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Born in Cornwall: childrenswear brand, Frugi

Frugi, which means fruits of the earth in Latin, is a Cornish-based ethical children’s clothing and accessories company that’s planet friendly ethos has seen them win the hearts of parents across the globe. Starting on a much smaller scale, Frugi was born in Cornwall. Beginning back in 2004 when Lucy and Kurt Jewson created Cut4Cloth in their Cornish home.

In 2008 the brand name changed to Frugi and the collection grew to include clothing for older children and for breastfeeding mums. In 2010 the brand began operating from a purpose built HQ in Helston. This is when Jeni Bolton, now Frugi’s Head of Design, joined the team. Jeni lives in St Ives with her partner and two children, and is now joined by 80 others who work for the brand.

We chat to Jeni about Cornwall, clothing and the best coffee in the county…

What do you love most about St Ives?
The mix of environments you can experience in a short walk around the town. Crystal clear sea, white sand, cobbled shopping streets and a contemporary art space and amazing eateries… it has everything!

What would your perfect day in Cornwall look like?
A sunny coastal walk with family and friends with a cliff-top picnic that includes a piece of cake from our village farmers market. Followed by a sea swim – no wetsuit – and ending with big tired-out cuddles on the sofa with my children.

How does Cornwall inspire your designs?
I really do see inspiration in everything but in Cornwall it has to be its great outdoors! I feel truly at home in the Cornish wilderness and am inspired by the freedom and adventure we get to enjoy down here. Barefoot beach walks, sea swims, wild cliff top scrambles with endless views and ancient tors.

I love the buzz of the summer in Cornwall when everyone comes to enjoy this beautiful corner of the UK but delight in the calm and quiet of the long winter too.

Do you have a favourite beach?
It’s so hard to pick but I would probably say my local beach. It is 3 miles of sandy joy stretching from Hayle estuary along to Godrevy Lighthouse. We’ve enjoyed so many adventures within that 3 miles from sunset BBQs to sand dune bike rides, long windy walks, calm paddle boards, choppy surfs and plenty of seal spotting.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
As we are a creative team I get a huge amount from spending time with everyone in the office, sharing ideas and getting excited about future plans. Lockdown was tough trying to stay inspired when stuck at home, being apart and so screen orientated. We are really appreciating being back in the studio working with product samples but also being able to get out in to the world again and be inspired by different surroundings.

A typical day is likely to include reviews of future ranges whether it be product sketches or print swatches of a new design. It’s also likely to include planning discussion for future photoshoots.

What’s Frugi’s approach to sustainability?
We take a leading approach on sustainability from product design and supply base through to our working processes. It leads all our decisions and we are constantly striving to offer consumers a truly sustainable option.

What’s the favourite thing about your job?
I just love creating wonderful things with our super talented creative team. We are working on some big exciting projects at the moment, so you’ll have to watch this space.

Frugi has always been a fiery ball of ambition, bravery and innovation with an amazing team that supports one another and are driven to continually improve. It is the fuel that still excites me about my job and the brand even after 11 years.

Lastly, any Cornish brands you’d like to shout out?
Yallah Coffee for the absolute best coffee served at their hatch on St Ives seafront!

welovefrugi.com