International Women's Day: Five female founders of brands you need to know about

We’ve been lucky enough to come across some incredible women in the vegan and ethical space who are doing big things. For International Women’s Day, we're bringing you a round up of some of these wonderful women and their amazing brands, and hearing more about who their role models were in their early years.  

SOFIA LATIF, Sofia Latif skincare

International Women Day brands Sofia Latif
Can you tell us a little bit more about your brand?

SOFIA LATIF is simplified skincare to amplify a woman’s raw beauty. Nurturing an attitude of inner confidence and knowing, a slowing down and an understanding that their raw beauty is enough. A fusion of Indian and African wisdom, each blend respects the differences in skin that come with age, regenerating and strengthening with pure seeds and flower oils. SOFIA LATIF is pro-ageing, simplified skincare, hand-crafted in small batches with a planet conscious ethos. Vegan, waterless, and cruelty free.

International Women Day brands Sofia Latif
What inspired you to start your brand?

There is a narrative around getting older that pervades so much of what we see in the industry, and I want to change that. I also want to give women the confidence to show off their skin as it changes over time, using pure seed and flower oils which have been used for centuries to create healthy and strengthened skin.

Who were your female role models while growing up and who inspires you now?

Growing up, music legends were my role models – strong women doing things their way such as Tina Turner and Madonna. And of course there is my Mum who helped keep our heritage alive as we grew up, whilst we forged our own path in the world – I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but am now forever grateful for it. My inspiration today is Arianna Huffington – a woman who changed her life’s direction at a time in her life when most would expect her to start winding down, and realised a new dream with Thrive.

Where can we find out more about your brand?

Shop at sofialatif.com and on Instagram @sofialatifoils.

KASIA RING, Care Wears

International Women Day brands Care Wears
Can you tell us a little bit more about your brand?

Care Wears is a playful answer to the ethical, sustainable and vegan fashion movement. I’m on a mission to bring a pop of colour and light-hearted humour to your wardrobe, while keeping the planet and its inhabitants in mind.

International Women Day brands Care Wears
What inspired you to start your brand?

A few years ago my friends said my drawings would look cool on t-shirts, so I decided to learn how to screen print clothing to give it a go. I never had big plans of starting a clothing brand, it kind of happened by accident!

Who were your female role models while growing up and who inspires you now?

I come from a very humble upbringing, and I actually cannot recall having any role models in my childhood who pursued their careers and were able to follow their passions. Although my mum and most women around me have always taught me how to have a strong work ethic, which has been extremely important to me. These days I am often inspired by many amazing women around me, many of whom are my friends, who also run their own businesses and are absolutely smashing it!

Where can we find out more about your brand?

Shop at carewears.co.uk and on Instagram @care.wears.

MAHIRA KALIM, Spruce

International Women Day brands Spruce
Can you tell us a little bit more about your brand?

Spruce is an ethical home cleaning product that is on a mission to clean up the planet. With its refillable bottles and plastic-free concentrated refills, Spruce makes it easy to choose the eco-friendly lifestyle.

International Women Day brands Spruce
What inspired you to start your brand?

The inspiration for Spruce had been brewing over the past ten years as I suffered from health issues on a continuum. We re-evaluated our lifestyles to cut out toxins in everyday products but I couldn’t find cleaning products that weren’t filled with synthetic fragrances or toxic chemicals.

Who were your female role models while growing up and who inspires you now?

My biggest role model growing up was my mum who was a housewife and raised four kids, but she always pushed her daughters to be completely independent and always aim high.

I attribute most of my strength and resilience to her.

Also, Emilie Vanpoperinghe who is the Co-Founder of ODDBOX, a food waste saviour and Emily Penn an ocean advocate and skipper who has spent the last decade exploring plastic pollution and is the founder of an all-female voyage called eXXpedition.

Where can we find out more about your brand?

Shop at wearespruce.co and on Instagram @we.are.spruce.

Siobhan McKenna, ReJean Denim

International Women Day brands ReJean Denim
Can you tell us a little bit more about your brand?

ReJean is a gender-neutral sustainable fashion label built on reclaiming, repurposing and repairing denim for a new generation of conscious consumers. Based in the Glasgow Barras, the old heart of our vibrant industrial city, we make unisex denim jackets and accessories from 100% reclaimed materials,

International Women Day brands ReJean Denim
What inspired you to start your brand?

Starting a brand is a really daunting task when you have no money or resources. Buying in new materials without any real guarantee that I could sell them seemed really risky.

I saw first hand the amount of second-hand denim that was going to waste, it’s designed to be a really hard wearing fabric so it seemed kinder to the planet if I went down the reuse route.

Who were your female role models while growing up and who inspires you now?

I remember reading a book about Vivienne Westwood and her life story as a student in Manchester. Her worth ethic and ethos still resonate with me today, a powerhouse of a woman.

Who inspires me today? The women around me, my mum and aunties, the women who I volunteer with as part of Fashion Revolution Scotland.  My fellow small business owners and friends, we are all always supporting each other and giving advice, and a win for one of us feels like a win for us all!

Where can we find out more about your brand?

Shop at rejeandenim.com and on Instagram @rejeandenim.

MELANIE BLANE, White Rabbit Skincare

International Women Day brands White Rabbit Skincare
Can you tell us a little bit more about your brand?

White Rabbit Skincare is a premium plant-based skincare brand, which focuses on planet-friendly practises, from ingredients to packaging.

International Women Day brands White Rabbit Skincare
What inspired you to start your brand?

I was diagnosed with the skin condition psoriasis and thought what better way to manage the symptoms and guarantee what ingredients a product contained, how it was made and so on than to make them myself!

Who were your female role models while growing up and who inspires you now?

My Mum is one of four sisters and I have many, many female cousins who I am incredibly close to. They have inspired me and continue to every single day.

Where can we find out more about your brand?

Shop at whiterabbitskincare.co.uk and on Instagram @whiterabbitskincare.