Riya Amin; The Next Thread.
Meet Riya Amin, she is 21 years of age, from London and is the owner of The Next Thread. Alongside running her business, she is studying Business Management with Communications at University of Birmingham as well as interning at a start up. She is hugely interested in business and constantly looking for ways to learn more so if she's not sewing or creating designs she will probably reading a book or an article about successful women or about how a particular business started. In her own words 'starting a business has always been a personal goal for me so to be growing The Next Thread is really exciting for me!'
TELL THE READERS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, WHY YOU STARTED IT? THE BACKGROUND AND THE INSPIRATION?
‘The Next Thread is a London based online hand embroidery brand. I hand embroid my own designs onto a range of clothing and accessories, then the designs are sold on my website, at pop up shops and craft markets. I only repeat designs if they are specifically requested as a bespoke design, this adds an element of individuality to every design as its one of a kind. As well as my designs I accept commissions for custom designs and work with the client to create the perfect piece. To give you a bit of background, I have been sewing since I was a child after being taught by my mum who was taught by her mum, I’ve been using these skills to design and create things like cushion covers and hair accessories all throughout my childhood but it wasn’t until I went to university that I started to customise and tailoring my own clothes. I couldn’t quite find what I wanted online or high street shops and any designs that I did like were completely out of my budget as a student and I realised I could easily recreate them myself, and it would be a lot more affordable. Not long after my friends and family began requesting designs for themselves and the business began.’
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE PROCESS OF MAKING A PRODUCT FOR ‘THE NEXT THREAD’?
‘The production process starts with me digitally drawing the design by hand so I can use it as a template. At this stage I will begin to decide the thread colours. Once I am happy with the template I will work out the design size on the blank product. Next, I’ll copy the design onto tracing paper, this becomes the final template that I will use to actually sew. Then, I will set up the embroidery hoop, the stabiliser and the trace template, and start sewing. Once I have finished the embroidery I remove what is left of the tracing paper and cut down any excess stabiliser.’
YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS AS SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL, WHY? AND WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU?
‘The Next Thread has a big focus on being environmentally friendly and sustainable and I am really proud of how each piece is made and how it reflects the brand. I source the blanks that I embroider on from a sustainable U.K based supplier, the manufacturers are all committed to operating at industry leading quality standards without compromising any other areas of production.
It is really important to me that the suppliers I use all have strict assessment processes to ensure that the standards are met. Each product I create is created in small quantities so that there is far less material waste and no excess production. The various components in the packaging process are either made from recycled materials or support other small businesses, for example the branded stickers have been created by another small business and the tissue is used is made from recycled paper. This part of the business is really important because many customers are becoming much more discerning about what they buy and as a result businesses are being compelled to consider their impact on the planet, both socially and environmentally. I think as a business owner there is a level of social responsibility when operating your business and customers are rightfully demanding that businesses display a level of transparency when it comes to this responsibility. So if I, as a small business owner can operate sustainably and ethically it can serve as an example to other small businesses that it is possible to conduct your business with consideration for the environment without compromising any business success.’
ARE THERE ANY OTHER COMPANIES THAT ARE SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL THAT YOU RECOMMEND?
‘There are loads of companies that are doing some really great work to create more sustainable and ethical business practices. But to highlight just a few; CanO Water provides natural spring water in a can giving people the option of a recyclable alternative to a single use plastic bottles. TOTM Organic is a eco-friendly period care delivery service, that provides organic cotton tampons, pads and liners. This is something that is really important because period care manufactures aren’t required to disclose ingredients, so plastic and chemicals are often found in conventional period care products and organic cotton is good for both the planet and your body. Fuchsia Shaw is a London based clothing brand by the influencer Amy Fuchsia. She designs and manufactures those products in small quantities and in London, which means she is reducing waste material from excess production and is supporting London based manufacturers and suppliers. Ethique is a sustainable beauty brand, their products are vegan, plastic free, cruelty and palm free. They do everything from shampoo bars to face creams, using sustainable beauty products it is such a great way to make a small contribution to a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.’
WHERE DO YOU WANT ‘THE NEXT THREAD’ TO GO IN THE FUTURE?
‘As with any business the main goal is growth really. I plan to have The Next Thread stocked at more shops that support independent businesses and to be at more craft markets. I’ll continue to create one of a kind designs, and I hope to do more bespoke designs as working with clients creating their own pieces is one of my favourite parts of the business.’
TELL THE READERS ABOUT THE COLLABORATION- THE NEXT THREAD X THE BLOGGERS BIBLE?
'The Next Thread has been working with The Bloggers Bible to bring you an exclusive T Shirt design! Molly and I worked together to create a design that really supports The Bloggers Bible’s ethos and we hope you’ll love it just as much as we do! There will be five T Shirts available to buy, with 15% of the price going directly to the Mind; a charity that provides support to those experiencing a mental health problem, and on top of that, The Bloggers Bible will double whatever total is raised. You can buy the T Shirts at https://www.thenextthread.co.uk or drop The Next Thread a DM to place an order. By ordering a T Shirt you will be supporting an independent female owned business and a really worthy cause!'
If you want to be further inspired by Riya and her brand follow the instagram pages @thenextthread and @riya.amin98.