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    Wabi Sabi EcoFashionConcept Blog

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    79% of Women Buy from Women Owned Businesses

    79% of women will try a brand if the know that it supports women-owned businesses

    Atleast that is what this Tweet by the account @PopcornBrains claims. 

    Wabi Sabi EFC is 100% women owned. The team is composed of women, from management to design to production. Even our factory is women owned and employs women. This past season 1 man did join the team, substituting a former women employee in her role. However, truth be told it wasn´t meant to be this way. I  can say that I am actually of the opinion that a gender balance is good for a team and benefits the work environment.  This is a business, not a girls club. Still, it just seemed to work out that way. I started to bring people onto the team based upon their technical ability, understanding and affinity with the brand, ATTITUDE, and whether or not I wanted to work with them closely each day. 

    Wabi Sabi is  a women´s business who creates a product for women. That product is deigned to help current women business leaders and aspiring ones to merge style, functionality and wellness in an easy way for their day to day professional life, helping them look good and feel great about what they wear. We aim to empower women to life healthier, happier and to be more successful by feeling and exuding confidence and poise in all they do.

    When you look good you feel good and it shows.

    I guess it makes sense after all to be a business run by women creating products for other women in business.     

     

     

     

    Why grandma is a luxury sustainable fashion guru

    luxury craftsmanship logo free

    It has always impacted me that grandmothers love my brand.  Sustainable, slow, green are words and concepts that you expect millennials to be familiar with but might be too modern for many  grandparents. However, grandmas are the ones telling their daughters and granddaughters to buy Wabi Sabi. It´s not because of the style or the eco-friendly fabric or the brand ethics, but instead because of the quality of the craftsmanship.

    Grandma´s sales pitch goes something like this: "This dress is very well made. It will last you for years. You don´t see garments like this anymore. When I was young.... Good craftsmanship and attention to details is something really hard to find nowadays. Why don´t you get this dress. It´s a great value and definitely worth the price tag."

    Grandma gets it! Yes!  Wait, is grandma some kind of sustainable fashion guru?

    Well, sort of. In grandma´s time if the quality of an item wasn´t good consumers wouldn´t even think about buying it.  Since the 80s fast fashion has taken over. Sadly, most consumers today do not even know how to recognize quality. They lack basic knowledge about fabric and garment construction that was common years back.  Consumers have become more price sensitive, more interested in filling the closet the with the latest trends, and more aware of  whose wearing what among the hottest celebrities.  

    China, a country of garment workers or sophisticated consumers?

    During the past two decades most of our garments have been manufactured in Asia. Many of today´s wealthy Chinese have made their fortunes manufacturing things for the West.

    We know what grandma things, but what do the Chinese think about what makes a product a luxury item? Is it the brand? What celebrity is photographed in the clothes? What magazine the brand is featured in? Guess what?

    64% of urban Chinese say craftsmanship most defines luxury

    A study by  Mintel makes a very interesting point.

    “When we asked what luxury meant to them personally, is was much more about quality, personal fulfillment and craftsmanship than status,”  said Matthew Crabbe, director of research Asia Pacific at Mintel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

     

    Craftsmanship is first on the list, coming before the words “expensive” or “status,” when defining luxury.

    So what do western grandmas and the discerning Chinese consumer have in common?

    They know enough to care about quality of craftsmanship. Maybe we should start listening.

     

     

     

    Fashionistas and magazine editors proclame those "So last season" items are in fashion.

    Has wearing clothing from last season become fashionable?

    I recently read a wonderful article in Harper´s Bazaar  by their Digital Fashion features Director, Kerry Pieri in which she questions whether the extreme fast pace of fashion is just too much.  I could tell you the article is about fast vs. slow fashion from a business standpoint, sustainability standpoint or just from the total oversaturation we all face today as consumers with an overwhelming availability of products and content 24/7.  I could tell you it´s about the stress designers face to constantly turn out new material, new designs, new concepts on a speedway called comercial calendar. I could tell you it´s about the stress that retailers feel to keep up  with an unrealistic schedule of new arrivals and sales that take much of the value out of  merchansing and personalized service and styling that brick and mortar retailers can offer their customers. I could tell you it´s about re-learning to value the work of creatives who add to the beauty of fashion through their work in magazines, styling, photography, design, etc both on and offline. The constant pressure to churn out new content can make even the most fabulous work seem dated and underappreciated.

    Yes, all of these things are important, but all of this brings us back to one basic principal.

    Fashion fades. Style is timeless.

    In her article Kerry cited the opinon of some fashion industry heavyweights. Here is what they have to say as taken from her article:

    "That recognizable piece can definitely become your signature," Joanna Hillman, style director of Harper's Bazaar says, "If you love it and wear it well and often, it becomes your classic."

    Leandra Medine, founder of ManRepeller.com finds the thought of attaching clothing to a season as passé. "I am profoundly pro [wearing last season's wares]—an evangelist of building a wardrobe that is not treated like the fresh produce aisle in a supermarket. Clothes are supposed to be treated like a non-perishable good," the New Yorker explains. "In fact I'm more inclined to wear pieces indicative of a season past its season."

    Retailer Elyse Walker, founder of FWRD.com and its brick and mortar boutique in California, has a vested interest in the "turnover your wardrobe every season" route, but instead opts for pieces with staying-power. "Almost every single leather jacket I own, from Rick Owens to Acne, is a past season favorite," Walker explains, "These pieces just look better and better when they're a little aged and worn in. I carry any bags by Balenciaga and runway shoes from Saint Laurent through from one season to the next."

    At a time when bloggers rule and personal style is king, wearing pieces past their supposed "sell by" date isn't only acceptable, according to Walker, it's preferable. "I actually think it's very cool. The reason why you invest in a runway piece is because of its longevity…You tend to see the influence of key pieces on the runway for the next season or two, and then five or ten years later you can pull them out of your wardrobe and still wear them."

    The best part? "You never have to worry about showing up somewhere and facing that 'oh no!' scenario when someone else is wearing the same thing as you," Walker says, "The likelihood of anyone repurposing an 'it' piece from the runway at the exact same time as you is minimal."

     So what do you think? Is wearing last season items the new cool?

    The North Face & Wabi Sabi want you to buy into sustainability

    The North Face wants to figure out how to make sustainably made clothing that people will actually buy. 

    the noth face backyard project

    Local sourcing and craftsmanship has been shown to resonate with consumers, particularly when it comes to food. Consumers are willing to pay more for organic food because of health and environmental concerns. However,  this is NOT YET the case for most consumers when it comes to clothing. Adam Mott, director of sustainability at The North Face know this and has launched the Backyard Project to try to create sustainably made clothing that consumers will care about.The North Face decided to create a hoodie as  part of its Backyard Project, part of the company’s effort to work closely with the US textile industry, from farmers to factories, to use sustainably grown materials and reduce waste. The big question:  Could they produce a product from start to finish working only within a 150-mile radius of their San Francisco headquarters? Did they do it? Almost.

    Although consumers say they care about sustainability, it’s not always a priority when they shop for clothes.  Instead, consumers buy clothes based on aesthetics, price and performance. We think consumers are right in the way they make this decision. Clothing is not about sustainability.  Clothing is about functionality and looks, and all purchasing decisions, whatever they may be, are based on price ( How much can I spend? How much do I want to spend on this? Is it worth it to me to spend $ on this instead of on something else? If I buy this cheap then I can also afford that? Am I willing to spend more to buy this high quality item that I feel is worth the price tag? ....) .

    So how does sustainability fit in and why is it so important in the textile industry?

    At Wabi Sabi our firm belief that what you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat leads us to use organic materials and incorporate sustainability as a fundamental part of creating high quality fashion.  We are not on a mision to change consumers´ buying habits or decision making process. Instead we inform consumers, just as the food industry has done, about the importance that clean soil, clean water, materials free of toxic chemicals and non polluting production processes have on our personal health and wellness. Those same health and environmental concerns that lead consumers to buy organic produce should lead consumers to buy bio cosmetics, household products and sustainable fashion. Most importantly as a brand we offer consumers a stylish alternative to wear that encompases all of these values. 

    No one should buy bad tasting food or ugly clothes just because they are sustainable

    We don´t aim to sell sustainabillity or to talk people into buy clothes because they are sustainability. Yes sustainability is one of our core value. Yes we make our clothes with certified organic fabrics, but Wabi Sabi is first and foremost is about fashion and great design:

    We create clothing this is aesthetically beautiful, designed for excellent performance and perfect fit at a reasonable price point that will make our customers look and feel wonderful everytime they wear one of our garments.  

    Through sustainability it is possible to have great clothes that also help us live healthier and happier. We won´t settle for anything less for ourselves. Why should our customers? 

     Learn more about Sustainable fashion and Wabi Sabi Eco Fashion Concept.


    Find out more about The North Face hoodie and the Backyard Project

     

    Wearable Tech and New York City

    There is a lot of talk and investigation as well as entrepreneurship going on around wearable tech. There also seems to be a predominance of wearable tech companies popping up in not in Silicon Valley, but in New York City as evidenced by this article in Crain´s New york that mentions a few of the wearble tech startups worth checking out? New York seems to be a breeding ground for a sector that depends on technology, design and fashion. What better place to merge those three things than NYC? 

    What do you think about wearable tech? Do you see yourself wearing an Apple Watch? What about the cool wearables from these start-ups?

    Speak your mind

    Would you use Pilot created by Waverly Labs, an intelligent earpiece that connects with a smartphone via voice commands. Users can send and receive email, set up meetings and communicate with individuals and groups of people. If two users speak different languages, they can even have a conversation because the Pilot can translate spoken words into the hearer’s language.

    Wear your workout

    Would you wear RXActive’s fitness pants that are designed to help you workout harder without changing your routine by buildng in resistance bands into your gym clothes? A takeoff on the Chinese finger trap, the bands in the fabric tighten against muscle movements without sliding up or down. 

    A charger in you handbag or a handbag that charges you phone? emPowered is a company that has a cellphone charging station built into a handbag.

    Recharge the purse

    Put a Ringly on it

    Put a ring on it! Ringly is one of the most high profile wearble tech companies on the NYC scene and has received funding from several important investment companies such as a Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital.  Ringly offers a smart ring that eliminates the missed calls, texts and alerts that can happen when a phone is buried in a handbag. A luxury and fashionable item, the ringly is gold-plated and has semiprecious stones.  Priced at $195, you get a ring that vibrates and lights up when messages, phone calls and other alerts come in. They integrate with more than 30 apps, including Snapchat and Uber. The box it come in doubles as a charger.

     

    So what do you think about wearble tech?