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Pip Durrel Founder & CEO of WNU - With Nothing Underneath

 

Pip Durrel
Founder & CEO of WNU - With Nothing Underneath

Please could you tell our community a bit about yourself?
Hey! I’m Pip, founder and CEO of WNU, I live in South West London with my fiancée and my dog, Aoife.

Could you tell us about With Nothing Underneath?
WNU was founded on the idea that women’s shirts were not being given the attention they needed – and yet it’s an item almost every woman in the world owns. Inspired by men’s tailoring, and designed for women, our shirts had to be affordable, sustainably sourced and timeless. WNU is all about simplicity - paired back, laid back, timeless, effortless shirts - just like the woman who wears them.


Where did the name With Nothing Underneath come from?
Our shirts are not about trends or fleeting style moments, WNU shirts are for women who have a great sense of style but need clothes compatible with a modern, busy lifestyle – something to throw on without thought, or anything underneath!


What was the motivation behind WNU?
It was really a case of being in the industry and so getting a view of what was out there and what was missing. There really has not been enough focus on women’s shirting when you compare it to the men’s offering, and that’s what WNU is looking to change.


How has your styling background helped you with your shirt designs?
We all know how ‘easy’ a shirt makes our lives. Need to be polished and smart? Put a pressed shirt on. Redecorating your house? Put an old soft shirt on. They take us through every aspect of our busy days – and as we always say, a WNU is a shirt in which to live a life.


What’s your best styling tip you can share with our community?
Clean hair and minimal makeup will go a long way – ideally with a crisp shirt and well cut jean. It can hide any manner of sins (hangovers).


How would you style your gorgeous shirts with some of our jewellery?
I love all of the chunky gold chains – I find people are always asking where to find them so I must start sending them your way! A simple chain in a shirt collar is my heaven.


Has sustainability always been important to you when it comes to fashion?
I won’t lie and say yes, but that was more about ignorance than anything else. It was in 2017 really, the same year WNU launched that the sustainability movement was really coming to the forefront of people’s minds and we were being educated about how our clothes were made, and most importantly, by whom.


What changes have you seen in the fashion industry since you launched WNU?
In some ways there have been huge changes which is fantastic, but in others there has just been a lot of talk. Greenwashing is such a dangerous problem in the fashion industry, and it’s frustrating to see. Platforms like Stories Behind Things and movements such as B Corp are doing such a good job at educating the consumer but really the change needs to come from the top – from Government. Until they put rules in place, the big corporations wont change.


What decisions or changes have you made to make WNU more sustainable?
Our customers want stylish basics from a company that cares. They want to know their shirts are sustainable, and 100% organic. Any brand, I believe, has a social responsibility to not only educate themselves but educate their customer on where their product comes from, what their impact is and what they are made from – and that’s transparency through your chain from soil to shelf. It’s something we take great pride in talking about and this means we can tell you about the nuts that we made buttons from, or the organic bamboo we made towelling from – but also I can tell you about our factory and the women who work in them, and the wages they are paid. That’s sustainability.


What is one of the most important things you’ve learnt as an entrepreneur?
This is hard, it's honestly a journey where you learn something new every day – and make a lot of mistakes along the way. Hiring good people is essential to running a good company, it’s the same in life I guess? Surround yourself with good people and good will come!


Do you buy vintage and pre-owned pieces?
Yes – almost everything in our house is second hand – I love vintage clothes, jewellery and homewares, almost nothing is new! Kempton market is fantastic, so many hidden gems.


Do you have a favourite antique or vintage piece?
Probably my gold chain necklaces that were my grandfather’s pocket watch chains – or a Swallow pendant from my fiancé, something he gave me early on in our relationship and I wear everyday.


What is your favourite PI London piece?
I love all the love knots, what romantic stories they would be able to tell!