© 2023 Toby Clark - Selfie. Waiheke Island

Toby Clark is a non-practising fashion designer and founder of ‘Toby etc.‘ a design and brand strategy studio with a reputation for creating niche international brands.

A founder of the Toby Clark label and co-founder of Heartfelt Repairs Co. , Toby is a designer, artist, poet, brand strategist, hand-spinner of wool and creator of environmental mandalas – combining nature’s fallen materials with human debris – becoming the self appointed artist in residence on Primrose Hill, London in 2018.

Widely experienced in the fashion & textiles industry, Toby’s design methodology has steered influential brands. His decade of design for Margaret Howell received three nominations for ‘Menswear Designer Of The Year’ at the BFC’s British Fashion Awards.

A proven specialist in menswear – with a reputation for crafting authentic products and original forward thinking concepts – Toby’s sensory intuition and evolutional approach to design engineering helps to grow loyal consumers.

Throughout his career Toby has felt a deep affinity with Mother Earth and natural materials, particularly wool. Having learnt to hand-knit aged 8 by his mother Adrienne, this early fascination with transformative textiles, prompted him towards a career in fashion. After graduating from the Royal College Of Art in London, he started his own clothing label, becoming Welsh Fashion Designer of The Year at the Welsh Fashion Awards at the Savoy Hotel, London. His launch collection sold exclusively to Barneys New York, Browns Of London and Anglobal of Japan, being selected by the IWS ~ International Wool Secretariat to be showcased at Premiere Vision in Paris. In recent years after co-founding Blackhorse Lane Atelier’s, Toby renewed his love for wool becoming an Ambassador for the Campaign For Wool NZ. 

Toby is a co-founder of Heartfelt Repairs Co. a for profit social enterprise with a mission to bring power-to-the-people through empowerment and creativity in repair to reduce the amount of clothing ending up in landfills.

A gentle but determined activist of environmental causes, Toby favours brands with an authentic ecological purpose who respect nature and our planet’s finite resources. Particularly brands who encourage end-users to adopt a new approach to consumerism buy consuming much less.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Toby began to exclusively wear pre-worn items of clothing. This a reaction to his personal resistance to the fashion industry and its seemingly insatiable demand for new products, made in new textile materials. 

To emphasise his thinking, Toby adopted a more radical approach wearing the Same Clothes Everyday indefinitely. This single set of clothing aimed to offset the negative impact he’d personally created as a designer, which he estimated to be in the region of 500,000 products manufactured between 1990 to 2017,  contributing to a plethora of clothing the world’s consumers did not necessarily need but rather desired as luxury items.  His Same Clothes Everyday manifesto was admired by the world renowned Trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort who invited Toby to be part of her World Hope Forum. 

To underline his design philosophy, Toby has written articles for academia, authoring ‘The Provenance Of Fashion’ published by Bloomsbury. Featuring the important role of transparency, by tracing the supply chain with Blockchain technology and in sync with Jessi Baker the founder of Provenance.org

While an art student in Bournemouth his written thesis on ‘Uniforms’ turned into a collaboration with fellow art student Wolfgang Tillmans, then an unknown photographer. Part of this collaborative work has since been signed by the Turner Prize winning artist and sold through Sothebys to private collectors.

Having established a career as a clothing designer and design consultant, Toby continues to work within sustainable and ethical parameters, seeking to preserve the natural balance of our eco-system and aiming to bring city dwellers closer to nature.

To review a fuller background of Toby’s career, please click on the Biography section.

A company profile and curriculum vitae is available on request.


“I think of myself as a Beta, Zeta, Omega kind of male and an arbiter of beautifully crafted objects. I guess I’m a fashion philosopher of sorts. Guided by the finest natural materials, I create honest functional design products that are quality driven and embrace the notion of extreme comfort, as well as being in harmony with nature.  I also carefully examine the fault-lines to seek solutions.

My career has tended to be entrepreneurial, developing original concepts for niche brands. I resonate with brands who embed a sense of purpose in their design discipline and which provides an important motivation for their existence. I admire creators of beautifully crafted products that are human-centered, with a direct correlation to the end-user’s sense of satisfaction and consideration for our planet. 

My design approach is quite purist, starting by quietly observing the inner culture of a brand organisation. I seek to contribute meaningful creative solutions which do not attempt to reinvent the wheel. I believe the simpler and more harmonious the design and the awareness of the design solution, the better it will be. The antithesis of Sisyphus and the hill boulder.

I prefer to focus on the social benefits that good design can bring to the end user, rather than the profitable gain it may bring to shareholders. I help and mentor young designers starting their own brands and who share a desire to create an environmentally sound footprint. 

I value authenticity and integrity over imitation. I feel attracted to people who possess a natural, incidental style, rather than those who seek to draw attention upon themselves or chase consumer trends. I resist technology that seeks to replicate human attributes and I feel a great aversion to the A.I. world of human avatars, which as I write, seem destined to infiltrate our future society. Soulmachines is not a cool company.

I endorse holistic design-thinking. During the design creation phase I consider the environmental impact and social responsibility within the supply chain and strive to reduce the need to discard or throwaway clothing & textile products. I do this by creating timeless products that are quality driven and I encourage their frequent use and lifetime repair. I personally enjoy repeatedly wearing the same set of clothes until they physically wear out. I believe it puts less stress on the planet. I also find the process of identifying fault-lines incredibly informative as a designer.

My principal desire is to help bring progressive change to the fashion industry. I share the overriding concerns about global supply chains that often conceal how and where goods are made. The willing instigators of such practises often adopt a blind moral code and fail to consider the impact either on our planet or how the garment workers are treated within the manufacturing process.  I also wish to bring behavioural change to consumers who view consumption of new materials as an anti depressive. This sadly leads to the emergence of throwaway fashion, with huge volumes of clothing textiles dumped in bins and landfills, leeching toxic chemicals into the soil and water table in faraway continents. 

Am passionate about ‘localism’ in business models and concepts that directly connect people to their home place. I consider this a type of urban activism that subdues the reliance on the aviation industry and benefits our social wellbeing. 

I take inspiration from many different aspects of our living world and am fascinated by New Zealand’s tuataras. These fascinating creatures are the only living species on earth to have survived when the dinosaurs died out. Born with a third eye for extra periphery vision, the ability to hear without external ears and hearts that beat just once per minute, they remain our planet’s greatest survivors. While the dinosaurs once dominated the landscape, demanding all of the attention with their sheer size, they did not possess the clever tuataras evolutionary ability to adapt, especially to climate change. A lesson we can all try to learn as climate change is now upon us. “