Our Story

About our brand

Antonia York is a brand driven by the desire to create stylish, sustainable, ethically sourced fashion accessories and lifestyle products that you can feel good about.

  • Our Health...Naturally range of bath and body products offers you environmentally sustainable, natural, products made from bamboo, luffa and pumice stone;
  • Our fashion accessories are made from premium quality fabric and yarn which has either been sourced and hand made locally in the UK, or is bought through one of our Fair Trading partners;
  • Most of our packaging is made from recycled materials with minimal use of plastic.

 

Our Values

  • Quality and sustainable fashion: Our aim is to produce excellent quality, timeless, clothing and fashion accessories that you’ll just love to own and wear. We want you to keep your purchases for a long time, so they don’t end up in a landfill!

 

  • Sustainability and caring for our environment: We are committed to a policy of continuous improvement and waste reduction. Sustainability and minimising our environmental impact are not just the ‘right-on’ thing to say and do in our business, they are fundamental to our business ethos. We source our materials from ecologically responsible suppliers drawing on sustainable resources and we will continue to strive to make conscious and informed decisions for a sustainable future.

 

  • Fairness and building relationships: Our business is centred around positive interactions and building close and lasting friendships; we treat our team, suppliers, and customers with equity and respect.

 

  • Supporting our local community and the British textile industry: We use local manufacturers in the production of the majority of our clothing and fashion accessories, and source materials and products from within the UK.

 

Our Vision

To build a lifestyle and fashion brand that supports communities and small businesses, that cares about the environment, and offers its customers quality, ethically sourced and produced, products that they can feel good about.

 

Our Story

Thank you for visiting our store, we are so pleased to meet you!

We are Jan and Bob, a husband and wife partnership, and founders of the Antonia York brand.

It all began back in 1996 when we opened our first Antonia York shop, selling bespoke silk bridal gowns, designed and handmade by myself (Jan) and my small team of talented seamstresses.

The name ‘Antonia York’ was coined from the Christian name of one of my favourite historical authors at the time ‘Antonia Fraser’, and from the name ‘York’ - a name which has significant historical importance in the market town, Market Bosworth, where our shop was based. Richard III was the last king of the House of York and was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, just a couple of miles away from our shop.

We had some fun times in our shop working with some lovely customers and enjoyed being a part of creating their perfect wedding day. However, in 2000, we made the brave decision to move the business from our brick and mortar shop in Market Bosworth and to enter the new and exciting world of online retailing. Unfortunately, and as you can imagine, online retailing was not the ideal platform for creating bespoke bridal gowns, and so little by little we extended our range to include other products such as lingerie and ‘Lazy Sunday’ lounge wear.

After several years of online retailing we decided to take a short break from our business so that we could spend more time with our family and to see something of the world.

In 2017, with the children now all grown up and through university, we decided to relaunch the Antonia York brand but now with a very different look and feel.

As a business, we had always felt that it was very important to use only the best quality fabrics, all sourced in the UK, and to support our local community by employing the skills of local people and businesses. However, on our return to the, now incredibly diverse and competitive world of e-commerce, we soon realised that our customers were not only totally on board with supporting the local community and protecting local skills as much as we were, but also that they cared deeply about the welfare of their planet and particularly about the amount of plastic waste which ends up in our oceans. 

We continue to source many of our materials from the UK, and continue to employ local, small, manufacturers to make our products wherever possible, however, we are now much more focused upon buying ethically produced materials and products that are not harmful to the environment and society.

As well as producing our own products, we also buy products from our Fair Trading partners; we try to only use recycled materials for our packaging, and we work with small businesses that are doing good by donating a percentage of their profits to various charities.

We are not there yet but our aim is for all our products to be 100% ethical. Our customers say that they feel good about buying ethically produced products which will not form next month’s landfill and if they can be sourced locally or at least within the UK, then it’s providing local employment and reducing the energy required to bring the product to market. To borrow a phrase from a significantly larger retailer, ‘every little helps’.