Backstage with Comet
Precious Award’s Start Up of the Year 2018 winner, Glow, is the epitome of East London’s idiosyncratic character. Producing handmade, high-vis knitwear that is both functional and fashionable is what makes this brand stand-out from the crowd. The collection is synonymous with the classic winter style with an inimitable twist. Below is an interview with the founder and the woman behind the magic, Comet Chukura.
What is your professional background?
I am a Fashion Designer and Stylist and studied at the London College of Fashion and have worked in the industry designing and styling for almost ten years.
How and why did you start Glow?
I started Glow because as a cyclist in London, I quickly realised there weren’t many easy-to-wear and fashionable high-visibility clothing options available, so I developed a range to meet these needs of the everyday commuter. I am one of London’s millions of commuters who travel throughout the city during the day and night and in order to ensure my safety, I chose to compromise safety over style and I would wear claustrophobic Lycra or builder’s hi-vis vests in order to be safe for many years until I developed the range. We started small, developing a simple collection of high-vis knitwear that is handmade by local women in London. Being a firm believer in giving back, I wanted to create a brand and products that directly benefit the consumer while simultaneously benefiting the maker. We value the people who make our collection as much as we value the consumer.
What is the inspiration behind Glow?
Simplicity, colour, function and adaptivity. I love the colours and the richness of East London and the simplicity of the Scandinavian style, so I wanted to create a product that encapsulated both. The knitwear is inspired by adaptive clothing that doesn’t look adaptive, so we have purposely not included poppers, zips or Velcro in our designs and instead used glassfibre to provide the high-vis property.
Well, I always say everyone’s wearing knitwear in winter, so it may as well do more for us. I think accessories are the easiest thing to add to an existing wardrobe, without impacting or changing one’s style. So, I wanted to make sure that Glow’s collection wasn’t heavily trend-driven. Ultimately, we want the range to grow into a full collection that is trans-seasonal, and knitted accessories seemed as good a place as any to start, breathable knitwear that looks good and is functional was an instinctive choice.
Why is having a social impact so important to you?
Because people are important. I hate that because of the capitalistic society we live in the consideration of a ‘social impact’ is almost something separate to civilisation. Everyone and everything we do should have a social impact – it should be an innate behaviour. We should all be looking out for those who have barriers to entry into society.
How did you meet the women that work for you?
It has been a slow process of developing relationships and connections with the maker groups around London. Initially I met with the women through a local drop-in where I volunteer, but as time has gone on and there is more of a demand we have had to expand the reach of women we work with.
What inspires and drives you?
Fashion, people and our planet. I am inspired by fashion, creating new shapes and innovation, with a mind to ethics and the planet. I am driven to see value in people even when society doesn’t. I am motivated to improve the world we live in and as a creator and designer, I am driven to do so in my field.