5 years of Ivy

Posted by Sally McLaren on

5 years ago today, I launched Ivy - my 3rd baby and what an incredible 5 years we've had! We started with 6 and now have 44 different t-shirts all offering something unique and special to make you feel good. These t-shirts are products that I needed, it is as simple as that. I am delighted to be here now, 5 years later with the knowledge that you all needed them too.

In a lightbulb moment whilst finding my feet as a new mum, I knew what I was going to set out and create. I wholeheartedly believed in the product I wanted to develop, and the absolute need for it. Nothing else was cutting it when it came to great basics - I didn’t look or feel good in any t-shirts I had at the time. Poor cut, unflattering sleeves, short body and sleeve length, misshapen or shrunk after washing, pilling fabric, detail for the sake of it...the list went on. I had wasted an incredible amount of money over the years buying poor quality t-shirts that didn’t last, leading me to buy more of the same that also didn’t last - what a waste of money and time, not to mention the fact that I was guilty of contributing to the landfill crisis.

Despite knowing that I needed to create this range, that's not to say that there weren't concerns - my biggest one being that I'd be entering into one of the most competitive markets - i.e. women's clothing.

I'd come from a buying background, having managed kids, mens and womenswear departments so I knew the highs and lows of the retail industry. The personal and financial risk, however, is massive when starting your own brand BUT I wholeheartedly believed in my product and that’s all I needed (plus a supportive husband!) to take the risk.

In an ever challenging and changing climate, and with a huge amount of choice in the market it can be an up hill battle for independent brands like Ivy to stand out. It also makes it tricky as a consumer to navigate and know where to shop. If you’re anything like me, you want to shop mindfully and responsibly. Knowing that you’re buying something that has been made consciously, that’ll last for years not just a season, something that will work with the other items in your wardrobe and for your lifestyle and shape, all whilst not breaking the bank.

As we mark this very special milestone together with you, the ones who have got us to this point, I thought I would share the 5 key things that I think make us Ivy.


COMFORTABLE CLOTHING Making sure you feel confident in t-shirts that feel great every time you put them on is our biggest priorityWe make one thing and we make it well, with no distractions. Our t's are scrutinised to the most minute detail to get it right for YOU. The fit and measurements, the fabric quality, feel, shape, washability and the colours.

Our t-shirts are for living in. We don’t cut back on fabric to save ourselves money and always make our t-shirts generous enough for you to feel your most comfortable, whether it’s in the body length, sleeve length or silhouette, whatever the fabric consumption and cost. 


SUSTAINABLE AND TIMELESS Our t-shirts are wardrobe essentials, designed and made to offer longevity. We don’t add detail for the sake of it, or logos/branding that might date. Everything has a premium finish and our shapes and styles are simple, intended to become key parts of your capsule wardrobe, make you feel amazing, work with your individual style, and give you confidence in your basics.
Nothing we do is churned out to be a fast-fashion money maker and we feel strongly that we want to minimise what ends up in landfill.  


ETHICALLY AND RESPONSIBLY SOURCED IN PORTUGAL We produce our t-shirts close to home in Portugal by a Sedex approved factory who care about what they make, how they make it, who makes it and the impact they have. Everything is tested from the yarn to the fabric to the colour fastness to the pilling to the washability….we know that the more that goes into the garment during its manufacture the more confidence you can have in knowing it’ll last for you.
Sourcing from Europe allows us to buy small quantity runs so we avoid over committing and ending up with left over stock that could add to landfill. We buy little and often to avoid this. Fortunately though, we are now in a position to commit to a years worth of organic cotton yarn in our core stripe colours that will always be in our range (i.e. white, navy and red) in order to be as efficient as possible. Spinning and dying in bulk like this ensures we are minimising our impact where we can.


PREMIUM ORGANIC COTTON FABRICS I am proud to say that our full range is now made using GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and GRS (Global Recycled Standard) certified soft organic cotton jersey. It is one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics, and doesn't undergo a harsh manufacturing process. Grown chemical-free, without pesticides or insecticides, organic cotton requires 71% less water in production due to improved soil quality and 62% less energy than conventional cotton. 


Aside from the environmental benefits, organic cotton also provides the incredible softness that you know and love us for. Not only does it feel amazing to wear, it is the ideal choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies, as fewer chemicals are used in its manufacture. Combined with longer, smoother fibres than regular cotton, organic cotton fabrics are softer, feel better and last longer. 




WE ARE HERE FOR YOU When you contact us, you will get all the support you need from me and my small team. You receive a personal response and we are always here to help with styling, sizing or any other queries and just love hearing from you and helping in any way that we can. Everything we send is lovingly wrapped for you in recycled tissue paper and every item of packaging can be fully recycled.
When we feel comfortable and confident in what we wear, we feel better.
Yes, these are wardrobe BASICS, but they are undeniably, wardrobe ESSENTIALS.
Thank you for being with me. I am beyond thrilled with how many women are now part of the Ivy family and I can't wait to see where we go from here.
 With love, Sally x

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