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Where Are You Now?

Jane Wimpenny

Jane Wimpenny

BSc Sports Science 2014

Sports Science graduate Jane Wimpenny is bringing friendly to the environment fashion to the North East through her ambitious start-up business.

Jane launched the Joined in Life CIC brand in 2016, which uses only organic and recycled materials in a bid to make looking good more sustainable.

In June 2017, Jane received the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award for her eco-friendly fashion brand which gives back to charity. The Awards 2017 were presented to current students and recent graduates from the North of England who have established a successful business venture.

The company, which recently moved to its new premises at the Sunderland Software Centre, has been extremely active in the community. 10% of every sale goes to the Mary’s Meal charity, which provides healthy meals to children who need it most. It received Community Interest Company status, allowing Jane to dedicate even more time helping causes in the Sunderland area.

The graduate oversaw the rapid growth of her business from the Enterprise Place, which helped her to get her business off the ground.  

Jane initially pitched her business idea to the advisors at the centre and, after receiving positive feedback, was inspired to get to work on her clothing line and launch the company.

She said: “The Enterprise Place within the University offered a professional work environment to transform an idea into a fully function business. Without their support and knowledge I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

It was Jane’s passion for sports that laid the groundwork for her business. An active member of the University community, Jane joined several societies and sports clubs whilst studying at Sunderland. Meeting new people and taking part in new experiences opened her eyes to the environmental and community issues around her, thus giving her the idea of an eco-friendly fashion brand.

She remains hugely thankful to the University for the start it gave her, and says that many of the skills she developed while studying have proved to be valuable when running a business on a daily basis.

“The University of Sunderland taught me great core skills such as communication and time management. Both of which are the basic fundamentals of running a business,” she explained.

With the business growing at a rapid rate, Jane took the step of applying to the If You Can We Can Challenge, which gives new businesses an even greater platform to grow and develop.

Jane also has major plans for the future, and hopes to establish the clothing range as one of the region’s pioneers for sustainable fashion in the next few years.

She continued: “In three years’ time I see Joined in Life CIC ranked as one of the best Eco-Fashion shops in the North East of England. I also have recently launched the corporate side of my business, focusing on offering uniforms and eco-friendly clothing for businesses. We currently have our products stocked in two shops: No.42, Bishop Auckland and Thought Foundation in Birtley.”

After a positive start, a steely determination and dedicated support from the University, it’s clear that Joined in Life CIC’s reputation will continue to rise and rise.

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