Friday, October 14, 2011

Snapshot of a Local Eco-Conscious Designer

My friend, former classmate, and fashion designer June Monteiro has been growning her brand "Everything Enamour" for the past few years. She recently showed her Monarch Collection at Baltimore Fashion Week, and premiered her Isabella Blow Collection this September during Boston Fashion Week. As her classmate, I was always amazed by the creativity behind June's collections (her Monarch Collection is inspired by the various stages of the Victorian mourning period). Also I thought it was interesting that from the very beginning of building her brand, June decided to focus on sustainability.

Monarch Collection

I asked June a few questions about why, as an emerging designer, she has decided to take this route (which I would expect to be very challenging when you are starting a company)...

Why do you use sustainable fabrics? 
Isabella Blow Collection
I became interested in sustainable fabrics when our Professor at MassArt, Jenn Varekamp, told us about the damage the major design houses were doing to the industry. Although they're trying to use more recycled goods, most won't change to sustainable materials, especially if the alternative is cheap. I figured it may help for me to begin my career being more conscious of my materials.

What type of fabrics do you use?
I try to use organic fabrics whenever possible and primarily use natural fibers like silks, cottons, tencel, and wools. On a rare occasion I will use a blend, but I want most of my collections to be all natural. For my first collection I hand dyed a lot of my fabric and just bought them in natural tones.

Do you find it challenging because sustainable fabrics are more expensive?
Most of my fabric shopping is done online in wholesale bulk. So it's usually a 15 yd minimum with a small vendor. Larger vendors sell at a 25+ yd minimum. It is much more expensive to buy so it helps that I utilize the fabric in more than one look.

You can find out more about Everything Enamour on her website:

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