There's a new movement in the fashion world that Gallerista stands behind 100%. It's a shift to 'slow fashion', to educating the client on the process of clothes manufacturing, on taking pride in how, where and from which materials the clothing is made. Slow fashion relies on three parts co-existing together: organic materials that do not harm our environment, labor force who's treated with respect and care, and production in limited controlled quantities without tremendous waste.
When my journey first began and I felt pressured to order in bulk from China or Vietnam, it just didn't seem like the right way to proceed to save on costs. I wanted the clothing to feel special & unique, upscale and classic as opposed to mass produced and disposable, sitting in warehouses for months.
I also wanted to feel like I'm making a contribution with my manufacturing. I felt the urge to pay back to the country where I was born, and honor the incredible talent that's been laying dormant and unrecognized in that part of the world. I wanted to speak the same language and have a sense of a joint mission for this endeavor. I opted for a boutique factory in my home city of Kishinev, now Chisinau, Moldova. This is ethical fashion - human centered and respectful.
On many occasions I was also coerced to lower my standards for fabric. It is five times as cheap to work with polyester, as opposed to silk, linen, cotton and recycled materials. These discussions happened at every stage of development: from the moment I decided to go to printed fabric, to the time when my fees for customs were through the roof for Tencel fabric I ordered from Japan. To me, however, as a landscape artist who values our planet and its longevity above all else, it was a non-starter. I attended conferences to learn how Tencel was produced. I then reached out to the most trusted manufacturers on the market, Lenzing, Austria, whose solvent recovery rate is 99%, and went through this expensive route to make sure my clothing line is sustainable. Efficient and minimal use of natural resources is at the crux of sustainable fashion.
The two aspects have a symbiotic relationship. They go hand in hand. Respect for human contribution and health, as well as respect for our whole ecosystem.
When I started discussions with my technical designer, what truly sealed the deal for me was the image above. It was the tremendous attention paid to the use of every inch of my fabric. She's so proud to be utilizing German software to adjust the configuration of each garment, maximizing the life of my carefully chosen fabric.
There's so much thought and effort that goes into ethical and sustainable production, but it makes the process that much more meaningful. I hope this gives you a glimpse and offers you a chance to be a more educated, and knowledgeable consumer.