We’re Ben and Louise, the founders of Bouclé!
Both originally from Sussex, we became friends while studying the same degree course - Fashion Design with Knitwear at Central Saint Martins in London a few years ago now.
While studying together at university and interning at giant global fashion corporations, our passion for slow hand craft was very much reaffirmed and, as our time studying our degrees came to an end, it became clear to us both that neither of us wanted to venture down the ‘fast fashion’ career pathway.
After focusing on environmentally conscious practice during our final collections, we were adamant that we wanted to continue with these sustainable values in our work after university. Especially after seeing first hand the fast-paced, unethical and highly wasteful aspects of the fashion industry, we felt compelled to embrace a slower, more conscious approach to life, in a mindful and principled manner.
After graduation, we freelanced as knitwear designers for small brands, a practice that we’re still lucky enough to occasionally do. Whilst designing and creating from home, Ben realised his headaches were related to the artificially scented, chemical filled candles that he burned in our studios. From this discovery, a joint interest developed in researching and experimenting with natural materials and ingredients while looking at health in a very holistic approach. During a quiet period of work on a grey January morning we began experimenting with blending essential oils, mostly for fun and with a completely open mind.
To cut a long story short, Bouclé was born in 2020! Initially it was to support ourselves alongside our freelance work, however, we’ve been fortunate enough that it has organically grown into our full time, primary jobs!
…If we aren’t working in our studios we are most likely to be found on the south coast seaside, cycling in the Essex countryside or crocheting in the sun.
Bouclé is a trading name of 'Boucle//watteau Sumpter Knits' a registered LLP owned by Ben Sumpter & Louise Watteau.
14 Wild Rose House, 3 Firwood Lane, London, RM3 0FQ