In conversation with sustainable fashion designer Rose Fulbright-Vickers

Young woman wearing a deep pink dress in a garden, looking up at trees.

Rose Fulbright-Vickers is the founder of sustainable fashion brand Rose Fulbright. This is a British lifestyle brand which creates collections of luxurious loungewear and resort-wear garments along with a selection of accessories.

Rose incorporates her education at Parsons School in Paris and London College of Fashion in London with her interest in art. She starts her design process by making watercolour paintings from observation, harmonising her motifs within a tonal range and scanning them at high resolution. This process provides inspiration for future collections.

She draws inspiration from her background since her family and heritage are one of the primary influences of her design. Her great-grandfather Clough Williams-Ellis was the renowned British architect and pioneer of ecological conservation, most famous for his life’s work, Portmeirion Village, in Snowdonia. Rose’s grandmother, Susan Williams-Ellis was a prominent British artist and founder and designer of Portmeirion Pottery.

You can catch up with the conversation on IGTV here.

Here are our top 5 takeaways

  1. Rose created her Tropical Print collection using her grandmother Susan William Ellis’ paintings. Susan, who designed 4-5 pottery collections a year, was also an artist. She would take a sketchbook and greasy chalk while going sea diving and would paint the fish that inspired Rose’s tropical collection from life while she was under the sea by a coral reef. This particular collection feels like a collaboration with her grandmother!
  2. Having time off with her children and returning to design gave Rose a chance to stop, consider her garments and feel really proud of what she had accomplished before she went on maternity leave. Her creations did stand the test of time – garments that didn’t go out of style, and designs that remained and would continue to remain wearable.
  3. A collection of shells from the Philippines given to her by her father inspire her future work. First, she is creating paintings of them and then will scan digital versions of her paintings to play around with colours and print layouts.
  4. Rose carefully considers the fabrics she uses, choosing sustainable options and building circular practices into her business including considering the journey of the product after the customer can no longer use it. The newest addition is Tencel, a fabric made from eucalyptus leaves which can be recycled at the end of its life. 
  5. If she could have a magic wand and wish for anything, since having children she feels very strongly about children having the right to grow up in a safe environment. When children are brought up with love, they have confidence and learn to do things right which is important since children are the future of the planet.

What Rose has to say

What does sustainable business and living look like to you?

“Sustainable business and living is such a huge topic that I almost see it from two different perspectives – the first is the ideal, which to me would mean circular business models and a circular economy. I think this would solve a lot of problems to do with waste and pollution at the same time as uplifting local economies.

The other perspective is that of the realist. This starts with a huge amount of research, followed by choosing one or two areas that really matter to you personally, and then focussing on those in business and/or in your personal life.

It is truly not possible at the moment for a business to be fully sustainable in every way, and I think it is really important that businesses be transparent and honest about that, because it helps to educate people.”

What have you learned so far on your sustainable business/living journey? Is there anything you would do differently?

“So far I have learned that there are a large section of people for whom sustainability is not a priority when choosing what to buy – for them it is more of an added bonus, but it does not mean the brand should not be sustainable.

I have learned about how important it is to manage marketing around sustainability, because it won’t necessarily appeal to everyone. Added to that, always choosing the sustainable option is not necessarily good for business/brand image.

If I take the macro perspective, my end goal is to have a thriving business that has the power to make true and lasting positive change within the industry, but I won’t have a thriving business if my marketing and products don’t match up to customer’s expectations.”

What advice would you give to our listeners trying to lead a more sustainable life?

“If you’re trying to lead a more sustainable life I would recommend choosing one area that matters a lot to you, and then assess every area of your life and see where you can align your goals with a way of living that works for you.

It doesn’t have to be a huge change, but starting small and expanding out in a manageable way, to me, is the best possible method to be more sustainable.” 

Rose Fulbright-Vickers, Rose Fulbright

Rose’s Blue Patch picks plus a very special extra

  • Kate Noakes Furniture

    Well-made, classically designed mid-century furniture made modern with a lovely refresh

  • Chalk Wovens

    These remind her of her grandparents’ Welsh wool blankets with their neutral and natural colour palettes

  • The Tropical Collection

    Rose’s work is inspired by her grandmother, Susan Williams-Ellis’, founder and designer of Portmeirion Pottery, known for her iconic Botanic Garden design.