Introducing Envelope1976, the Label that Is Taking Sustainable Style to the Next Level
Today is the day, and we have been waiting. It feels like forever, but Envelope1976’s responsibly made collection is now finally in stores. We talk to the brand’s creative director Celine Aagaard and her business partner Pia Nordskaug, CEO of eco.logic.
Why did you decide to found fashion brand Envelope1976, and what has the journey from idea to launch looked like?
Celine: We have been working with this idea for a few years, and in May 2017 we started our research on where to do our production. I have known my partner Pia Nordskaug, CEO of eco.logic, for about five years. We shared the same idea of the industry, and had the same vision regarding sustainability. She has a lot of experience in distribution and sales, which I haven’t really been working with. Ever.
Pia: We are launching Envelope1976 on the 15th of November, the first collection is launched in 22 stores and online stores in Norway.
What is Envelope1976 about? Tell us about that year, the inspiration and the woman you design for.
Both: We design for a modern woman with a sustainable approach. We have a fascination for the past, and the ‘70s way of living, but our take on the ‘70s is more minimalist and timeless. The colors are inspired by the nature – creme, beige and aubergine – and most of our materials are vegan dyed with a very soft and comfortable finish. Celine was born in the ‘70s, and for us 1976 marks the beginning of this journey, in a way.
“…we think it’s crucial to change the way we think and behave when designing, selling, and representing in the fashion industry.”
How would you describe your debuting collection, and what are the key pieces?
Celine: The key for the collection is that the pieces are timeless yet fashionable, and a lot of the garments can be worn in multiple ways. This is important, as we believe it to be more sustainable to consume garments that will last for years. And it’s not only the material that can affect the timeline of a garment, it is also important that the design will last, and that you can discover new ways to style your pieces.
The color palette is very natural, timeless and beautiful. We cannot imagine getting sick of these colors. Key pieces are: heavy chunky knits, dresses, and the perfect suit.
What materials have you worked with, and how have you sourced them?
Pia: It has been a challenge to source fabrics that have an obvious environmental advantage, but we are always looking for collaborators, manufacturers, and souls that share our vision for a more transparent and sustainable fashion industry. At the moment, we are producing in Istanbul, Turkey, and prefer to use natural fabrics like wool, cupro, linen and cotton.
Celine: If we use any oil-based materials, like polyester, we choose recycled alternatives. We use natural coloring, bio wool, organic cotton, and fabrics from the cupro-family that is biodegradable. It’s important to understand that there is not just one way to be environmentally friendly when producing clothes. If we were to claim that we are 100% sustainable, the right thing to do would be to not produce anything at all, and consumption would have to stop all together. Consumption will go on, but we think it’s crucial to change the way we think and behave when designing, selling, and representing in the fashion industry.
In what other ways are you considering sustainability in your design and production, and would you care to share this process with us?
Celine: We believe there are many ways of being more sustainable in this industry. First of all, we don’t push fast fashion. Our design is made to last. We don’t follow the seasons, and truly believe that there is no need to put bikinis on sale in June just to clear the store for goods before next season hits. In our lookbook we have styled a bikini with a heavy knit. This is to show that a knit is as relevant on a summer night, as a bikini is in winter time. People are traveling a lot, and I’ve even started a bathing routine every Thursday all year round to prove a point.
Pia: In production there are many things to consider. First of all, it is key to make materials that last. We consider what kind of fibers we use, and consider the environmental footprint on each material we make or buy. We also use leftover fabrics from leather production. This is a good way to reduce waste. Another thing we find crucial in order to reduce the footprint is to not produce and buy a lot of extra stock. This push a lot of brands into selling goods at reduced prices, which we are not a fan of since its pushing unnecessary sale. Also, there are a handful of great certifications that we can use, like GOTS for organic cotton. They are doing a great job making sure that the cotton is actually of organic origin.
Celine: It’s not always easy to know what documentation to trust, but in the end you have to choose to trust your collaborators.
We had one specific challenge this season, when producing a material with cupro and recycled poly. At the final stage of the production, we didn’t get the documentation needed to show that the polyester was 100% recycled. Then we needed to decide: dump this material and make a new one, or use it instead of trashing it. We chose the later option.
So, to sum it up: it’s challenging to commit to a sustainable production, but instead of waiting for a solution with a big S, we decided to use the solutions that already existed. And, hopefully the future will be bright and green.
“First of all, we don’t push fast fashion. Our design is made to last. We don’t follow the seasons, and truly believe that there is no need to put bikinis on sale in June…”
Tell us about the partnership between you, Celine, and eco.logic.
Pia: Eco.logic’s vision is to provide sustainable, ethical and high quality designs, and to create environmental awareness.
Celine: That’s why I partnered up with eco.logic, since we share the same vision. Also, they have the competence needed to start a brand. I have never dealt with the logistics behind production, sales and distribution, so it felt like the perfect match! Also, the creative space we share when being co-workers from different competences makes every day very exciting and fun.
In eco.logic we try to show the consumer that it doesn’t matter if you’re making or buying a high fashion brand, merch, streetwear, food, or other things – you can always make a better choice when buying or producing.
What’s up next for Envelope1976?
Celine: We are just about to finish the vol.3 collection!
Pia: We’ve had really nice feedback from the international market on this first collection, and we are now ready to reveal the second one. We will show it and have a little showroom in Paris for next season.
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