Solid International is a production partner of brands such as LN Knits and Ayacucho, of AS Adventure. We spoke with Lyn Verelst, general manager at Solid International, and Bombyx, about ethical fashion and how they can find help to be honest to produce.
Why should people choose Fair Fashion?
In the first instance, you must opt for sustainable fashion from humanity. Consumers know the real cost of clothing is not. If you begin to think about the small amount that the people who make the garments have made, starts to become dizzy.
If people are really aware of the suffering that they cause, and the environmental damage that they cause by unethical clothes to buy, no one would have to do this. It seems like people joint blinders to wear.
The recent events surrounding the refugees and also the annual successful fundraising from organisations such as Music for Life and the Red Cross, however, show that people actually have values and standards. In daily life, they lose it from the eye, and I think that’s unfortunate.
It seems like people joint blinders to wear.
I recommend everyone to see the documentary The True Cost , which says really what it is: the time is ripe for raising more awareness about the negative impact of the clothing industry.
It is also time for a different behaviour. You have your priorities set. If you have less buy it, you can fair fashion however pay and since the sustainable products, they last longer. I am there itself for years by obsessed. The only downside is that I can’t go shopping with my girlfriends in chains. But I always feel happy when I something buy, the less empty than when I would buy from unethical labels.
What accounts for the success of the brands that you work with?
We are fortunate that LN Knits and AS Adventure be prepared for the additional cost of fair fashion to pay. A lot of other brands are just that they are for little money products can make use of lower cost areas. Handmade and fair products, of good quality, however, are always more expensive.
It is also about the way in which brands are using their products in the market. Fair fashion is still often linked to the hippies with woolen socks, but Ellen of the Cones, and AS Adventure to create their brand, something hips. They take care of the fashion aspect in a fair fashion. People buy it almost more because it’s stylish and hip , then because the fair is. But also the sustainable story contributes to the success, if you are on a good way of telling, follows the customer by itself. They bring the authentic, adventurous, and far South to the shops in Belgium.
Fair fashion is still often linked to the hippies with woolen socks, but Ellen of the Cones, and AS Adventure to create their brand, something hips.
How do you help brands that are looking for fair production?
Conscious brands that sustainability and authenticity in the commitment and which stories to tell are come to the right place. You can see us as a production partner with a portfolio of several small-scale workshops in the South. What started with a handwerkatelier in Peru is now extended to more locations, under the name Bombyx.
The studios in our portfolio, each offering an authentic crafts such as knitting and crochet, weaving, embroidery, and so on. They work with high-quality and exclusive materials such as alpaca wool, zijdegaren, cashmere and organic cotton.
We offer fashion and interieurmerken access to those exclusive products from high-quality materials with a story. A multifaceted story of fair employment, the revaluation of crafts, natural materials and social impact. The gains of the workshops are being used locally to social support activities. In this way we stimulate the zelfbedruipendheid of beautiful social projects.
We offer fashion and interieurmerken access to those exclusive products from high-quality materials.
In addition, we are also the supplier to the house, since we have the products to import to Belgium. We take the whole process to us from sampling to after-sales. We laugh sometimes that we have for our customers the headache on us, because easy it is not. We do this all on the basis of the no cure, no pay system. We find no customers for the workshops, we also get no commission.
Rich I will be there as an intermediary, it should not be (laughs), but I’m already glad that we have so many stories to tell. The brands that we work with in the long term, however, enjoy the profit. Our vision is as follows: A world with in the South financially stronger social organisations and in the North of wardrobes and living rooms full of stories.
Solid International is a private foundation, which in 2000 was established with the purpose of experience and know-how from industry to disadvantaged people worldwide. Today focus the organisation focuses on the improvement of the living conditions of people in Ayacucho, Peru. Solid – in Peru active as Solid Peru – is a collaboration between several Peruvian organizations.
Two of these offer support to vulnerable families in difficult situations. The other organisations focus on the sustainable improvement of the quality of life in Ayacucho through economic activities. In the long-term goal is the interplay between both types of organizations strive to zelfbedruipend to be: ideally, we can make the social activities, fund it with profits from the economic activities. One of these economic activities is the handwerkatelier Manta where 200 women employ to be made in knitted and crocheted textiles and to a fair wage and social assistance, and child care. The two largest customers, which products to create in this studio are LN knits and As Adventure/Bever.
Bombyx Bvba is a Belgian spin-off of Solid International. Bombyx accompanies social organizations in the South in the development or expansion of production plants and is looking to markets in the North. At the same time provides Bombyx conscious fashion and interieurmerken access to authentic products from high-quality materials with a story.
Another side project, Buy a Smile, is a shop that collects products of twelve non-profit organizations that work with disadvantaged people. It is a case of charity sales, where the people are easily made for something nice to buy with proceeds going to a good cause. Instead of donating money, you buy something. This project will Lyn be present on the M-Fair in Mechelen.
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