After recently celebrating our 18th birthday, and welcoming some new faces in the AG community as of late, we felt like this was the perfect opportunity to introduce (or reintroduce!) you to the journey of our brand that has been nearly two decades in the making. Sit back, grab a brew and let’s catch you up!
A journey started in childhood
Although officially launched in 2005, Ayten Gasson’s founder Ayten Robert’s journey with garment creation started much earlier. As a child, Ayten had strong maternal figures to serve as inspiration for both a passion for sewing and a fair work ethic:
“Both my parents are immigrants, having come over from Northern Cypress during the Cypress Conflict. My grandmother and my mum ended up working in the garment industry. I was fascinated by how these garments were made and loved watching the pieces pass through the production line, being cut, sewn, ironed and packed.
During this time my mother was working from home, sewing on an industrial Singer machine in the spare room, I would sit with her earning my pocket money by cutting the cotton threads.”
Growing up in a sewing family also introduced Ayten to the darker side of the garment industry. She witnessed first-hand the common exploitation of fast-fashion workers, with both her mother and grandmother earning less than minimum wage to create clothes for popular high-stress shops:
“I remember my mother once telling me she would receive 20p a piece for a shirt that I would later see in Topshop.”
This ignited a determination within Ayten to not only create garments of premium quality but also ensure her workforce would always be treated and paid ethically and fairly. With a vision of her business in mind, Ayten began putting her skills gained from childhood and time spent at the prestigious art school Central Saint Martins into action.
Joining the sustainable revolution
After launching her luxury silk lingerie brand in the early 2000s, Ayten initially stocked in independent boutiques and department stores. Choosing to work with close-by factories, she was able to frequently visit and asses working conditions to make sure they aligned with her non-negotiable standards of ethics.
Ayten continued her sewing journey by expanding the brand with an independent boutique in the heart of Brighton, before relocating to a beautiful Hove studio. Ayten Gasson now operates as an online business so customers all across the world can purchase lingerie and silkwear to love for a lifetime.
As Ayten’s business grew, so did her drive for a sustainable approach to garment creation. After seeing the ethical impact of fast fashion, she also educated herself on its environmental impact and continues to take every step to ensure that Ayten Gasson keeps the preservation of our natural world at the forefront:
“I have become more and more passionate about researching sustainable business practices. Luckily, with each year, this is becoming easier.
I’m constantly looking at ways to reduce waste. I limit our production runs so only a few items are made at a time and much of our stock is made to order. This means once an order comes in I can make it up and send it to the customer, usually within 4 working days, limiting the amount of fabric we need to purchase at once.
We can’t wait to see where the Ayten Gasson story takes us next. Join us along the way!