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Mamoq’s ‘clean and conscious’ response to fast fashion

By Mike Scialom

mamoq founders Madeline Petrow and Lenny Leemann
mamoq founders Madeline Petrow and Lenny Leemann

Ethical and eco-conscious shopping at your fingertips thanks to Cambridge social venture

AmaElla is a Cambridge-based firm with a range of cotton lingerie that sits easily in the mamoq range
AmaElla is a Cambridge-based firm with a range of cotton lingerie that sits easily in the mamoq range

A new range of clothing and accessories from 'clean and conscious' suppliers across Europe has been collated by Cambridge-based mamoq.

The firm has 25 suppliers contributing to its online retail model. On sale are items from shoes to bags to swimwear, all sourced from firms which meet mamoq's criteria for sustainability and accountability.

Since the website went live a month ago, co-founder Madeline Petrow says the firm"has been inundated with inquiries from other brands - it's been really incredible".

The firm has two mutually compatible missions, says Madeline.

Madeline Petrow and Lenny Leemann are founders of ethically responsible clothing firm mamoq
Madeline Petrow and Lenny Leemann are founders of ethically responsible clothing firm mamoq

"On the one side we're showcasing some amazing brands that are producing some incredible garments and accessories, and on the other side we are saying that whatever you do, consume responsibly and consider what you are buying, because we need to become more and more conscientious about the way we consume."

The chain of social responsibility involved in making the garments is crucial to mamoq's philosophy.

"There's now a lot of awareness of how we consume as a society. There's been a huge increase in consumerism in the last 30 years and that can be seen in terms of the garments we wear. In the fashion industry there used to be maybe four catwalks every season, now the cycle is every eight to 16 weeks. The speed of the new cycles is now so rapid, the buzzword in the industry now is 'fast fashion' - it's cheap, it's fast, and it won't be there tomorrow.

"That's the way consumerism in the world is moving, because the price tags are now so affordable there's not so much of a thought process before we buy somethingナ it's 'if I wear it, I wear it, if not, then I don't'.

"That's a really unfortunate way to think because it doesn't take account of societal costs - the materials used in producing the garment, the conditions for those involved in making it, and the effect afterwards when we throw it away and it sits and rots in a landfill. It's a waste we are creating by not thinking."

Madeline and co-founder Lenny Leemann started working on the mamoq concept a year ago, and are currently affiliated to the Cambridge Judge Business School through its Cambridge Social Ventures programme for businesses that want to"create real, scaleable, lasting social or environmental change".

Two of the brands mamoq works with are also connected to Cambridge Social Ventures: Ipswich-based Where Does It Come From? and Cambridge-based AmaElla.

"AmaElla do the finest organic cotton lingerie, and Where Does It Come From's mission is transparency, so that's looking at where the cotton is grown and picked, and who made your garment, which is really important in the fashion industry today."

The growing furore about plastic use hasn't escaped Madeline's attention.

"That mentality of questioning our daily actions and habits is really good,she says."We need to question everything we do - and not neglect clothing from that process.


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