Category: Sustainable womenswear label that uses renewable resources like bamboo fibre
Here’s what you need to know:
Launching a company during a pandemic was challenging but Singapore’s thirst for sustainable fashion really helped new womenswear brand Sans Faff carry through during a tumultuous year, according to the brand’s founder.
The minimalist womenswear label, founded by former Tiffany & Co marketing manager Brandy Dallas, produces limited pieces of clothing at limited quantities to preserve resources and avoid waste. Sans Faff utilises renewable resources like bamboo fibre, which is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. The label says no to plastic and thinks sustainability first.
“I wanted to show the world that you no longer need to sacrifice your personal style to step up for the planet,” Dallas told Inside Retail. “Sustainability is at the core of everything that we do at Sans Faff.”
Dallas said the brand’s first collection was primarily made from their signature ultra soft bamboo viscose.
“Over 120 million trees are cut down every year to make clothes and 30 per cent of the rayon and viscose used in fashion comes from endangered and ancient forests. As we learned more about the toll that wood based viscose takes on our world’s forests we decided to shift our focus towards bamboo fibre,” she explained.
“Not only is bamboo fibre gentle on your skin, it’s the fastest growing plant in the world, growing at an impressive rate of one metre per day – making it an amazing renewable resource. Bamboo viscose is also 100 per cent biodegradable, so it will naturally decompose in a landfill within one year vs. plastic and synthetic fibres which can take anywhere from 20 to 1000 years to decompose back into the earth.”
According to Dallas, beyond producing limited pieces for their collections to avoid waste, their packaging and hang tags are also made from recyclable Forest Stewardship Council certified paper and their mailer bags biodegradable.
“Not only do we avoid the use of harmful plastics in our packaging we also do not use plastic in our production or final products,” she said. “We have carefully considered every detail of our pieces – all of the hardware in our designs that would typically be made from plastic are actually made from recyclable metals or biodegradable shells.”
Dallas said since the brand was launched last February, their sales have been steady. She added that given their collections are focused on wardrobe staples made from ultra soft fabric, they were able to bridge the gap between work-from-home loungewear and traditional ready-to-wear which helped them achieve consistent sales over the past few months.
She, however, explained that one big challenge they had to overcome was the disruption in their local supply chain during the government-imposed lockdown. But since then, she said they have seen their site visits, social media engagements and sales continue to grow.
“Against the backdrop of climate change and a global pandemic, we are seeing consumers become more conscious about their purchases than ever,” Dallas said. “Shoppers are moving away from the hype and excess of temporary trends in favour of more timeless well made pieces that are not only aligned with their aesthetic but also their personal values.”
“After working in fashion for the last 10 years I’ve witnessed this evolution firsthand and actually founded Sans Faff with these values at the heart of the brand.”
Dallas added that soon, they will build the brand in both Australia and Canada to keep the positive momentum going.
Turn Design House
Founders: Chelsea Early and Heather Walker
Launch date: September 2020
Category: Brand that features clothing with inclusive sizing, hand sewn and uses organic and natural fabrics
Here’s what you need to know:
Womenswear brand Turn Design House was an idea that was hatched in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic by sisters Chelsea Early and Heather Walker who used to be professional ballet dancers.
“We were faced with an opportunity to create,” Walker said. “We used this challenging time of pause as an opportunity to turn what could have been viewed as a negative into a positive, and build an additional womenswear brand that would fulfill what we’ve found to be missing; a clothing brand with inclusive sizing to give every woman their turn to shine, ethical production at the core, and elegant, comfortable, and versatile designs to last a lifetime.”
According to Early, the brand promotes minimalist style which doesn’t have to mean boring but is all about embracing the essence of what’s beautiful naturally, highlighting a particular line or flow of fabric or colour.
“We are passionate about creating our designs to be utilitarian and comfortable, with a tailored elegance that will give you abounding versatility in your wardrobe,” she said. “We are driven to celebrate women’s differences through design and creation of our pieces centered around inclusive sizing to welcome all women to feel the comfort and fearlessness that fills you up when you slip on that perfect piece of clothing.”
Turn’s products use linen, hemp and organic cotton blend, lyocell and cotton twill. Known as one of the most eco-friendly fabric options available, linen is a luxurious fabric that is well known as the oldest and most durable natural fiber in existence. It’s created from the flax plant, which can survive off of rainwater without needing additional water to grow crops.
“We are utilising a medium to heavy weight 100 per cent linen that is treated, dyed, and washed in the USA for all our linen pieces to ensure a lifetime of longevity to our garments and give a delicate structure to the softness,” Walker said. “Linen does naturally wrinkle and we highly suggest embracing this fact, because it gives your piece a gorgeous texture that adds ease and comfort to your style.”
The hemp and organic cotton blend uses organic cotton knit that needs approximately 85 per cent less water than conventional cotton and the hemp only needs about a third of the water to grow compared to organic cotton.
“So the blend of long lasting hemp with soft and supple cotton is a match made in heaven,” Early said.
Lyocell is a relatively new fiber that is created from eucalyptus trees and their wood pulp. Early said their lyocell fabric is made in the US and has a closed loop production process, which means that the solvent used to create the fibers can be reused time and time again, making it a great eco-friendly and sustainable fabric choice.
“Our pieces are truly made to last, created with the utmost care and precision, with thoughtfully reinforced seams and assembly methods, and with the intention of durability and refinement at the forefront of the creation process,” Walker said. “Every item is made by hand by an employee who is earning above living wage in Denver because we truly believe that the hands, minds, and hearts of our team members are the life of our brand, and deserve the very best we can offer.”
Turn also uses 100 per cent recyclable and reusable packaging from a local Colorado business, and every single garment is made in house to order, from raw fabric to finished product.
“Meaning we don’t create waste from stock items that may never sell. We only create exactly what is needed when it’s needed,” Walker said.
Goya the Label
Founder: Sabrina Wee
Launch date: January 2020
Category: Work leisure clothing for women
Here’s what you need to know:
The work leisure label Goya’s main aim was to create a comfortable and polished workwear so that women will no longer have to compromise between style and comfort in their work clothing choices.
“It was frustrating to wear constrictive and uncomfortable workwear options,” Goya the Label founder Sabrina Wee told Inside Retail.
Wee said that aside from bringing comfort to women, their products are also environmentally friendly as they are made of materials that last long and will avoid going into the landfill for years.
Wee said she is also proud to say Goya is not fast fashion, as the fast fashion industry produces 10 per cent of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply.
“Goya has never and will never be part of this waste as we believe that our clothes cannot just be comfortable and fashionable, it can be forever,” she explained.
“Goya design and materials are made to last, therefore the materials we use are longer lasting and more durable, unlike fast fashion which focuses on trends and made with low quality fabrics which do not withstand multiple washes.”
Wee said their journey since their launch has been like a crazy rollercoaster ride and had encountered numerous challenges especially during the lockdown period when, she felt, people were more interested in buying things for their homes as well as wellness related products.
Sales picked up in the middle of the year when offices reopened and people started going back to work.
“Even though we were lucky to launch before Covid-19 became more serious, we had issues with brand awareness campaigns given all the attention and uncertainty caused by the pandemic,” Wee said.
“We had overheads from showroom/office space. We tried to make the best out of the situation by increasing our visibility online and staying relevant by shifting our focus on physical and mental wellbeing through exercise done on IG and Zoom which led to an increased sales on our yoga mat towels.”
Wee said they plan to launch their second collection soon and push through with their other plans that were placed in the back seat due to the health crisis.
“We learned to adapt to survive as well as stay resilient by taking care of ourselves and each other,” she shared. She said retailers should also focus on that.
“This year, the focus was on surviving rather than growing, relook at our business model in this Covid-19 pandemic and see how we as businesses add value to our consumers.”