BRIGHT AND BOLD: Jennifer Healey in one of her own creations – the Lady Jane trenchcoat 			 TM pics
BRIGHT AND BOLD: Jennifer Healey in one of her own creations – the Lady Jane trenchcoat TM pics

A STARTFORTH fashion designer has launched a sustainable clothing range, Peach Eyes, named as a homage to her beloved late grandmother.

Three years ago, Jennifer Healey won a coveted fashion scholarship with Tu at Sainsbury’s after some of her designs featured on the catwalk during graduate fashion week in London.

Ms Healey, 26, moved to Coventry to take up the scholarship and subsequent role at Sainsbury’s, but following a post-Covid restructure in March was made redundant. She saw it as the “ideal opportunity” to fulfil a life-long ambition to start her own label.

She said: “The scholarship made me learn really fast. I ended up doing everything and got to go to Turkey to visit the suppliers. They had a restructure in March and my job role was gone. Although I was asked to apply for another role, I felt like it was a sign.

“Just before Covid I had been talking about leaving as I wanted to be more creative, so I decided to take the opportunity and set up my own brand.”

She returned north, moving into an annex at her parents’ home in Startforth to keep the costs down. She added: “I want Peach Eyes to be luxury but sustainable.”

Her British made brand has been named after a variety of iris in tribute to her late grandmother who was a keen gardener and fond of the plant. Ms Healey added: “When people think about sustainable clothing they tend to think of linen in muted colours, but I want to inject a bit of fun and vibrancy into that.”

Top quality materials have been sourced from the UK and printing of her bold, geometric prints is done using a digital process that uses less water.

There is no plastic packaging for her clothing which uses recycled cardboard boxes instead.

Ms Healey added: “I wanted the brand to be well-made, quality clothing that will last. I launched it with three items of clothing as well as the hosiery and silk headscarves.”

“I’ve been quite overwhelmed by the response since I launched the collection,” she said. “The orders for hosiery have been fantastic and I’ve had a lot of people contacting me online about the whole collection.”