Art Cha Series is a growing London fashion brand A London-based art collective that strives to use creativity as a vehicle for social change. It integrates fashion design with raising awareness around neurodiversity.

History

Founded by entrepreneur Marlon James-Edwards in 2020, Art Cha Series is a fashion company that combines Marlon’s passion for design with his 15 years of teaching experience, to raise much-needed awareness of neurodiversity. Marlon is currently enrolled on NatWest’s bespoke London Accelerator Hub, a programme of specialist support for businesses seeking to grow and scale.

Marlon’s designs are inspired by a celebration of difference unique to his brand which was first conceived of during lockdown in 2020. During his time as a teacher, Marlon taught students with neurodiverse needs including ADHD, autism and dyslexia. The company is committed to reinvesting 20% of its profits back into education to support programmes and campaigns to challenge the stigma around neurodiversity as well build effective tools, resources and stratewhgies to achieve self-acceptance and independence in schools, workspaces and industries.

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The Art Cha Series employs staff from neurodiverse backgrounds and gives those with unique minds and life experiences to express themselves through design, social engagement, content building and a platform to raise awareness of neurodiversity on a commercial scale.

As a part of the NatWest Accelerator programme in London, Marlon is receiving one-to-one coaching, networking opportunities and access to peers and sector specialists to support the growth of his business. The NatWest hub provides a physical working space for London entrepreneurs to benefit from the bank’s expertise in helping small businesses scale.

Accelerator programmes

NatWest currently runs 12 Accelerator programmes across the UK and through their enterprise programme the bank aims to create 50,000 new businesses by 2023, with the majority female led and 20% run by Black, Asian and Minority ethnic entrepreneurs.

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Marlon James-Edwards, founder of Art Cha Series said:

“I have always been passionate about fashion and wanted to turn my passion for creative design into a purposeful business. As someone with 15 years’ experience teaching students with a range of neurodiverse needs, I wanted to create a brand that raises awareness of neurodiversity. 

“My mission is to challenge the idea that those with neurodiverse needs cannot excel in life and my brand seeks to raise awareness around neurodiversity through fashion, workshops and targeted support to students with neurodiverse needs.

“I recently joined the NatWest business Accelerator programme in London to learn more about how I can grow my brand. The support on offer from NatWest has included webinars, networking opportunities and one-to-one mentoring, which has given me and my business a clearer sense of direction to grow sustainably.”

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Georgina Mackey, NatWest Regional Ecosystem manager for London and South-East said:

“The NatWest Accelerator programme seeks to empower entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level. Our newly refurbished London Accelerator programme offers a physical space for entrepreneurs to benefit from programmes tailored to their individual needs to help them grow and succeed.

“We are pleased to be supporting Marlon and Art Cha Series, which is a great example of how purpose-led businesses can play an active role in tackling social issues. There is huge opportunity for businesses who challenge expectations, and our unique programmes are designed to equip entrepreneurs with the right tools to support their growth ambitions.”