Poppy Fordham is the founder of Stola London, a brand pioneering luxury 100% hemp pyjamas for women; the name ‘Stola’ coming from long loose-fitting tunics, often made from hemp, worn by women of the ancient world…
NS: “Tell me more about the name and inspiration for your brand…”
PF: “I wanted a name that reflected the ancient history of women wearing hemp fabric. I also felt ‘Stola’ was an appropriate name for a pyjama brand due to the relaxed but elegant way in which Roman women’s togas would hang; the upper classes would spend a lot of their days lounging around in their stolas, which is what I do in my pyjamas!”
We’ve had our pyjamas worn by some fabulous women, which I am very proud of – namely, Julia Bradbury, Amelia Windsor and Scarlet Curtis. We’re about to collaborate with Initially London, the bespoke monogramming company, for an Embroidery Event. I am so excited as I love all of Initially’s monogramming which works beautifully on our pyjamas. They make a great addition to any set and also work wonderfully for personalised presents…”Poppy Fordham, Founder, Stola London
NS: “What was it that prompted you to start your company?”
PF: “I already had a background working in fashion, mainly liaising with brands and helping with production lines. I started Stola wanting to spread awareness of hemp; when I first encountered the fabric, I was immediately enthralled by the buttery soft feel and it’s rich history. I soon learned of hemp’s sustainable credentials and that it used 5 times less water to grow than cotton. Shocked it wasn’t more widely used, I saw a gap in the market with eco-friendly pyjamas (most are made from cotton) and leapt at the opportunity…”
NS: “What are the other benefits of using hemp?”
PF: “Hemp is environmentally superior to almost all other fabrics; it only needs rainwater to grow and uses no chemicals or pesticides. It also absorbs huge amounts of Carbon Dioxide, replenishing the nutrients in the soil as it grows, and produces three times as much fiber as an acre of cotton. Alongside these environmental benefits, our hemp fabric is uniquely soft. Hemp also has long, hollow fibres which enable it to breathe in the summer whilst insulating and keeping you cosy in the winter. It is the perfect year-round fabric!”
NS: “Where is hemp cultivated/grown?”
PS: “Hemp is grown pretty much anywhere – including the UK. However, the best quality hemp fabric comes from China because they have the machinery to finely weave the material into a buttery soft texture. Our hemp fabric feels similar to linen only softer!”
NS: “Which colours are most popular?”
PF: “The most popular colour has been the Sura Blue in the long set…”
NS: “Does the fabric crease?”
PF: “With the allure of a fine linen, our hemp is beautifully soft and crumples in its own unique way – rather than creasing like linen…”
NS: “Do you have any VIP clients and/or luxury collaborations you can mention?”
PF: “We’ve had our pyjamas worn by some fabulous women, which I am very proud of – namely, Julia Bradbury, Amelia Windsor and Scarlet Curtis (left to right, below). We’re about to collaborate with Initially London, the bespoke monogramming company, for an Embroidery Event. I am so excited as I love all of Initially’s monogramming which works beautifully on our pyjamas. They make a great addition to any set and also work wonderfully for personalised presents…”
Via @stolondon on Instagram; online via the website http://www.stolalondon.com; at retail stores Wolf and Badger, Myza and Collagerie.
STOLA pop-up at designer market, The Drops, Kings Cross, London, from Friday 6th May to Sunday 8th May in King’s Cross. See website for details.
STOLA and Initially London: Wednesday 13th April in SW6. See website for details.