Supporting slow fashion is about more than positively impacting the environment. It’s about making a choice to support the people behind the clothes and accessories, to choose quality over quantity, to choose longevity over trends. I regularly witness our society’s obsession with consumption and the constant need for more. This ultimately just leads to more waste. Rather than supporting this narrative and the pressure to keep up with the never ending and ever changing trends, we can decide to slow down and change our habits. Slow fashion is about more than clothes. It’s about the story behind your clothes.
I want to share with you a story behind a brand that I have become very fond of in the past months.
They have an amazing team geared to make a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of women and children in Asia, by creating quality products that produce livelihood, education and environmentally conscious sustainable practices within these communities. Here's Purnama's amazing story...
Founders of Purnama Rae and Charles have always been involved in the community, lending support to causes involved in education. Their journey began when they moved to Asia, and they wanted to make an impact within their new community & their neighbors.
They looked at doing their small part in helping alleviate inequality and poverty. Privately they started directly supporting the education of children in need.
But they asked if they were really creating a sustainable solution.
As their ambitions grew to help more than just pay for education, they realized that this model of giving wasn’t sustainable.
"In our travels, we personally enjoyed discovering local artisanal products, and we thought there could be a real global market for designing modern fashion and accessories using traditional methods" - Rae.
This was the genesis of their Pokhara Line from Nepal. Handmade cotton bags and other accessories using traditional looming & hand dying with natural dyes.
Outside their commitment to reducing inequality, they held other personal values that they wanted to be upheld in any company that carried their names.
They wanted to do more in the area of sustainability by doing even more to address the UN SDG Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production.
"We thought a great way would be to focus on designing with upcycled materials. It was so pleasing to discover the high quality, durability, utility, & wonderful aesthetics in upcycled tyre" - Rae.
Upcycling is considered "green"; where it reuses materials in creative ways, that may otherwise end up in the landfill.
Tyres are normally stockpiled or dumped illegally, creating not just an eyesore, but a breeding ground for mosquitoes and carrying diseases.
At times, tyres are burned and the burning can last for months creating massive pollution in the air and ground.
They created a collection of accessories hand-cut from upcycled tyres that makes a perfect leather substitute and are a PETA certified Vegan brand.
For some pieces, especially bags made from the innertube, they incorporate repurposed batik, tents, & parachutes.
They also work with single use plastics. All hand cut and handmade by rural artisans.
Fashion is of course a fun and simple way to start, & even better, a great way to start conversations with your friends, family & colleagues.
"Our ideal customers is someone just starting on their sustainability journey; who believes in the idea to consume responsibly and is just starting to look at how their personal choices impact themselves, their, communities, & the world" - Rae.
So, another ideal customer is a real eco-warrior already, very passionate and looking to show it.
Their beautiful pieces catch attention and get people talking and inspires creative thinking.
Their most popular designs are the Bracelets, specifically Random Bracelet. It is just so eye catching yet goes well with a dressed up or super relaxed look.
"Our customers just love the fact our jewelry is not mass produced & designs are very limited" - Rae.
Fashion is an easily accessible and understandable consumer good for you to start make sustainable and ethical purchasing decisions.
You sure will find items that fit your values among Purnama's offering.
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The term upcycling - repurposing has become very trendy nowadays amongst people wishing to live a more sustainable lifestyle. So what exactly is it?
To be perfectly honest, it is a lifestyle, which was the norm before the industrial revolution’s consumerism driven global expansion spread, and plastic started to seep into our households, not only in the form of packaging but also household items.
The success of us as individuals, society, and businesses as a whole has been sadly linked with mass consumption. We are often persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need. Today, we are facing challenging circumstances where we need to adapt quickly. We have to change the way we do things. Instead of returning to business as usual as soon as possible, we should challenge us to reduce our consumption and adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle for the future. Out of crisis comes creativity and our well-being depends not on being consumers but on being part of a community and helping each other.
DIMMBLÁ, ICELANDIC DESIGN COMPANY
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