About Conscious Apparel – our story

A shared passion for ethical fashion led to the reconnection of two friends, Sylvia Schroer and Karin Barter.  Both in our 50s and 60s we wanted to wear clothes that made us look and feel fabulous, and did not make us look invisible – as clothing for women of our age can so often do. Sylvia’s mother, Irmgard Chapman, was a fashion entrepreneur in the 1960s and 70s. When she passed away in 2013, Sylvia found herself drawn to fashion herself and she started working at a much loved ethical fashion boutique in York (Maude & Tommy). Sylvia decided to branch out herself after the boutique closed and invited Karin, who had recently retired from teaching, to join her to take Conscious Apparel forwards. The company started in 2018.

The two friends initially met many years ago when travelling on a bus to India and enjoyed more travelling adventures together – in the days before this became a popular thing to do in a gap year. We were lucky and travelled through Iran and Pakistan – as well as seeing beautiful Syria. We lost touch over the years as our lives went in different directions but through re-connecting recently we found we shared so many interests and values in common.

Conscious Apparel is value driven company, based on the principle of kindness to both garment workers and the environment. We absolutely need to start to think more about wearing more sustainable fabrics – and clothing that is manufactured ethically, with workers rights being respected We are delighted that over the past six years since we started the company, there is so much more awareness about ethical fashion.

Six years on, the company is also solely based in North Yorkshire – after Karin moved to Malton. We have started designing our own clothes as well as working with designers and manufacturers of beautiful artisan clothing – in India  – where the artisan skills are of a very high level. Nila Rubia, whose clothes we love, tells us it takes seven years to train as a hand block printer. These are not clothes you will find on the high street and often each piece is unique.

So please join us and celebrate ethically made clothing that will make you feel fabulous whenever you put it on –  clothing that can make everyday feel special.

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