Meet the founder

Welcome to treen! I’m Cat, the founder, and I’m really excited that you’re here. I’d like to take the chance to introduce myself a wee bit and share some of the ideas behind the brand.
  
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I grew up in a little bungalow in the little village of Doune in Scotland. Two horses and a little donkey lived at the end of our road. Life was sweet! Fast forward 25 years and I have just said ‘yes’ to a job opportunity in Shanghai, China. It was an incredible place to live, so full of culture, so bright (literally!), and so fun! The best part of my days was buzzing about on my scooter with my toy poodle Nessie, picking up fruit at a local street market, and attempting to talk to a local tailor about all things fashion...in Mandarin! After 2 years in Shanghai, I moved on to Hong Kong - or Neverland as I like to call it! If you haven’t been, go! HK is beach life, chill vibes, hikes, going out, shopping, eating and drinking to your heart's content, not to mention the fashion! Hong Kongers know how to dress! There’s nowhere quite like it. After almost 3 years there, I decided to move back to the UK to start up my dream: Treen. Our view quickly changed from vast skyscrapers to the Firth of Forth, not to mention moving from living on the 29th floor to the 4th!

Experience

I have worked in the fashion and retail industry for over eight years, managing stores for large, global brands in the UK and China. I studied fashion at Northumbria University in Newcastle.

I have always been passionate about the origin and ethics behind the clothing and fashion industry. I became vegan about 4 years ago after being vegetarian most of my life. But the actions I was taking on my plate, I wasn’t doing in my wardrobe. This got me thinking: why? What is the difference? If there’s demand in fashion, does that not then impact the food industry I am trying to change, and vice versa. I started selling my designer shoes and bags, and began thinking about where I could purchase replacements. I was looking for items that will last, that are equally as stylish, with quality I can trust and be sure that it was made by someone who was happy and well compensated for their work. Not too much to ask, right? I was left feeling it was!

I spent a small fortune on shipping and import taxes for my new purchases. I couldn’t try anything on. But I wanted to support these small businesses that were striving to make such a huge impact. So I started thinking: if only all the things on my wishlist were vegan, sustainable, and ethically produced. Then I thought of Treen. I plan to make Treen a one-stop-shop for all your wish list items, pieces that are timeless and can be used throughout your wardrobe. Treen will celebrate the brands that it stocks and represent them in an honest and transparent way, as they have done.

My Style

I would describe my style as timeless with an edge. You’ll often find me in high rise jeans, a white tee (like, obsessed), a blazer, and mules. I am fascinated by how clothes fit and feel that is one of the most important things to get right. I am really into tailoring. If you have hunted down the perfect find but it doesn’t fit quite right, why shouldn’t it be yours? Go with your gut, get the dress and get down to your local tailor. It is so interesting to get their take on what cut suits your body and lifestyle best. I like to play with pops of colour and print in my accessories. Yes, I own pink faux snakeskin mules with a gold chain!

Someone asked me recently, If I’m vegan, why am I wearing mock snakeskin shoes? (I was also wearing a leopard print shirt). I am inspired by nature and everything in it. Animal prints are so chic. I love that we imitate them and draw ideas from them. I’m also inspired by old films - Clueless, Pretty Woman, Sixteen Candles. Like Andie in Pretty in Pink, I always enjoy thinking how to reinvent or pick up a piece of an outfit to try in modern day.

Top-to-toe treen

For summer in Edinburgh I would recommend the Editor ankle boots, the One base body in white during the day, and the Augusto shirt for night, and not forgetting the glorious Paige biker jacket for layering in the evenings. Both the Lumina necklace and Roma necklace are super versatile accessories that you can wear daily with different outfits. If the weather decides to heat up like last year, switch out the top and jeans for the Xela dress. Grab your iPhone and vintage basket and you’re good to go!

Food and fun

I love being out and about and doing things, whether walking my little poodle or going out with friends. I am partial to a cheeky glass of prosecco, or 4… I actually tried the most amazing vegan pro’ at a tasting with @vegantipples last week - seriously delicious! Apparently, as it’s organic, there’s no hangover? I’ll let you know! For a good feed I love @harmoniumbar in Leith, their vegan burgers are to die for. One of these and a glass of pro’ and I’m happy. @holycowedinburgh is where I meet a best friend to do some catching up - they serve the most amazing salads. And @hendersonsofedi on Hanover Street, I have been eating there since I was a girl! It is still the same friendly service and great grub as it was then. For sweet treats, I enjoy @hellolovecrumbs and I am head over heels in love with @naked_bakery. So often pretty food doesn't taste that way, but they have absolutely nailed good looking, great tasting food. Stop what you're doing and go get the Biscoff donut!

When I’m not enjoying a donut and prosecco or walking Nessie, I am scrolling through fashion brands online. I love discovering new items and ideas. When I'm on the sofa in the evening, that’s what I do and it’s how I found so many of the great brands we stock at Treen. I can also be found on eBay or at the many charity shops in Stockbridge scouring for a good bargain - my eagle-eyed dad trained me well.