White T-Shirt Stories are…
A series of candid conversations with creatives, uncovering their values and style.
Deborah Mordain is...
Founder of Rockholly. Taking inspiration from the natural environment and channelling beautiful rural and urban landscapes, they design outerwear for women with contemporary style to protect them from the elements.
We talked about why Deborah started Rockholly, the brands values, and why sustainability is so important to her.
MI: What is Rockholly and why did you want to start the company?
DM: Rockholly is a contemporary rainwear brand for women, bridging the gap between performance and style. Our rainwear is 100% waterproof & breathable, but with a simple modern aesthetic suitable for the everyday.
After 15 years designing for outdoor brands such as Berghaus, I really felt that some of the larger outdoor brands weren’t addressing the market for women who wanted technical but stylish outdoor wear. Many women wanted to be protected from the elements, but didn’t want to look like they were about to climb a mountain. I thought this was a gap I could fill and do it well. Whilst on maternity leave, I started to speak to other women who were on the lookout for that perfect coat that was fully waterproof and breathable but looked good. It cemented my original idea and gave me the push to go for it.
MI: What brand values are most important to you and why?
DM: It is our intention to make beautiful sustainable rainwear you will want to hold onto for years. I feel passionately about getting people outdoors, so they can enjoy the benefit to their health & wellbeing and would love to play a small role in encouraging a life lived outside.
MI: Are sustainability and ethics important to you?
DM: Sustainability and ethics are massively important to me personally and how I manage Rockholly.
It begins with the design of the product. My aim is to design coats that are beautiful, timeless and of a high quality. If you design a product well, it should be sustainable. I would encourage anyone to buy less, but buy well.
I am also dedicated to producing clothing that enables people to enjoy the outdoors, without compromising the environment. We use ONLY environmentally sound PFC waterproof coatings on our coats and all of our packaging is recycled/recyclable. For future ranges, I hope to build on and work with recycled fabrics and insulation.
MI: Responsible fashion means something different to everyone, what does it mean to you?
DM: To me, it means producing quality products that will last. I don’t want to contribute to a throwaway society. I like to describe Rockholly as ‘slow fashion!’ Everyone in this industry needs to think of the future and the role we all play.
MI: What are your plans for the future of Rockholly?
DM: I hope to expand the brands product offering, but in a considered way. I have lots of ideas for how we can expand, but I want to be measured in my approach and ensure all products are ‘useful’ and well considered.
MI: How would you describe your style and does a white t-shirt play a role?
DM: My personal style is casual and classic. I am mum of 3 young girls, so most days I dress simply and functionally (you won’t often catch me in heels). I try to buy timeless pieces that will last and I can throw on easily before the school run. I love a classic white-shirt and have always had a few different shapes and styles in my wardrobe. I don’t think a white t-shirt will ever date.
MI: How would you style one of your Rockholly coats?
DM: I guess I style Rockholly for a photoshoot, based on how I personally wear the brand. Usually with boots, skinny jeans and a chunky knit during the winter or teamed up with classic leather sandals and shorts during Spring. Customers have told me they love the Transitional Coat for its versatility, so tell me they wear it for the morning commute to work over a suit, but then with jeans on a weekend. This makes me really happy to think Rockholly plays a such useful and functional part of a women’s wardrobe.
Please visit Rockholly to view Deborah's full range of outerwear and learn more about the brand.