Entrepreneur showcases cruelty-free wearable tech in Leeds Corn Exchange

A female entrepreneur is the latest tenant to open her shop in Leeds’s Corn Exchange.

Product designer Kate Pearson of Fabrikk, launched her business in 2013 with the mission of ensuring fashion is produced ethically. Six years on, Fabrikk’s range includes unisex, women and menswear from flat caps and wallets to a pioneering LED light technology handbag.

Working with a handful of UK-based manufacturers, Kate is keen to ensure all products are produced cruelty-free. Materials are sourced from the UK and Europe and include vegan ‘leather’ cork.

The firm’s flagship product, the Vela handbag has been a hit with women fed up of losing their contents. Replacing the traditional handbag lining interior material with a new automated LED fibre optic illuminating fabric, an attractive subtle glow switches on when the bag is open. The VELA lights are powered by a 3 AAA battery pack and a small LED bulb.

Having grown sales year-on-year since opening an online shop in 2016, Leeds Corn Exchange store is Fabrikk’s first physical store to open.

Committing to a tenancy in the iconic Leeds building, Kate chose Leeds Corn Exchange as an outlet to showcase the best of Leeds.

Kate Pearson, founder of Fabrikk comments: “We have spent the past two years driving up and down the country attending numerous shows, events and festivals and it was time to come home and show the people of Leeds what is being produced locally.

“The store is an exciting step for me and the Fabrikk team as we put down roots in my home city’s flagship building and settling here will allow us time to build on our growth plans”

Fabrikk plans to form collaborative partnerships with other brands to produce a bigger product selection and continue to innovate its existing product range.

Fabrikk’s tenancy comes at an exciting time for Leeds Corn Exchange as owners, Rushbond PLC, plan a series of new additions to the Grade 1 listed building over 2019.

Centre manager for Leeds Corn Exchange, Adam Warner said: “Innovative entrepreneurs like Kate are the ideal tenants for us as we take the Corn Exchange into the modern era and embrace retail with technology and ethically-minded products.”

Fabrikk will officially open during a launch event on Thursday 18th April at 3-8pm. Champagne will be served as Fabrikk showcases its existing product range, alongside a selection of new berets and original British rail train hats made from cork.