Working sustainably is all about the process of always doing the best you can, and trying to push things in order to get a product as “clean” as possible.
As a designer I know it can be challenging to work entirely sustainably. Finding the right eco-friendly fabrics is not easy if you don’t have the resources to buy large quantities. We cannot always track down where and how buttons, zips or thread is made. There are however, more ways in which one can work sustainably. For example by using dead stock fabrics, by minimising material waste, and also by working locally.
In the shop I focus on items by independent designers because they inherently have a smaller footprint than the big players. Mostly because they work locally, have minimal waste, handcraft their pieces, or use dead stock fabrics, etc.
I can’t claim that every single item in the shop is 100% sustainable, but there are different ways in which our brands are making the right steps forward. Therefore I try to provide information about what a product is made of and where it’s produced, so consumers can make their own choices.
I try to source eco-friendly fabrics via wholesalers when possible. These fabrics are certified, giving me the Insurance that the fabrics are made in the right way. The disadvantage of these fabrics is that they are often very ‘plain’, I can find lots of natural cottons and linens, but it is hard to find special fabrics which I find so important in my designs (I love textures and colours!).
Because of this, I also work with dead stock fabrics that I find via local fabric vendors who collect leftover materials from factories. Using dead stock fabrics gives me the chance to have special colours or textured fabrics in my designs.
I work in my own studio, which is located in the back of my shop in Utrecht. I draw my own patterns and sew up the first samples. Afterwards, when I have found the perfect fit and design, I bring the patterns to a small atelier in Amsterdam called Atelier Phi, where my items are produced in different sizes. Atelier Phi works with crafts people who are former refugees. Atelier Phi gives these crafts people the opportunity to work in their chosen field, when they might not have been able to otherwise.