ETHICAL FASHION – MY STORY
The day I inherited my grandmother’s fur coats - for her and her time, a symbol of wealth and elegance - I stared at them. I did not want to wear them, but nor did I want to throw them away. I opposed the cruelty to produce these coats. But getting rid of them was not appealing either – It would have meant destroying and disrespecting the animals a second time. So, I ripped them apart; I added the pieces to the bags I was designing; and consciously, created luxurious totes, pouches and clutches by up-cycling.
I invest in two ideas: to protect our resources and to invest into a circular economy – ideas that are growing fast across all industries. To me, it is having the ethics to respect our environment and the people who produce the clothes, and the ethics to stop wasting textiles.
For my bags, I need many elements. I purchased vintage fur coats from the internet. I scout in wholesale leather stores that already produce hides. I investigate as much as I can on their origins. But whiteout traceability regulation makes it quite hard for a small company.
I look for feathers from cruelty-free raised birds.
My creations are a combination of the past, saved from waste fields.
Some of my African beads straps are produced by women entrepreneurs in Kenya. By purchasing from their businesses, my company also contributes to their economic growth, and reinforces circular, sustainable sourcing.
Back at my atelier, I display all the pieces. Then I can close my eyes. Colors pass by me, and along with them, combinations, stories and emotions. I let my imagination flow, and the bag takes shape.
My bags are a coup de coeur for me to make and hopefully for people to wear and use. The bags are made to last forever but if my clients someday should fall out of love with them, they can become pieces for future fashion accessories.