Being pregnant and unable to find suitable, quality outdoor maternity clothes inspired Llanarth’s Clare Winton, 37, to set up her own business.

Clare from Cork came to Ceredigion to study equine science at Aberystwyth University. She met husband Tim at university and the pair settled in Llanarth, where she works in quality assurance auditing in research.

Grow Wild Outdoorwear is a jump sideways following Clare’s experience of being pregnant with daughter Ella in 2019.

“I’ve always been an outdoors person and I couldn’t find maternity clothes to suit that lifestyle. That’s where the idea for quality outdoor maternity, postpartum and breastfeeding wear came from.”

Clare launched her business in October with some maternity leggings. She also has two breastfeeding tops made from bamboo, and a fleece is in development. On her website you can find a range of complementary products for that outdoor lifestyle – waterproof baby jackets, carriers and breastfeeding bras.

Clare said: “It’s been a long journey - three-and-a-half years developing the business and coming at it from a different background. I went to a consultancy in England to help and they said I should manufacture goods in China. I got up to the point of production and pulled the plug and brought it all back to the UK. I had drawings but not much else.

“I went to the Make it British organisation for help and now I’m really happy with the supply chain I’ve created and I’m really happy to be manufacturing in the UK. I know conditions of people making the items because I’ve had a tea break with them. All of my models are local women, real mums and babies. I usually put a call-out on social media and mums in exchange get some free prints. My dad Roger is the photographer. It’s a family business.

“I also donate 2 per cent of every sale, splitting that between two charities, Pandas and Refuge.

“Maternity fashion often lacks quality because people think only used for short amount of time but that doesn’t align with my ethics, and I wanted to know where the items were being made. It does push prices up; there is a cost to working in an ethical and sustainable way. But items last longer and can be enjoyed, and hopefully a second-hand market can also grow alongside this to make it more accessible to all.”

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