Meet The Maker: Emilie O’Connor

Our Meet the Maker series lets us get a glimpse into the life of these eco-conscious founders and their beautiful products. Brands who inspire eco-friendly practices and lead the way in sustainability deserve a big shout-out, and we had the pleasure of catching up with one of our brands who is doing just that – with one reusable lunchbox at a time.

Emilie O’Connor, founder and creator of her namesake brand, designs planet-friendly tableware that is irresistibly beautiful and 100% sustainable. After studying at the renowned Central St Martins in London and becoming a stylist and art director, she redirected her skills and passion into eco-conscious products for your home. Creating tableware and picnic sets using ethically and sustainably sourced materials, this brand is set on making the world a better place. Designed with the oceans in mind, Emilie O’Connor donates 5% of profits to Surfers Against Sewage to help clean up our beaches.

From picnic blankets to the dining room table, this stylishly sustainable homeware brand is a gorgeously inspiring collection to share with family and friends.

Emilie O'Connor

What inspired you to start your brand?

Before this, I worked as a stylist and art director making adverts, which was very wasteful. I was inspired by the challenge of designing and creating products that have a better impact on the natural world.

Can you talk us through an average day at Emilie O’Connor?

As a small business owner and mum, I wear a lot of different hats. An average day starts around 7 am and begins with 15 minutes of yoga and waking the children. I then pack lunches in our bamboo lunch boxes! We eat breakfast, bike to school, and I’m back home around 9 am, with coffee and lists!

On Monday and Tuesday, I do business admin and wholesale. Wednesday’s I fill and pack orders and I design on Thursday’s. Friday is our day where we take photos and get inspiration for our website and social accounts.

Why is incorporating sustainability and ethics important to you, and how do you do it?

Sustainability is fundamental to the success of my company. I aim to create more sustainable options for living with less impact on the natural environment. I created my bamboo tableware so we can swap out plastic cups and plates for more eco-friendly options. It’s about taking food with you instead of buying food out and using single-use plastic wrapping.

By making it fun and stylish, I aim to spark conversations about endangered animals and encourage action. The designs are all about the sea, and I donate 5% of profits to Surfers against Sewage.

Emilie O'connor

Can you give us some insight into the making process of your products?

The tableware is made with bamboo fibre and corn starch, which is mixed together with a melamine binding resin. This makes it reusable and food safe. It is then put in moulds of different shapes like bowls and plates and cups, then printed with a decal print design which is a heat set.

If you could give one piece of advice about sustainability, what would it be?

Small actions make a difference!

Emilie O'connor tableware

What do you feel were the biggest highlights for your brand in 2021?

Through your purchases this year, we donated 5% of profits to Surfers against Sewage, which helped to enable the Million Mile Beach Clean Up Challenge. It’s still going on all over the UK, and you find out where your nearest clean is or make your own one!

What’s next for your brand? Is there anything coming up in the future that we should keep an eye out for?

Our exciting new homewares collection, with UK manufacturers! I will let you know when it arrives in time for summer.

Wearth has brought so many smaller sustainable businesses together, like mine, enabling us all to have a stronger sustainable voice and allowing people to shop more consciously!

Discover Emilie O’Connor’s beautifully designed homeware collection here at Wearth.