Hello. We are O Pioneers.
O Pioneers is a British clothing label founded in Camden, north London by us: Clara Francis, actor and jewellery designer and Tania Hindmarch, PR and home seamstress.
We’ve always shared an interest in ‘fashion’ and a leaning towards vintage clothes, charity shop gems and girlie frocks. Throughout the years of designing and making things for ourselves we were always happily surprised to find that friends, and friends of friends, loved our styles and often asked us to make for them too!
One morning, walking our dogs on the Heath we decided to create O Pioneers, our own small label, where we could share some of our designs with like-minded women. The items we sell are all things that we wear ourselves. We hope that if we love them, you’ll love them too.
Our main idea: a few simple, feminine and flattering designs, hand-crafted in the most beautiful, end of stock, heritage fabrics. This means most of our pieces are limited editions and one offs.
Although beautiful, we want our dresses to be practical. For wear everyday – not just saved for best! We’re both working mums so we know how important that is! Most of our clothes are made in cotton so they are machine washable (check the washing instructions on each item) and all our dresses have big side pockets because there’s always something to carry!
Our clothes are made with quality in mind and designed to be staple wardrobe pieces to be worn and enjoyed for years to come. Our simple designs draw inspiration from old sewing patterns and the nostalgia and romance of dressing up. Because that’s how we like to dress!
O Pioneers is a grown up fashion label for women who still want to be playful. It is our labour of love and we hope you love it as much as we do.
Clara and Tania XX
We want O Pioneers to reflect our core beliefs in slow, sustainable fashion; timeless style; flattering designs; quality making and attention to detail. The antithesis of ‘fast fashion’, O Pioneers is based on the philosophy that if an item of clothing is desirable, well-made and stylishly classic it will be a loved item in a wardrobe that gets revisited time and again, for years to come.
We actively steer O Pioneers to be a ‘slow fashion’ label with integrity. For us this means:
• using end of season fabrics and dead stock where possible
• crafting fabric off-cuts into patchwork and applique that we use in some of our designs
• working with other female-led businesses and suppliers, thereby supporting women in a still predominantly male-led industry
• sourcing local seamstresses and craftswomen to make our clothes to reduce mileage and enable collaborative and supportive working relationships
• maintaining a low stock level to avoid excess
• utilising minimal, reusable packaging
Using past season and end of line fabrics from quality textile icons such as Liberty, who are members of the Better Cotton Initiative, we focus on making our clothes as individual as possible whilst retaining a very definite O Pioneers vibe. We only make small runs of each item in any particular fabric design or colour-way and we avoid waste wherever possible by using offcuts from the pattern cutting process to create beautiful patchwork and applique embellishments.
As working mums, it is important to us to collaborate and work with other female businesses and artisans, as we understand the fine balance between work and family. We work with talented women in and around London and beyond, who share our vision and help us create our beautiful dresses and knitwear.
We keep our designs simple – all of our dresses are based on the same bodice block with variations in dress length and sleeve style – and we keep our stock levels low to avoid excess and waste (but do always email us if you can’t find what you want as we can make to order).
Each item of clothing is hand finished, numbered and includes the name of the person who made it.
We have a passion for traditional British crafts and incorporate these skills such as quality dressmaking, hand knitting, patchwork and applique into our collections, all through the lens of our own unique viewpoint.
Individual, quality clothing designed to be loved and cherished for years, because we believe in the mantra, ‘Buy well, buy once’.