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Ever wondered what it’s like to work at River Island? Well, now you can find out. Meet Islander Evie, our Junior Buyer for women’s footwear. While it definitely isn’t business as usual, Evie is back at HQ and back doing what she does best – buying stylish and, more importantly, comfy shoes for you! From adapting during the pandemic to making sustainability moves, Evie spills all the tea and more. Keep reading for an exclusive inside scoop …


GETTING PERSONAL

How long have you worked at River Island?

This is my sixth year of working here.

How did you get the job?

I was here on a placement year. I actually worked on knitwear for a year which was really enjoyable, I had a really great team. I went back to uni and then I was asked to come back which was great! 

What’s the best thing about your job? 

Seeing product in store and on peoples feet. I’m constantly staring at peoples feet and if I’m with someone I’ll elbow them and say ‘oh, that’s one of our shoes!’

Describe your work style? 

I’m more productive in the morning so I like to start early if I can and get loads done, catch up with everyone, speak to our suppliers before they got to bed and then have a nice lunch and finish the day quite quickly.


What couldn’t you get through the day without?

I feel like coffee at the moment. I’m having two a day.

What is your most annoying work habit?

Probably having a catch up with everyone at their desks but haven’t seen too many people here recently so it’s got a bit better.

Give us a taste of what your life in lockdown was like?

As well as taking some time out to relax at home with my best friends, I worked with an amazing local volunteer group to deliver essential food packages in my local area.

LIFE ON THE ISLAND

Tell us a bit more about what you do?

As a Junior buyer on footwear I have to make sure all our footwear is super comfortable and speak to all our suppliers.

What drew you to fashion buying?

Fashion buying feeds both my creative and rational side.

If you weren’t a buyer what do you think you would be?

A world Jenga champion!

How has the pandemic changed how you work?

It’s changed a lot. We’ve been fitting just through videos, our suppliers send us videos of the shoes which is a very new way of working. We’re used to seeing the shoes in person and handling them, so we’ve been working with our suppliers really closely which is great. Oh and also doing everything online which surprisingly is very easy.

What positives have come from it?

Positive are that you can change your way of working, you don’t have to be afraid of change.


Tell us something you’re super passionate about? 

I’m very passionate about sustainability and switching in to more sustainable fibres where we can. I’m one of the buying reps for sustainability which is really exciting.

What have you got in the works?

So, my team have actually developed a footwear box which is fully recycled and recyclable. It also doesn’t have any glue on it and its water based ink and should be instore from January. 

What’s the sign of a great work day?

Probably catching up with all my team, getting loads done and all of us leaving work on time.

IN THE HOT SEAT

What motivates you?

My amazing team and seeing my product instore and on the shelves.

Tell us your best work memory

Probably the first time I saw someone wearing a River Island shoe on the tube.

How many shoes do you own?

Too many to count!

Describe River Island in three words

Playful, colourful, and designer.

What can you tell about a person from their shoes?

Where they’re going, what they’re doing, who they’re seeing!

What can’t you leave home without?

Comfortable shoes! I can’t cope in uncomfortable shoes. What is the worst thing to see in an email? Probably customer feedback saying one of our products wasn’t very comfortable.

What makes a good Islander?

Someone who is super passionate about product and creating stuff that lasts.

What do all Islanders have in common?

We’re all super friendly to each other and everyone really tries to get along with each other.

Tell us a River Island secret …

I think there’s a potential garden on the roof but I’m not sure! I’ve never seen it.

Can you tell us why it’s called River Island?

Oh god, I feel like I should really know this. I like to imagine the owners of River Island were just sat on a beach, drinking a cocktail, thinking about the most glam thing they could call River Island!

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