1. Which aspects of Framiore’s business are the most sustainable?
Most of them. Starting from our choice of fabrics (we work mainly with Tencel, hemp and deadstock fabrics) timeless design concept with not more than two collections per year, no stock, pre-order sales model, our own in-house LEAN manufacturing, fair pay and work conditions. We don’t even debate sustainability; this is our baseline from where everything else starts.
2. How do you choose the cultures that inspire you each season?
It is driven by designer’s curiosity and there is always a genuine link. Our first collection is inspired by Black Hmong as our designer Daryna went on a cultural expedition in Northern Vietnam and studied Hmong’s heritage. The idea for the Second collection “Spell my name” inspired by Uyghur people of China, came up after Daryna saw an article about how Uyghurs are being persecuted in China. It was a message to explore more. Our next collection will be dedicated to Hutsuls - Carpathian mountain people in Ukraine, because this is where we are rooted, very close to this region.
3. What do you see as the largest sustainability issues currently facing fashion?
How to grow fashion as a business without promoting consumerism. The growth of this business largely depends on growing demand on our products and services. Demand stimulates production, and the latter is essentially contributing towards increasing consumerism. The big challenge is how to slow down consumption and at the same time maintain the appetite for fashion?
4. Tell us more about your use of deadstock materials?
Many fashion brands depend on fabrics' wholesale prices. That is the way to minimize the sub costs and to ensure a smooth supply chain. Not many brands are willing to purchase fabric leftovers because it is limiting your production capacity dramatically and slows it down too. However, at Framiore we have made a choice to produce, predominantly, on demand and in this way to avoid overproduction. It also gives us an option to create diverse variations of the same model within limited editions. So each customer can almost have a unique edition for a number of models within one collection.
5. What is your ultimate goal as a brand?
Our dream is to become an example of a sustainable circular economy business model which can be an inspiration for replication locally in Ukraine and in the global fashion business. As a brand Framiore, we would like to become an exchange platform for lesser-known traditional cultures and the modern urban fashion world. A platform that gives back and makes a positive deference to female communities from every culture we are inspired by.
6. What has inspired you from the Black Hmong culture?
During her 2017 expedition our designer Daryna Chook met with Hmong people in northern Vietnam, in Sapa, Bac Ha and other mountain ranges. Vietnamese cities are overpopulated, so it was difficult to observe the true culture. However, when driving into the mountain villages, living pieces of history were still preserved and present.
There are several subcultural divisions of Hmong people – White Hmong, Black Hmong, Red Hmong, even Flower Hmong. These names originate from the color and designs of traditional dresses in each respective group. And while traditional clothing of other nationalities seems far removed from the modern world, the clothing of the Black Hmongs looks incredibly relevant for today. Black Hmong people have the most minimalist, traditional wear of them all.
We wanted to give the Hmongs heritage an opportunity to go beyond their borders and see the world.
It is not only the wear, but also the culture of these people that is significant. The bond between the Black Hmong and nature is deep and can be seen in their very philosophy of living. They understand how to use only natural materials for all their daily needs, leaving almost zero footprint on ecology.
7. With so many brands claiming to be sustainable how do you build up trust with your
Frankly, we do not focus on building up trust specifically. We are just 100% honest and transparent about who we are and what we do. Sustainability is a very broad and, at the same time, a vague concept. There are certain constraints and limitations we have to consider if we want to survive as a business. We wish we could invest more in the R & D stage and apply the most advanced technology in production, find a way to turn any waste into energy and give back a lot more to the indigenous communities. One of our dreams is also to establish an educational programme to teach young people about artisan craftsmanship and circular economy. Right now, we focus on one step at a time.