Sustainable, eco-friendly, green … are all terms of similar meaning we have heard or read about quite a lot lately.
I admit they sometimes put me off, they even make me annoyed, because they are often misused for the sole purpose of effective marketing, leading to increased sales of products and services.
Sustainable living is a challenge in our divided society. Some people live sustainably while others do not think or care about it at all. If they were, it would affect the lifestyle they are not willing to give up on. Changing everyday habits is the process that does not happen overnight. It requires gradual adjustment.
Scientist worldwide agree there are challenging times ahead. Signs of climate change are becoming difficult to ignore and are already having effects on our everyday lives. So, what can we do?
I believe that by doing it step by step, everyone can contribute to the changes needed.
Our family is already taking small steps to become more environment friendly. We stopped using plastic bags when shopping quite some time ago. The clothes our girls grow out of are donated and at the same time we are thankful for the hand me downs we get from our friends. We have a vegetable garden where we grow our own vegetables, we make homemade jam as well as homemade grape and apple juice. We go to work and school on foot. When we take a walk in nature, we pick mushrooms and blueberries, we gather herbs and flowers for tea … We choose to buy food in glass containers which we often reuse for storing our own products. We are considering having just one car and becoming a one car family.
It is true, however, that I am buying lots of accessories, including shoes, which is not very sustainable. I am a collector of beautiful things, some of which have never been used. So far. ‘So far’ because the girls are just the age when they are becoming interested in the content of my drawers. As I only buy items that are timeless by design, there is nothing old-fashioned about them. Everything is going to be used.
And how sustainable is my trademark? It is difficult to claim that all the materials we use are eco-friendly. Many of them carry the label ‘organic’ or ‘green’ but still … Our creations are diverse, most of them are unique, tailored to individual needs and made from a wide range of different materials. Our customers often ask about the quality of the material. They like to hear that the garment is made of wool or silk. The downside that might put them off is the fact that the garment needs to be taken to the cleaners since putting it into the washing machine might ruin the creation.
Another thing I do not know is how the materials were produced, what chemicals were used, what the working conditions and the workers’ wages were. Transparency is the key to trust, but unfortunately there is lack of it when it comes to tracing the materials used. That is the reason why I prefer not to declare my trademark eco-friendly. What I can guarantee is, that our creations are made with skill and precision, from high quality materials and can be therefore used for a long time.
We provide a friendly work environment, and we ensure the employees are paid fairly. As our products are mostly tailored to the needs of individual customers or produced in very small quantities, we try to be as material efficient as possible. We produce little waste, only a small bag a week. Considering that, I can easily say we are a fair trademark and not fast fashion. In our care for environment, we went a step further. We have decided to do only one collection a year. Not more.
When I was at the start of my creative career and I already followed fashion very closely, fashion companies released two collections a year – a spring/summer collection and an autumn/winter collection. The sample items of the spring/summer collection were presented the preceding autumn and based on the number of orders, the items were produced in larger quantities by next spring.
Then fashion ‘went crazy’ and two collections a year were no longer enough. Early collections appeared, then in-between collections and who knows what other collections …
If in the old days it was somehow clear what was fashionable that season, suddenly designers did not know where they were.
Okay, we followed our own style as well as the trends in the world of fashion, because the wishes of our customers also depend on what they see in top fashion magazines.
Now it is time to slow down. At least for me. Not only out of concern for nature I have been connected to since my childhood years growing up on a farm, but also because the creations simply do not have time to come to life if they are made only for one season. There is a considerable amount of effort put into development and manufacture.
The way people dress nowadays and the combinations that are created in our studio allow wearing most of the creations throughout the year. I have always strived towards practicality and possibility of combining different pieces, towards timeless style. Therefore, the logical consequence is, there will be only one collection. One every year.
That will give us more time for development, we will use up the materials that might have been forgotten under piles of new purchases, we will slow down and in such a way enjoy working with you even more!
So, let the wind of change blow … In fashion too.
Big journeys begin with small steps.
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