MODAVANTI, SUSTAINABLE SHOPPING MADE EASY

Modavanti

Today I am really excited to share not only a great story and interview but I am thrilled to introduce a online retail destination to you. Modavanti, the sustainable style shopping mecca for ethical, vegan, eco, vintage, organic, made in USA … should I continue… contemporary fashions.

I reached out to the founders not long ago to inquire about featuring them here. I was thrilled when David Dietz the founder and co-owner of the Modavanti wanted to participate. It wasn’t long after that I met with Jesse, the Creative Director and co-owner. We met at Brooklyn Roasters in Dumbo and quickly dived into our mutual passions for sustainability, ethical and eco initiatives within fashion, health, lifestyle and so on.

Their story and journey in establishing Modavanti is inspiring and a true testament to honest integrity and intentions. I loved the moment when Jesse spoke about the community within the sustainable movement. Rather than designers, publications or competing retail destinations trying to be a proprietor about their initiatives, there is a real sense of community, conversation, sharing and helping to one another, as they all aim to achieve  the same goals in mind; awareness, growth, action and momentum in the sustainable fashion movement.

Already within their second year of establishment they are gaining a strong following and consumer base, having been featured in Conscious Magazine, among others.

Modavanti is a full service shopping location offering contemporary to designer labels in clothing, bags, shoes, accessories, beauty, home and wellness lifestyle. They offer varied price points and great incentives, like their modacycle program. They are the ones to watch within the online social ecom market, mark my word!

See my full interview below,

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Tell me about yourselves, your background and how you guys came to launch the company together?

Jesse and I actually met in the Middle East. Before Modavanti, we were working as conflict journalists in the Middle East covering the Arab Spring. I was writing for Policy Mic and Jesse was doing photography and digital media.

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What motivated both of you to work in the fashion industry & to begin a fashion e-com destination?

It wasn’t so much that we were motivated to work in fashion as it was to “start something that matters.” We are interested by fashion and design but it was the opportunity to both have a social impact and create a successful business that attracted us to sustainable fashion. Most people don’t realize that the textile industry is the third largest and second dirtiest industry in the world behind agriculture and oil and gas. That’s not right and we felt compelled to do something about it and do it with style.

I would love to learn about Modavanti’s philosophy and goals through the e-retail site, could you share this with me?

Our goal is to be the recognized destination for the socially conscious consumer to find clothing that fits her values without compromising on style. We want to be the site that coalesces the sustainable fashion movement and brings it to the mainstream.

Through these philosophies, what initiatives do you have in place to achieve these goals?

We want Modavanti to be a site that you can shop the latest trends, discover the newest brands and learn about the latest advances in sustainable fashion. To that effect, we have launched many initiatives to achieve those goals. We started ModaCycle, which is a way for consumers to responsibly give back and receive site credit for doing so, we’ve thrown flash mob fashion shows to show that sustainability is chic and we have a blog where we highlight and comment on the best in sustainable style.

Tell me about the badge system, how does it work?

The badge system was set up to allow customers to be able to easily shop their values.

We have 8 badges. On the Eco-friendly side: Recycled, Vegan, Eco-materials, Organic, Vintage and on the ethically-sourced side: Made in USA, Artisan made, Fair Trade. Brands must meet at least one of the badges 100% to be included on the site although we look for and strongly encourage brands to meet more than that.

How do you ensure the brands you represent meet the sustainable badge guidelines?

We speak with the designers and founders of the brands, visit designer showrooms if they are local, work off of third-party certifications and research brands on sustainable fashion blogs and publications. We do our best to work with brands that were recommended to us as well. However, we recognize that until we are big enough to send someone to each brand studio around the world, that at some point, choosing our brands still comes down to trust and our intuition that are brands are sincere.

_DSC3117What has been the learning curve since you launched Modavanti two years ago?

We’re still learning and still trying new initiatives or marketing campaigns. Technology and fashion are industries that move so quickly. If you don’t keep up you will be left behind so we are always tinkering and trying new things to give our customers a better experience.

What have you learned about consumer behaviour since you launched? What is trending?

We are undergoing an incredible shift in consumer behaviour towards sustainability and wellness. Organic foods, going to the gym and taking care of our health are trends that have exploded in the past decade and are here to stay. As that happens, more and more people are turning their attention towards understanding what they are wearing. There are so many chemicals and waste in our fashion and people are beginning to understand that those chemicals can really harm them, their children and the environment and are beginning to shop differently.

And with that in mind, what would you say customers are gravitating towards? Which brands, styles…?

Organic, Made in USA and vegan are our more successful badges. People are concerned about what they are putting on their bodies and looking for organic natural materials. When it comes to Made in USA, I think there is also a trend toward higher-quality and feeling connected to our communities. And of course there is a growing Vegan community who rightly refuse to protect animals with what they wear.

How has the company grown thus far? Do you sell outside USA? North America or global?

We currently only sell to the USA and Canada although we are hoping to introduce shipping to Europe and Australia soon.

What is the best part of having a fashion conscious company?

I couldn’t work for a company whose mission that I didn’t believe in. It’s incredible powerful to work towards a mission with a higher purpose. Climate change and labor rights are a huge challenge and problem, so to be able to work on something and work with such incredible brands that are attempting to make a positive difference is an incredibly uplifting and rewarding feeling.

_DSC3151And, what are the challenges of having a fashion conscious company?

There are many. A big one has been the stigma that “sustainability” is either too expensive or not stylish. Neither is the case. We are never going to compete with Walmart prices, but consumers shouldn’t want that. Those prices are morally bankrupt and lead to poorly made clothing that comes at the cost of others.

What has been the most important part in building a following and consumer base?

I think it comes down to being genuine and honest with the consumer. What we are building is difficult and we are not perfect, but we are working towards transforming and redefining an industry that has been known for waste and turning into one that hopefully will become cleaner, safer and better. I think that is something people respond to.

What sustainable business practices do you implement within your own studio office? (recycling, energy efficient operations etc…)

We recycle, use energy efficient lightbulbs, try not to use air-conditioning or heat and I wash my jeans in the freezer. It kills the bacteria more so than washing and uses no water. Everyone can do that!

Lastly, how do you envision your Modavanti transforming in the future?

We want to continue to grow our community and keep pushing the movement forward. This fall we are adding active wear and men’s wear (finally) which further shows the versatility of the sustainable fashion movement. Beyond that, while we’re starting with clothing but it doesn’t have to end there. We want to show you can live a complete sustainable lifestyle.

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Here are just a few Modavanti instagram snap shots of the amazing designer goods available on Modavanti. Already in my shopping cart is the black leather grocery bag from BAGGU & a pair of futuristic sunnies from Westward Leaning !!

Special thanks to MODAVANTI for welcoming me to your studio & sharing your story! 
Studio & Interview Photography provided the incredibly talented Andrew Boyle- thank you for capturing those moments!!

XX

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photo taken by me

I’ve always been fascinated by small sparkly objects. As a child when I would visit my grandma, I would run to give her a big hug hello and then b-line it directly to her bedroom and open her magical red velvet jewelry box. I would try on all her rings and necklaces and come out one by one and ask if one day I could have them. My fascination probably began with all my moms blingy 80’s jewels that initially caught my eye. To which I also ransacked her jewelry box all the time… oh wait I still do!

Today I love to mix and match my precious pieces with costume jewelry, very much the same way as I do with my clothing. Many of my pieces are mixes of precious and semi precious metals and stones. I love to stack rings, bracelets and necklaces, while wearing yellow gold, brass and silver all together.

I never gave too much thought on the origin or efficacy  of my pieces until recent years. Hollywood movies like, Blood Diamond, ignited those questions brewing in my mind, while in the last few years there has been a growth in small independent jewelers abroad. Whole waves of unique pieces, pendants, and styles have emerged, creating pieces far more interesting then your mass-market jewelry retail chain. Naturally, I like many are attracted to the variety of designs out there. It has also become interesting to watch the innovators who crafted individual styles and those who are mass marketing them in cheaper variations.

The jewelry industry is a very complicated one that proves challenging to trace the origins of its sources. The majority of precious metals and stones are mined in 3rd world and developing nations where ethical and sustainable regulations are not strictly enforced. Efforts to have universal certifications are making progress but still far from globalized.

Recently the BoF discussed the complications and delicacy of the industry behind the precious metals and gemstones used in the jewelry market. Needless to say the environmental and human efficacy is among the largest concerns the industry is faced with.

Never-the-less there are a number of progressive jewellers out there producing beautiful pieces at all price rangers.

Here are a few of my favs!

 

Pamella Love.

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Her name itself sparks interest. Even if you’ve never heard of her before now, you’re probably thinking you have, the name is just to familiar and has that star like quality. That’s not far off, as her gemstones have the luster and sparkle like the night skies. Pamella’s carefully crafted collection is committed to sustainability and local production. As stated on her website, “all gemstones and semiprecious stones are ethically sourced and almost all metal used is recycled. The entire jewelry-making process, from design to sampling to full-scale production, is completed domestically with the majority of it done in-house at Pamela Love’s Manhattan studio.”

Her designs are rooted with spiritual and intuitive influence from all areas of interest: astronomy, astrology, alchemy, botany, the American Southwest, architecture, North Africa, Mexican folk art, and medieval European iconography. The result is signature pieces, easily identifiable with the Pamella aesthetic.

Pamella’s collaborated with a number of designers, which include some of my favorites as well: Suno, Mara Hoffman, Monique Péan, as well as Zadig & Voltaire, Zac Posen, JCrew and Opening Ceremony… to name a few.

Her price point varies depending on the metals and gems used ($200-1000+) but you are guaranteed to have a timeless piece in your jewelry collection.

Now that’s beautiful!

Prices range from $150-$1000+

pamella love jewels

 Monique Péan.

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A New York based fine jewelry brand known for its unqiue designs, avant-garde style and unconventional materials, including sustainable fossilized walrus ivory, woolly mammoth ivory and dinosaur bone. Monique Péan is committed to partnering with artisans around the world to support traditional craftsmanship and cultural heritage. Through her company, she strives to raise awareness of art, culture and global environmental issues through design. Proceeds from her jewelry sales contribute to global philanthropic organizations such as charity: water, which provides clean drinking water and basic sanitation to people in developing nations.

Second to that, Monique Péan’s ensures all materials using environmentally responsible procedures. As shared on her website in great detail, she “combines 18 carat recycles gold and platinum with conflict and devastation free precious stones, diamonds and fossils. Fossilized woolly mammoth, fossilized walrus ivory and fossilized dinosaur bones are sustainably gathered with no mining involved. The company is also a member of the No Dirty Gold campaign and a supporter of the Too Precious to Wear campaign”.

For more detail about her initiatives, please visit her website! You wont be disappointed.

Where to buy? Check out her website for full stocklist. Prices go up from $1000

MP

MAIYET

A fashion conscious luxury love of mine, Maiyet produces more then just inspiring ethical and sustainable clothing designs and leather goods; they also create one of a kind jewelry pieces ethical sourced and produced. Although they come with luxury prices, they are timeless investment pieces in your jewelry collection.

Prices range from from $300-$1000+

MAIYET

EDUN

Primarily focused on clothing, EDUN’s recent collaborations with jewelry designer, Penny Winter has brought locally sourced and African made pieces to the global market, utilizing raw stones and training local craftsman’s the art and trade.

EDUN collaborations with URU Diamonds, guarantees a 100% conflict free gem stone jeweler, focusing on rough diamonds and precious gems. They actively work in cooperation with SOS Childrens villages, which support education for children in the rural areas where the stones are sourced.

Although EDUN’s jewelry collection may be small, the conscious effort is there to work sustainably with these artisans. Creative Director Danielle Sherman, traveled to Africa to meet with both local artists before collaborating.

Prices range from $400+

EDUN 

BARIO NEAL

A fairly recent discovery of this jeweler, I adore their unique style. Within the website they clearly outline the origins of their metals, diamonds and gemstones, which includes Canadian certified ethical diamonds from the Northern Territories, recycled and fair-minded metals, diamonds and gemstones with partnership with Tanzania Women Miner’s Association.

Helpful note: As noted on the website, “Fairmined certified miners are held to strict environmental, labor, and social and economic development standards. They are paid fair wages, work in safe environments, and mine on a small, environmentally conscious scale.”

Reasonably priced from $96- $1000+

BRIO NEAL

Alkemie Jewelry

Another recent find, Alkemie is a 100% reclaimed metal jeweler, reusing metals to create hand carved and crafted manifestations of all sorts. They use a gold and silver patina on lead and nickel free metals.

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I would love to know who are your favourite socially conscious jewelry designers? Please share!!

 

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all photos sourced from company website and photoshopped by me

FIRST WORLD NATION

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photo sourced by ecouterre

Raising controversy, Forever  21 opened an even cheaper sister brand F21 RED precisely located in LA’s South Gate working-class community of Azalea Shopping Center, where tops range between $1.80-3.80 and pants at $7.80. Evidently they are able to “deliver greater quantities of the styles [their] customers seek, while maintaining the value with entry-level category price points Forever 21 is known for offering” as Don Chang, Forever 21′s founder and CEO stated and shared on Refinery 29.

Needless to say, questions are being raised about the ethics, necessity & sustainability of such cheap fashions. Even in tough economic times, I think we can all agree that as a first world nation there is no need for clothing to be this cheap. Leeann Duggan from Refinery 29 makes a good point stating, “What does it say about the value we truly place on fashion — and the people who make our garments”. It is insult to injury to the 1133 factory workers who needlessly died, over 2500 injured and the hundreds of children consequently left orphaned from the building collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh just over one year ago. While many other design houses and commercial brands are focusing transparency throughout the supply chain and while global initiatives beginning to be set in place to change the garment factory working conditions, one can only raise an eye brow to this low brow scheme.

canda.com photo rana plaza

Photo sourced from canada.com “Forever 21′s $1.80 shirts: How cheap is too cheap?”

… Now, the views expressed are of my personal perspective. Brace yourself, I am going to be quite candid with you here’

I say scheme for a reason:

  1. Despite this being Forever 21′s first test concept store, F21 RED (could be considered “cleverly”) positioned amongst America’s working-lower-class. Perpetuating an ill twisted system of keeping the lower class hungry for “better deals” and encouraging them to buy more with the mindset that they are getting a bargain and saving money.
  2. Dare I say this is a capitalist mindset?! … keeping the rich, rich and the poor, poor etc. (for lack of better word), distracting them with “lower prices!”
  3. It is essentially a garbatory of clothing that is not made to last beyond a few wears let alone a season, if lucky! Thus contributing to a global problem of disposable clothing clogging landfills and exponentially spewing toxicity into the environment for every component of its development, manufacturing and its final resting place… in the trash.
  4. F21 RED prices purposely make them accessible to an even younger generation of customers… “children & tweens”… who could now independently spend their allowance, babysitting or birthday money on these cheap fashions. It just feels icky! A way to exploit children at a young age, teaching them needless consumption and greed for more. Dont get me wrong, I loved fashion and to shop from a young age but I still had to save up my allowance for a shirt, it was a special treat, not the norm and certainly not financially accessible at these prices.
Livia-Firth

Photo sourced by ‘reve en vert’

Admittedly I was shocked (but not shocked) by the gusto in Forever 21 motives. Proudly, I am not a customer of their store and find the shopping environment and experience unpleasant, whilst obviously I don’t resonate with the company morals or business model. More so, I find it such an odd contradiction to the global sustainability movement, like a last attempt to make fast disposable fashion relevant whilst having complete ignorance, disregard and lastly respect to all those involved in the supply chain and purchasing consumer. There I said it!

With this in mind, lets talk about getting  “more fashion mileage per piece”, an article recently written by Livia Firth (Collin Firth’s wife) for the BoF. Livia is known for her sustainable fashion initiatives, particularly raising awareness through and with her celebrity, while encouraging other celebrities to follow suite, thus sharing the message to the vast public consumer.

Regardless if we are talking about a different consumers, the same mentality applies. At all price points and income levels, education and importance on the value of our purchased items needs to improve. For many, we no longer have any value, regard or respect for the clothing we buy. We buy shirt for friday night on friday afternoon and we accept that it’ll only last a few wears and be tossed away afterwards and yet we are ‘okay’ with this system. Literally throwing our money away.

Livia poignantly says,

For the last 15 years, we have been… buying clothing in a rush and discarding it just as quickly. Meanwhile, the cost of fashion has plummeted. You can buy full outfits for the same price as a sandwich and a cup of coffee. But the true cost is picked up by those unseen in the supply chain, working anonymously in difficult conditions, sometimes enslaved, and rarely mentioned — certainly not on the swing tag.

It is time to change the terms. Fashion brands must begin to acknowledge their debt to both the natural world and to the people who make their business possible. They need to invest in sustainable approaches both for their future and our future. Why in haute couture do we talk about the hours of work that go into hand embellishing a garment, but in fast fashion we ignore it?

And this is why I am disappointed with companies such as Forever 21 (F21 RED) for not taking initiative or responsibility for their role in society and the direct impact they have on both the thousands of anonymous garment workers and the consumers they target.

We all have a responsibility here and the ability to participate and affect positive or consequently negative change.

In truth, I’ve found myself most recently going through my own clothing, bored of what I have to choose from, desiring new “cool” pieces and seeing what I have to donate. In actual fact, I dont dispose of that much each season or year. I would be lying if I said there are not a few pieces in my donate box that were “fast fashion finds” that only made it through a few seasons. Those are the pieces that although I enjoyed wearing them for their short lived time, I regret purchasing. I would have rather paid more money for a similar, if not authentic variation of the style, made of better quality material where I could still wear it today. Now when I look for affordable trendy finds, I search out “quality pieces”  in natural fibres where I know it will withstand multiple washes and wears for a few seasons to go. Even still, I am leaning away from purchasing cheaper imitations to save up for the designer styles I ultimately desire, that will become staples in my wardrobe.

It is also a great time to get creative. Rather then tossing out what feels like “out-of-date” or “irrelevant” clothes in my closet, I have been finding new ways to reinterpret them with this seasons trends: Here are some of my tips and tricks:

  • Trying on new ways to wear a jacket or shirt (rolled up sleeves, popped collar, tucked-in…)
  • Cutting raw hem, edges and distressing on my denim jeans, jackets and shorts
  • Cutting new necklines or armhole shapes in “old” t-shirts with raw edges
  • Also bleaching & dip dying my denim
re-fashion

photo taken by moi

I encourage each of us to buy more intentionally and get more “fashion mileage” out of each piece we purchase. To buy with commitment, integrity and a sense of liability, as we must not only fall in love with just the fashion itself but the stories the clothes bring within them.

 

OSEI DURO

It wasnt too long ago I discovered OSEI DURO while shopping at One of A Few in Vancouver. I instantly knew there was something special about this brand from the distinct look of the dress hanging on the wall. Nor was I surprised to discover the brand was backed with integrity. The line is ethically made in collaboration with local artisans in Ghana, Africa. I followed my visit at One of a Few by researching Osei Duro’s website and then took it one step further by contacting the brand itself with my interest to feature them here.

I was pleasantly surprised, as it was not long before I received a very thoughtful response to my inquiry.

Continue reading

from the dinner plate to your handbag… it’s not what you think it is

from the dinner plate to your handbag

I should start by saying, I am going through a bit of a personal surrealistic art phase right now, so I hope you can enjoy the comedic humour of the image above.

After reading BOF yesterday, this particular article “Chanel Acquires First Tannery to secure Luxury Bag Supplies” captured my attention and raised many questions for me. One of which I have considered before however hadn’t quite addressed with any conclusions or further investigation.

Chanel is among the luxury conglomerates (Kering, LVMH, Hermes) that are acquiring tanneries under their namesake, to which they’ve had long-standing relationships; all in efforts to secure long-term control of supplies and quality. More than ever, vertical integration from the raw goods to the retail shelf is prevalent and according to the article posted by BOF sited from Reuters, Chanel has this control right down to the plant growers for their No. 5 perfume (as stated in the article). This makes sense, since the company represents the utmost in quality & luxury. Now bear with me as I discuss a few different topics, correlating fashion to animal food consumption.

I was particularly intrigued when the article spoke to the importance of securing leather tanneries as the prices of lamb and cow hides are increasing as the population is eating less meat, while the demand for leather goods continues to grow. According to the article, Bruno Pavlovsky, chairman of Chanel’s Fashion Business “estimated the price of lamb skin had risen by about 25-30 percent in the past three to five years, about the same for calf leather”… “We are eating less meat yet there is more demand and production is not rising, Pavlovsky said”

This article doesn’t dive into this topic heavily, so there is no mention as to where these luxury companies and their tanneries source their hides. After reviewing Bodin-Joyeux’s website (the tannery acquired by Chanel) it doesn’t state their leather source either. Assumingly, these tanneries work directly with the European/ North American farmers. It is not surprising as there is a western movement to consume less meat as the population (particularly the middle to upper class) becomes better educated about food choices, quality, ethics and standards. I can certainly say, I see this happening all around. People are no longer fooled, they want to know what exactly is going into their food, shifting back to natural & organic products and thus demanding this information in order to have a choice to make an informed decision. However without side tracking down the entire food debate, which I could talk days about… I will attempt to stay on topic.

Meanwhile, in fast rising developing countries such as China, India, Russia and Brazil, animal consumption is on a sharp increase, according to numerous articles, and specifically discussed here in Voice of America “VOA”. There is a growing middle class and as income increases, their discretionary money is going towards “better” food quality and in many cases a Westernized diet, including however not limited to more meat, dairy and cheese…. Which in many countries meat, dairy and cheese were not a prominent part of their diet (i.e. China and dairy)  [errr, again trying stay on topic…]

All this said and it makes me wonder about the future of luxury leather goods. An obvious conclusion would be further price increases in leather goods from shoes, handbags, belts and beyond. Or will these particular luxury companies and their tanneries begin to source their hides outside of Europe & America to these fast rising nations where animal consumption is steadily increasing? Seems unlikely, as Bodin-Joyeux (for example) is acclaimed for their environmental and sustainable practices.

I can’t see Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Coach or any of the former faced with leather shortages as many of them source & produce a good percentage of their leather products overseas, primarily China. We may safely assume that the learning curve about food knowledge and potential decrease in animal products in these developing countries is a distant number of years away when compared to the current Western movement of reducing consumption of animals. Secondly, the population in these countries is significantly greater than Western countries, so consumption is far greater regardless, resulting in ample supply of animal hides.

Another alternative would be an increased use of synthetics. Which isn’t such a farfetched idea. Many high-end & luxury designers are already deliberately using faux furs, plastics & synthetics throughout apparel & accessories, whether for ethical, sustainable reasons (not wanting to use animals) or purely for innovative & aesthetic preference. Which albeit, is an alternative to animal products, however not surprisingly, this has an adverse effect on the environment due to the production process at every level to produce synthetics, as well as the end-of-life of these products that don’t degrade for hundreds of years… And don’t get me wrong either, I wear nylon, spandex, polyester… too!

We could just say, ‘Hey lets revert back to a more basic way of life’, a lifestyle that is not so demanding and wanting… of everything… however I don’t see this settling well with the bottom line nor the appetite of consumers, myself included.

There’s just no winning, so it seems…

I don’t have a solution per say, sorry to disappoint. Other than a few thoughts: I recently read there are too many designers, too many collections and seasons which require new designs. Really, there is just too much of everything, that I believe we are being over stimulated and teetering on boredom. We simply are no longer surprised, shocked, or at least very seldom. This begs the question how a designer aims to stay inspired each season with a new concept and story, without fatiguing by the sheer volume which they are to design into.

Ultimately, I won’t be surprised if we see designers start to pull back from four to two collections a year (Spring/Summer & Fall/ Winter, except couture) focusing on a clear concept & fewer products without over designing. Because, as we all know, trends don’t change that much every three months, season or year for that matter. At the very least, this may allow designers to safely secure a steady future in their resources, leather & beyond.

Thoughts anyone?

MY AHA’ MOMENT

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Last year I discovered the beautiful luxury brand Maiyet upon reading an article by the BoF, “Business of Fashion” (articles which I share often). Upon further researching the company, I instantly fell in love with Maiyets brand, their story, philosophy, and vision of the future. It is not surprising that they are quickly rising to fame with a desirable appeal to the global fashion community & beyond with tons of loyal fans.

It was around the same time I discovered Maiyet, that I was establishing my short-term and long-term goals for my career and life as a whole. I have always had a strong interest in the environment, ethical practices and have a desire to include this interest in my own career initiatives.

Working in the fashion industry makes this challenging to incorporate, as there is so much frivolous excess in production, consumption and not enough effort understanding the global impact of the process. I am faced with these moral challenges as I work and seek employment within the industry. Faced with a cross road in my young career, as I require and desire more industry experience but ultimately would love to work for a company that shares similar ethical and environmental beliefs and practices as myself. It is a compromising position to be in, you need the job, so do you compromise yourself for it or take a stand for your own moral beliefs? There are consequences and sacrifices to both sides and I only hope that in either case, the opportunity allows me to work towards achieving my long term goals.

So when I discovered Maiyet, it was like an affirmation in my life and confirmed that my idea is possible. There are companies who share similar values to myself and ultimately this provided a quick flash into my future. I knew where I wanted to take it and began to see the steps on how to achieve this, one of which being to re-launch my blog!

What I love about Maiyet is:

  • the founders of the company, Paul Van Zyl, Kristy Caylor, Daniel Lubetzky all have a backgrounds in either human rights, sustainable, environmental and/ or ethical practices.  Paul Van Zyl, the founder and CEO has worked around the world to facilitate transitions of human rights protection, specifically in South Africa.
  • I am attracted to this form of leadership or initiative because in turn it resonates with another one of my design beliefs & motivations individuals whose strength and courage [break]/ broke societal norms of their day”. This is exactly what the leaders of Maiyet are doing.
  • They are pioneering the industry without blatantly branding themselves based solely on these initiatives, thus attracting the luxury market as a whole in a relevant and contemporary way-  inspiring!
  • I love that they celebrate rare artisanal skills from communities around the world, particularly in developing countries, such as Columbia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia, Peru and in established countries like Italy. Fostering global economic prosperity, sustainably and ethically.
  • They are partnered with Nest, a not-for-profit organization established to train and develop artisan business. By doing so they are working to revive the ancient tradition of weaving in Varanasi India.
  • Through these practices I love the truly unique pieces designed and created not only for ready-to-wear styles but accessories, handbags, shoes and jewelry. The products are innovative & luxurious.
  • From a purely visual perspective I adore the numerous ad campaigns featuring Canadian Model Daria Werbowy.
  • And in closing, I believe they represent all the ingredients required to set the standard among the fashion industry, turning the page to a new chapter and era within the future of fashion.

Here you have it. This is the first but certainty not the last I will be confessing my love for Maiyet. There is so much more to share!

Check out their website to learn more about the company & view their collections!

X

WELCOME- BIENVENUE- BIENVENIDOS

Welcome to i.nternational. c.itizen. The resurrection to my blog series by yours truly, Annika Tibando

Greetings new visitors and to all others, you may remember this:

old blog photo exShe was the blog that I cultivated from 2009 until 2011, during which time the initial blog craze swept across the globe. Everyone and their mother had a blog. It was easy to get lost amongst the abundance of bloggers and for some they swiftly navigated to the top with a unique vision and voice.  It wasn’t until shortly after I moved to New York and began to build a small following I simultaneously began working at Diane von Furstenburg, where I had less & less time to whole-heartedly dedicate to “i.nternational. c.itizen.” and so slowly she was left behind in cyber space.

Sad, yes! But since then I have learned so much more with respect to fashion, blogging, social media and how to create my own voice with something unique to say & share amongst the well established bloggers out there. At least, this is the intent.

So it is without further ado I welcome you to the new blog series. Unlike the skeleton that previously existed, I return with a new intention.

i.international. c.itizen.

Is first and foremost a fashion blog with a focus on our future …  My intention is to inspire, create, share, discuss & explore the sensibility encompassed within the fashion industry on a global, ethical, environmental & socially responsible level.

Through this I hope to redefine the word luxury, as a stamp of true craftsmanship, integrity and heritage among those individuals who work together with communities around the world to produce beautiful things for a more harmonious future.

To find out more, check out about i.c.

I look forward to sharing this world with you!

With lots of love,

annika - xox