Isn’t sustainability a very tricky thing? We often get asked what is sustainability and then we get caught up in heated conversation on what we classify as ‘sustainable’ design. To be honest, there isn’t a single person who can give a definite answer. So, why don’t we just show you an example of how we personally go about it.
If we strip the concept of ‘sustainability’ to its core what do we get? Often people would think it means saving the environment. And that is true. But why are we so caught up in focusing at this end goal? We personally like to consider the processes of achieving that betterment.
Okay, here comes a two thumb rules:
The first quality is the life time of the garment. We have to be able to wear it for a long time. Therefore, it will be made from supreme materials with a great care. And second, the design has to be unique. There is no way an item will be worn again if it is not wearable. And sadly, it often is the second point which fails a lot of interesting up and coming brands. But if the product doesn’t pass these two measures to our minds it doesn’t qualify for the round two.
A great example of successfully implementing these two principles and more is Siku Moja. When we first got a chance to pick up the garments of Siku Moja collection these two criteria were passed immediately. We instantly noticed how perfectly the thin organic cotton was attached to the lace as if it would be a one continues fabric. How the design is all in details with a sheer stripe of lace at the back of the slip and on the sides of the knickers.
It looked light and simple, like the second favourite thing to wear at home, right after nothing. Honestly, that is is so important.
There is no production detail left to an accident, the two founders and sisters Elly and Jo Kay explained that the production process happens through transparent partnerships with small micro-businesses in Tanzania and UK. The garments are made from carefully selected sustainable materials such as 100% bamboo and organic cottons, delicate lace and Tanzanian Kanga cotton cloth. The lace is from an end-of-line stock and individually-sourced vintage finds whilst the Kanga cloth is sourced either from micro businesses or are off-cuts brought from tailors in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. So this is a design we consider worth investing in.
But what else are we looking for? Once these two measures qualify, we look at the brand itself. Who is the person standing behind it? What is their personal motive? Do they have a skin in the game and are they really thinking about us (costumers) when making the designs? Because we are all human and once we purchase a product we in a way connect to their whole business, their thinking behind. At the end, the product is made because someone has a great idea and set of skills which they felt need of sharing with others. We think we all are slowly growing tired of large companies taking advantage of their size and putting little attention at the way they do things. Talking to both founders gave us an impression that they truly care and they treat their business like a family where you look after each other and take care of every part of it.
So there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to sustainability but there are some simple and basic principles which could be taken up by any brand in the world and we think it would be just so much more beautiful.
SIKU MOJA | loungewear
ENVIRONMENT | Made from carefully selected sustainable materials such as 100% bamboo and organic cottons, delicate lace and Tanzanian Kanga cotton cloth. The lace is from an end-of-line stock and individually-sourced vintage finds and the Kanga cloth is sourced either from micro businesses or are off-cuts brought from tailors in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania.
ETHICS | Brand build open and transparent partnerships with micro-businesses and small producers in UK and Tanzania that specialise in handmade small-scale production.