The clothes we wear must be alike an extension of our soul, of our values and an active display of conscience. They enhance and unveil the beauty of the individual, the exterior one as much as the inner one. And when you are concerned of the well-being of all the living thing as much as you care about the enviroment and the pollution is not possible living, also the fahion industry, in a irresponsible way (not aware). Andrea Tali, CEO and Lead Creative of Artisara tell us from what arise the passion for sustainability, how to create an eco-brand and how to live sustainable.
- Your past is not in the fashion world, what made you become a fashion designer?
Well, it all happened very intuitively.
I studied finance, however I quit that field as I did not enjoy doing it. Then we started a business with my sister importing reusable stainless steel water bottles from the USA to the countries in Central Europe. That idea resonated with me immediately as I loved beautiful colors and patterns and the ecological aspect of them (reducing plastic waste). That combination of beauty and eco aspect felt very exciting and meaningful to me.
After the US brand got discontinued, for some reason I felt more and more drawn to fabrics and still had that “eco aspect” in my mind.
So slowly I got clear that I wanted to create pieces I would love to wear and connect them with messages that matter to me – such as animal well-being, ecology and fairness in how we treat and pay people. This was also the result of the fact that I went vegan in June 2012.
- When was this project born?
In my head it was born in 2014 and in 2015 I started with scarves, denim ties and casual bow ties. But then I decided to focus on dresses only and we launched them in September 2017.
- Tell us about the materials and the production: who makes the clothes? And where are they produced?
We only use bio (organic) materials that are certified – organic cotton and bamboo – that we source from bio fabric suppliers in Europe. And for the packaging of our products, we use 100% recycled and recyclable boxes and 100% recycled and recyclable tissue paper.
Our dresses are made in my home country Slovakia – in a small town Puchov (which is a neighbour town to where I grew up). They are made in a small cozy sewing saloon owned by a very nice lady that has 2 sewers (Martina and Ivana) working for her.
Even when I currently live abroad, I want to give work to people from my country as it is much needed there.
And we of course walk our talk and pay the seamstresses 70% above national average wage.
- Which is the message that you want to express through your clothes?
That message is that We Are What We Wear. It is a conscious choice we make and we believe we should feel phenomenal about those choices every day.
Choices we make when we buy our clothes are the reflection of what we care about or do not care about. Many times we are not even aware of what our clothes is from or how it is produced and I was not aware until some point either.
Our tagline says SHIFT YOUR DRESS and what this statement means is that when you shift your dress, you also shift your mindset, your shopping habits, your lifestyle toward a more sustainable way of living.
And so our message is about caring and alignment with nature. And minimalism, simplicity, less is more, sustainability, timelessness, conscious choice-making, awareness, love and respect for all living beings, eco-conscious ideals, plant-based lifestyle, fair-made and fair-trade practices.
- Is there a specific target of people that your clothes are thought for?
Yes, I can tell exactly which woman our dresses would resonate with the most.
This woman is a forward thinker. She is also compassionate – cares about the state of the world, donates to animal charities, she is educated and well travelled, appreciates aesthetics and design.
She likes simple sophistication – she likes clean lines, minimal and classic look, responsibly made clothes, she owns or builds her capsule wardrobe. She is immune to trends and only wears what she feels good in.
She wants to make a difference – she lives with intention and buys with purpose, she lives sustainably, sees nature as a powerful force and she embraces free spiritedness.
And she likes eco chic brands.
- Which was the biggest challenge you had to deal with?
I had a previous business experience that came certainly handy but had no fashion experience, so really the fabrics, sewing and contacts in fashion field were totally new to me and I had to find the way to navigate in all that and at the same time to stay true to what I consider to be me and the ways I want to run my label.
- You are an eco-designer, tell us your daily routine for a sustainable living.
I am totally passionate about recycling, so in my daily routine whatever I use I do my best to recycle it. I always separate glass, paper and plastic and throw it to assigned bins.
In my purse I carry a folded textile bag for grocery shopping. I buy a recycled toilet paper. For printing I use recycled paper.
I do not use plastic straws at all and now I am about to buy a really nice reusable bamboo and metal straws to use at home and put couple of them to my purse for when I get served a drink outside.
When I went vegan in 2012 I donated all the non-vegan clothes to bazaars for animal shelters and I started building a minimalist wardrobe and cleaning up my closet so I only keep the clothes I really need and love to wear.
I love that there are many small new eco-conscious brands arising and I really believe this world is shifting towards what really matters.
When I feel I really need to buy something I either buy organic or recycled or from a second-hand store (nowadays there are those nice clean concept second-hand stores, so those I really like).
One of the events I experienced and also organized is the Clothes Swap. Everybody brings their piece and can take a different piece home with them and nobody has to pay. It is a great concept and I love that many people are becoming conscious consumers and are doing these swaps worldwide.
© All images are property of Artisara and cannot be used without permission
Photography: Natalia Jacubcova
Hair & Make-Up: kesulatko_makeup