Laura Beattie

I am the co-founder, alongside my sister Rachel, of luxury, ethical womenswear brand Careaux based in Manchester.

Careaux create timeless, classic dresses that change to fit each woman’s unique shape, style, size and lifestyle. The Careaux dress has a hidden zip around the waist which allows the dress to completely separate into a top and a skirt and then be reattached. This enables the dress to have a different size top to bottom or the same size throughout. Not only that, the tops and skirts can also be interchanged to create different styles, colour and fabric combinations. All handmade locally in Manchester.

However I do not come from a business or fashion background. I went to an all-girls school where I failed all but one of my A Levels. I then completed a Foundation Year at Manchester Metropolitan University, followed by a History degree achieving a 2:1. I then went on to study for a Graduate Diploma in Law. After University I worked as a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau and then as a tutor for the educational charity The Tutor Trust, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Rachel had the idea for Careaux when she was fourteen and as soon as she told me I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do and, even though I have loved doing what I have done throughout the years, knowing this has stayed with me and is still what I feel today.

I have Cystic Fibrosis and I am currently on the double lung transplant list. I am passionate about raising awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Donation. I was a part of the national NHS campaign during Organ Donation week last year. With Careaux we have also created two dresses for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust highlighting the amount of medication people with Cystic Fibrosis take and also highlight the issue of recycling plastic – with each dress having sequins made out of recycled plastic and laser cut medicine bottles as well as ethically sourced fabric and recycled plastic fabric.