emma for about page

Hi, I’m Emma McGinn

I’m a British surface pattern and textile designer; offering exclusive prints and products combining traditional techniques with contemporary design. I offer modern heritage design stories which I hope will be cherished, shared and enjoyed.

I’m a print designer

I graduated with a 1st class honours degree in fashion and textiles in 2009. My post graduation experience includes working as a print technician for Eley Kishimoto in London, where I learnt the ins and outs of pattern development in a vibrant eclectic screen print studio. I went on to spend 2 years fulfilling commercial design briefs as a freelance print designer for Bay & Brown design studio in London.

My own print style is simple and feminine, combining a commercial awareness with quirky offbeat design, giving my work its distinctive look and feel.

I have a passionate interest in traditional textile techniques, sustainable design, and slow textiles methodologies. This is evident in the processes and fabrics I work with, and through the skilled artisans I collaborate with. I strive to add value to craft by preserving its cultural heritage interpreted through a contemporary eye.

Inspiration comes from first hand research; from exploring the world around me, taking photos and collecting found objects. I am hugely influenced by travel and cultural artefacts, flea markets and scrap yards, drawn in by colour, pattern and texture. My creative process builds from this personal research and a unique way of looking at the world, resulting in work which is individually me.

I’m an ethical fashion designer

My Indigo Days collection is an example of my commitment to ethical sourcing. Developed and sampled in India working in collaboration with master craftsmen. Printed using batik block print and dyed in 100% ecological natural indigo dye. The collection combines traditional Indian artisan techniques with my own motifs and modern design aesthetic. It introduces a fresh and exciting approach to ethical fashion by bringing together Indian craft with British design in a timeless, contemporary and innovative way.

I’ve worked with artisans in India

I am deeply influence by India, during 2011 – 2013 I spent nearly two years living and working in South India.

During this time I immersed in the culture, colours, and textiles. Exploring and absorbing as much as humanly possible in between negotiating stifling heat and paralysing monsoon rains. My passion for Indian craft drove me to carry out personal research and exploration into the textile industry. This experience affected me deeply, not only the tangible skills I picked up, but the people who I met along the way. It has influenced the course of my life, my relationship with my work, and fuelled my commitment to create sustainable design with heritage and meaning.

I became involved in some truly amazing projects. For the first year I volunteered for an NGO called  RIDE (Rural Institute for Development Education), where I was given the opportunity to be involved in their Women’s Empowerment Programme. I used my design skills and marketing knowledge to help create a product that would appeal to International markets, launched as the Kanchi Scarf project. The project now provides income and empowerment opportunities to women from rural south Indian communities; the scarves sell in the US, Australia, UK and Switzerland.

I worked as an advocate of Ethical Fashion Forum in India, developing the network between rural producers and the global fashion community, while also contributing to EFF’s SOURCE Magazine. I have produced a number of articles including a beginners guide to sourcing in India and a suppliers matrix.

You can read about some of the amazing people I have met along the way, projects I have collaborated in, and the things that inspire me on my BLOG.

You can also visit my SHOP to view my latest products.

I am always happy to discuss new commissions, freelance work and licensing collaborations. Or, if you are a retailer interested in stocking any of my products. Please feel free to get in touch; I’d love to hear from you. Email emma_@_emmamcginn.com