Meet the Maker: Alex and Ed, Designers, Butter Homeware
There is something special about brands created during lockdown. Born out of the necessity to lift up our moods, bring light into our interior, and share positive vibes.
“We were tired of using and disposing of paper towels at every meal we looked for a sustainable alternative. Our problem was the napkins on the market were either achingly dull or cripplingly expensive. We struck on producing classic table linen that could lift any meal.” We ask Ed, Founder of Butter Homeware, and his partner in life and in business Alex, a couple of questions about their first beautiful linen collection.
Could you tell us three things about you both?
We’re a couple. We both went to the same secondary school. All our fabric styles are named after places we’ve travelled to together.
What is the story behind Butter Homeware?
We’re both part of ‘generation rent’. A generation who want to make a house a home, but won’t own a place for years to come. That means that homeware is really important. It allows us to put our own personal touch on a space when we can’t ‘redo’ a house. Table linen plays such an important role in livening up a space, but the options on the market were really limited. That is where Butter comes in!
What inspired you in the choice of textiles?
With sustainability front of mind, we wanted to create timeless classics; pieces that will not fall in and out of fashion.
The table linen market is full of achingly bland styles or cripplingly expensive ones. Our choices of classic, yet characterful textiles provide an answer to this.
Our textile of choice is linen which is made from flax. Flax is a strong plant best grown in northern Europe. It needs little or no fertilizers and due to the local climate, little extra water. It doesn’t really require many pesticides either as it can grow in poor-quality soil. Flax cultivation has positive effects on ecosystem diversity as it allows for an “environmental pause”. Every part of the plant is used, what isn’t used to produce linen can be used to make linseed oil, paper, cattle feed, or even soap. Linen is therefore almost naturally organic. It is completely biodegradable, recyclable and due to its natural absorbency, it requires less dye than cotton. Linen, therefore, scores high on the ecological chart.
What were/are your other careers in?
Alex spent the first half of her career in fashion, starting in buying before moving to the British Fashion Council. She now works as a sustainability consultant looking to help companies overhaul their business practices. Ed has spent his career in advertising and branding, working with all manner of clients from Unilever and Tinder to Captain Morgan and Budweiser. Butter is currently our passion project on the side, but we’d love to run it full-time one day.
How do you find working as a couple?
Great! We both have our areas of expertise, but we are equally engaged in the key areas of the business. It’s early days though, come back to us in a couple of years!
What are the lessons you’ve learned from launching your own business in quarantine?
The tools are out there for you to do it. It’s mainly a question of energy and belief.
What advice would you give to someone who would want to launch their own?
Just get going. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Analysis paralysis is a real thing. You’ll learn how to do things on the job that you could never have planned for.
Do you think confinement has changed the way people see their homes/tables?
Absolutely. People have invested time and money in their homes, and as the restrictions ease, one can see people getting back into ‘dinner party’ culture.
What are your tips for the perfect table setting?
Fresh flowers in bud vases. Use any ribbon you have lying around to tie up the napkins to add a bit of detail. Lighting is absolutely key. Natural light or candlelight are always winners. But don’t overthink it – become too considered and you’re missing the point.
Any wishes for 2021?
Please let us host friends and family. We just want to have our loved ones round to our loved spaces, is that so much to ask!