Interview with Rina Einy, founder of Culthread
Rina Einy’s career path includes being a professional tennis player, Bond and Derivative Trader and full time mum. But it’s in the launch of her own business, ethical outerwear brand Culthread (which is 100% animal-cruelty free and PETA approved) that’s she found her true purpose.
What’s your career background?
I started out as a young tennis professional, playing for several years as a teenager on the WTA pro tour. As exciting as this was, you may have guessed this wasn’t where I found myself for life.
I moved on from this to become a Bond and Derivative Trader on the bustling London trading floor of JP Morgan. However, I’d say my third job following JP Morgan was definitely the hardest one, becoming a full-time mum.
Stepping away from the busy London lifestyle to raise my children was definitely a change, but one full of plenty of learning curves and love that I am so grateful for.
Returning to work after this came pretty easy thankfully, working as the Financial Director of an outerwear design and manufacturing business which then led to me becoming Managing Director.
I found myself seeing a gap in the market for a product I would love to have, so I decided to create it myself, and that is how Culthread was born.
How did your career change after having children?
When the children were young, following our move to another country, I chose to leave my investment banking job and put my career on hold to become a full-time mum.
I was so fortunate that they both turned out to be highly independent at a young age, so the transition when I went back to work full-time went smoothly.
Both of them also chose to go to boarding school when they were teenagers and haven’t been back home for any length of time since (beside during COVID-19, when my son spent two months in lockdown at home which came as a bit of a shock to the system!).
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I started thinking about founding an ethical outerwear brand after finishing my MBA in 2016. Despite being in the outerwear business I found it difficult to find a jacket that was in line with my values, and that I loved.
I was looking for something that was beautiful, practical and ethically produced; a stylish jacket that was comfortable to wear, with a hood and pockets, which was cruelty free, made by a company that was conscious of the sustainability issues surrounding our industry and was determined to do something about them.
This jacket proved incredibly difficult to find! After years of searching, I decided to make my own.
How did you move from idea to actual business?
After completing my MBA in 2016, I found I had the confidence and motivation I needed to actually get started with my business. Instead of just talking about my idea I began pursuing it, setting goals and pushing boundaries in order to make Culthread thrive and become a success.
What’s your USP?
Our motto is ‘no cruel, all craze’ – Culthreads are sumptuous, quality, limited edition jackets that allow you to rest easy at night knowing that the planet, its people and animals have not been sacrificed for you to look and feel good.
All Culthreads are not only stylish but have everything I believe all women should be able to possess in a jacket – a hood, inside and outside pockets, two-way and side zippers for comfort, great cut and fit.
Who’s your target audience?
Essentially, women who give a damn. I want to cater to those who have a similar vision and mindset as me. Those who are ethically and environmentally conscious and are always eager to release their inner fashionista.
Purchasing a Culthread is an investment, so we want to target women who are willing to invest in us; in a high-quality, limited edition product without them having to make any sacrifices whilst doing so.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
We approach marketing and social media with our users’ hat on, we want everything we put out to be as authentic and useful as it can be. We are big on social media, especially Instagram and Pinterest, creating ways to reach like-minded people while sharing our insights on sustainability and ethical fashion.
What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?
We love influencer marketing, it gives us a chance to collaborate with like-minded women, reach out to authentic influencers who value our product and find new audiences in a natural and genuine way.
We’ve recently launched a Women Who Inspire Us campaign, using real women as micro-influencers, and it’s been fantastic learning from and empowering other women around the world. Head to our blog to see our recent Women Who Inspire Us posts.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
I’d say one of the biggest obstacles we’ve overcome at Culthread is sourcing in line with our values. We will only work with recycled fabrics, deadstock and other unused stock of the very highest quality – no new fabrics are manufactured for culthread pieces.
This means that we make small limited amounts per style depending on what we have sourced as recycled fabrics remain more expensive than non-recycled ones, and there are less options available as a result.
And your proudest moment so far?
Someone I once met at a fair came up to me and said, “Go girl – you are a pioneer!”. Comments like this are what really make the hard work worth it, when people recognise the small changes you are making in such a large competitive industry and supporting it wholeheartedly.
I must also add that when my husband, who has been in the outerwear business for 30 years and works with most of the major international brands, said that my jackets were “pretty good”, that’s when you know you’re doing alright.
Why is work so important to you?
I have always been someone who thrives on challenges, from my time playing tennis competitively as a teenager to my job in investment banking, to moving to a new country with young children to becoming founder of my own fashion brand.
None of this would’ve been possible without overcoming various challenges along the way. I’ve found that for me, it is so important to keep challenging myself and the best way to do that is through my work.
Who inspires you?
It would have to be “The Notorious RBG” without a doubt, otherwise known as the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Not only was she a lawyer, US Supreme Court dissenter, and gender and equality warrior, she was still continuing to fight for social justice at 87 years old. She truly was a force to be reckoned with and an inspiration to women across the world.
How do you balance your work with your family?
My family are all part of the business in their own way, I work closely with my children and husband. They may not be hands-on with the Culthread product, but I always value their thoughts and opinions.
The balance between work and family is to expect the best from both; we are honest with each other and make time for each other where we can.
What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?
I think it is really important to seek out mentors or women you can open up to. These people will be able to offer you indispensable advice and support, which is essential when taking such a leap.
However, having mentors and other forms of support does not mean that the education stops with them. You must be continuously trying to educate yourself whenever you can, not only will this broaden your knowledge, but it will also boost your confidence.
My last piece of advice would be to not dwell on weaknesses but focus on strengths. It can be so time consuming and unproductive focusing on aspects of weakness, instead centre your attention on the areas of strength and how you can use these to your advantage.
Find out more about Culthread.