Oath Home is a not-for-profit company that creates cushions, Christmas stockings, and other luxury furnishings for the home.
Oath Home works with interior designers, fashion studios, and production companies, rescuing their unused fabrics that would otherwise have been sent to landfill or have been incinerated.
This charitable organisation’s team of dedicated craftspeople then uses these linens, silks and other luxury fabrics to create handmade – and often one-of-a-kind – home furnishings.
100% of Oath Home’s profits go to Step by Step, a charity that works to support homeless children.
We spoke to the team at Oath home to find out more about their business. Take a look below for our interview with them…
How did it all start?
Oath Home began when a friend of Anna Allington – Oath Home’s founder – retired from a 25-year tenure as a high-end interior designer. During his distinguished career, he had amassed countless roll-ends that clients no longer wanted but he could not bear to see go to landfill or incineration; on his retirement, Anna offered to take these rolls off his hands, determined to put them to good use.
In the height of summer, surrounded by literally tonnes of fabric, Anna decided to take these offcuts from other people’s homes and create luxury items for your home… the seed for Oath Home had been planted.
Anna, however, was not done there. Anna wanted to take the off casts from the very highest echelons of society to benefit those who are not at the top of fortune’s wheel, choosing to donate all profits to Step-by-Step, a charity that works to support homeless children and young people.
Anna’s founding aims were to reduce unnecessary waste (the UK alone destroys 206000 tonnes a year of unused fabric) and reducing homelessness (one in one hundred children experience some form of homelessness).
Which brings us to…
The story behind the name…
Offcuts Assisting The Homeless
Take Something Unwanted | Create Something Beautiful | Do Something Good
Where are you based?
Oath Home’s main studio is in Wimbledon, but they work with a team of talented craftspeople who are spread nationwide.
What inspires you?
The generosity of strangers.
Following the nest-egg donation from the retiring interior designer, word has spread about Oath Home’s aims, and they are now proud to partner with many different suppliers – most of whom donate anonymously; these donors include an interior designer, a film production studio, a tv company, a luxury interiors company, a sustainable warehouse and the capital’s biggest bespoke curtain manufacturer.
What is your creation process?
In addition to possessing amazing sewing skills, Oath Home’s creative team have a wide range of styles and tastes. This gamut of approaches means that Oath Home’s cushions, Christmas stockings and other accessories have styles ranging from the classic to the most modern and everything in between. Because of the nature of the fabrics they receive, their production runs are very small, which means that every day is a design day full of inspiration and excitement.
What makes you, your brand or products unique?
Oath Home has two main areas that make them unique: genuine sustainability and a 100% limited edition catalogue. Oath Home prides itself on being sustainable from start to finish, coving the three pillars of sustainability. Environmental: with the exception of the cotton they use to stitch things together, every single piece of fabric has been saved from its journey to the incinerator or a landfill site.
Economic: Not only does Oath Home pay everyone who works for them a genuine living wage, they offer complete flexibility of work to allow people with specific time restrictions (such as childcare) the opportunity to engage in meaningful employment.
Social: From day one, Oath Home donated 20% of the sale price to Step-by-Step in order to support the vital work they do in caring for homeless children. Since February this year, however, Oath Home took the decision to move to be completely not-for-profit, donating 100% of profits from all sales to Step by Step.
The second aspect of Oath Home that separates them from the pack is their strictly limited-edition runs. Because every piece of fabric is donated, and each of those donations is an offcut or roll end, most of Oath Home’s luxury home furnishings are created in runs of only one or two.
What is your next project?
Diversification! To allow for the continued stability of the not-for-profit aims of Oath Home, earlier this year the team behind Oath Home launched Oath Events (oathevents.co.uk). Maintaining Oath’s aims of sustainable, ethical, charitable, Oath Events offer private and corporate events of all shapes and sizes, but with a twist: the vast majority of the companies that supply Oath Events, are small, family run businesses, steering away from the big names in favour of boutique, sustainable luxury.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
Oath Home’s main aim for the coming year is to spread the name and aims of their organisation. With features in Vogue, World of Interiors, London Life and many others, the team hopes that Oath Home will continue to establish themselves as the go-to company for sustainable luxury.
What is your biggest achievement?
Whilst the extended team numbers in the twenties, the core of the company and the day-to-day business of the organisation is handled in its entirety by just three people: Oath Home’s Founder and Director Anna Allington, Emilia Wilson, Oath Home’s Head of Design and Dan Sproat-Clements, Oath’s Head of Operations. Whilst all three have very specific portfolios on paper, their remits are wide ranging, taking in everything from payroll to emptying the bins!
What is your best-selling product/line?
Due to the short production runs of their products, picking out a single best-seller is a little tricky, but new Katie Collection cushions have been flying out of the door and the Marie Antoinette Christmas stockings have been incredibly popular.
Your experience of your first Country Living Fair (year, exhibiting or visiting)
The team are yet to be able to attend the fair but are hoping that this year will be the first of many!
Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
1 – Take your time. You are not a sweatshop; your clients are coming to you for the craftsmanship and the precision that a small business or maker can bring to their products.
2 – Know who you are. Write and rewrite a succinct paragraph about who you are, what you do and why customers should buy your wares – if you don’t know who you are, how will they?
3 – Don’t forget about other craftspeople. In a world where you can buy literally anything on amaz**, and the next day delivery is omnipresent, don’t forget to support, interact with, follow, and tout the skills of others in our end of the market.
Any advice for fledgling businesses…
1 – Plan early. If you are just starting out, plan your stock and record keeping from the very beginning – the processes might seem pointless or time consuming at the beginning, but you will be glad that you have your processes in place when your orders are flying out of the door.
2 – Ask for help. No one can do everything, so do contact other people in your industry and ask what they did when they were starting – small business owners will remember all-too-clearly the pains of starting out and will (hopefully) remember the support, advice and direction that they received at the beginning.
3 – It’s not going to be perfect straightaway. You will make mistakes and things won’t go to plan – this is a certainty. Take the opportunity to really review what went wrong: if the error came from the planned process, review and revise your process; if the error came because there was no process, write one!