Potential is a Combined Universities in
Cornwall initiative that has received Objective One investment
and is run by Cornwall College. It places graduates with companies
and provides support for up to 12 months.
Since joining Seasalt, Sophie has also worked with graphic
designers to create the new brand image and with marketing
and sales departments to ensure the successful launch of products.
She was also involved with interviewing and recruiting PR
employees, with selling to wholesale customers and the general
public at trade shows and has become one of Seasalt's
The company's expansion is also aided by an extremely
successful website. Neil Chadwick said: "Every day
we receive online orders from around the world and seem to
have found a real gap in the market. Not everything we sell
is organically produced but we're trying to increase
the percentage year on year (currently it's 20%).
"We've had our busiest ever year so far,
so the rebrand has proved really successful. Our national
publicity because of our organic clothing has definitely paid
off with visitors to the area. Sophie has brought along excellent
design skills, an edge to our range over competitors. Our
own brand has increased profit margins and has brought added
security to our business. Unlocking Cornish Potential is a
fantastic scheme and I really look forward to working with
more, high calibre graduates."
Ben Leonard, Unlocking Cornish Potential Project Officer,
said: "It has been immensely satisfying to be involved
with Seasalt over the last year. They have a great talent
in Sophie: we are proud to have worked with her and she has
accomplished a lot for the business in a very short time.
This really does show the flexibility of the UCP scheme in
that we can effectively support projects in industries as
diverse as heavy engineering to organic clothing. Our partnership
with Seasalt is now ongoing with further projects in place
focussing on graphic design and the environmental policies
of the business. We are sure that they will have an equally
positive impact on the business."
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership,
added: "Unlocking Cornish Potential has been a huge
success. It gives graduates experience in the business world
and supports them as they work, and businesses profit from
the knowledge and fresh ideas from the graduates."
And Sophie said: "I have learnt a great deal during
the last year. I trained predominantly as a textile designer
and so the whole process of production and retail was new
to me. It has been a real learning curve of which I have enjoyed
every minute. Being involved with the buying of other brands
for our stores and with selling of Seasalt to wholesale customers
has meant that I have gained an insight into all aspects of
the rag trade, from all angles. Thanks to Unlocking Cornish
Potential I was employed by Seasalt full time to work on the
very first collection. Being involved from the beginning has
meant that I have helped to shape the brand and its look.
Our Seasalt range is growing season by season as our knowledge
and success increases. It is an exciting brand to be a part
Seasalt has developed its own environmental and purchasing
policies and tries to use local suppliers. The company also
carries out community initiatives, such as buying recycling
bins (on the Isles of Scilly) and developing 'visitor
charter' postcards containing environmental tips, and
regularly visits the farms and factories where Seasalt garments
The company has won several awards including the UK's
Best Family Business (after winning the national final of
the Yell Family Business Awards 2006); 2005 Cornwall Sustainability
Award for Best Environmental Initiative (in recognition of
the Soil Association certification); Neil Chadwick was named
as Cornwall's Entrepreneur of the Year in the Cornwall
Business Awards 2006; Best Family Business in the Orange Small
Is Beautiful Awards in 2004.
As 'Wildlife' the company also received support
from Business Link Devon and Cornwall, which manages two Objective
One gateway funds.
For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media
Relations Manager for the Objective One Partnership on 01872
223439/07973 813647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities
in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Social Fund (ESF), in Unlocking Cornish Potential through
the European Social Fund (ESF) and in Business Link through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF). Cornwall
College is a partner of the CUC.
Unlocking Cornish Potential programmes place graduates with
small and medium sized businesses in Cornwall for up to 12
months. Graduates and their employers receive support from
an independent mentor, 71% of previous UCP graduates have
been offered a permanent position with their host company
at the end of the project. UCP was the first project launched
by the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative
to offer direct business support. It is managed by Cornwall
Sophie Treloar, Seasalt: 01736 352032, www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439