Tatty Devine has always been conscious of sustainability; running a business that employs mostly women and constantly creating jewellery that has positive impacts on people’s lives. We have built the business to be sustainable by running our own studio where everything is made, this means we can control the conditions, the waste, costs and team happiness. We believe in making products that are to be cherished forever, we offer a repair service to make sure every piece can live on even if it is damaged.
‘More recently we have found a recycled acrylic supplier and we are exploring how to move the collections over to more sustainable materials. We don’t want our business, designs or ourselves to ever burn out or have a negative impact, it’s all about a careful balance.’ TD
The biggest movement in fashion right now is not a particular trend, skirt length or a fabric choice, but a movement. The growing wish of many, especially younger designers is to produce responsible clothing, to break and disrupt seasonal buying, and to introduce brands that are ethical, environmentally conscious and socially responsible.
These young guns begin with these values right at the creation their companies, and do not see them as ‘add on’s,’ rather, as absolutely core to their journey.
Take, for example, a new small design duo based out Paris, Mansour Martin. At their very core, the Parisian duo is looking to challenge the way we approach fashion. Simply because they are of a generation who are just doing what they believe in.
Mansour Martin was founded on the principles of respect, humility and multicultural explorations, with no boundaries. Built by artistic directors Mansour Badjoko and Martin Liesnard, both of whom actually hail from Belgium and met over 10 years ago in the city of Brussels. Together, they have imagined the concept of a brand that reflects their own vision of doing fashion.
Badjoko and Liesnards’ approach, at the heart of the process for their work, is to create stories where collaborations, innovations and multidisciplinary arts methods can freely co-exist. Their wardrobe is for all genders – an easy-going mix for all identities as all the clothes are unisex. But it is their global consciousness that makes them feel like part of the new leaders in fashion, by approaching how to improve things within fashion for our everyday lives.
The clothes are made in Europe with the most qualitative fabrics in a transparent production process with limited quantity, so as to avoid overproduction, (which of course means if you are buying from them then it really is special and you will not likely see ten other people wearing it). Their goal is to create 50% of sustainable products for each main collection, and to become a global conscious fashion brand focused on environmental and social responsibility. And, least we forget, their packaging is made from 100% sustainable materials.
Tell us what made you want to start your own label?
We are friends and we have always shared a common passion for fashion. [For] a very long time we were thinking about doing a project together. We are, of course different, but we have always mixed our ideas, and felt that there was « something » to do.
During the past years; we were respectively working on several projects or for companies, learning and gaining experiences.
We were both experimenting with different things: Mansour on menswear design and Martin on creative projects, branding, and marketing for cosmetics brands and for fashion designers.
[In] early 2018, Martin called Mansour and directly took a train from Paris to Brussels in aim to talk together.
We took a beer together (we are Belgian!) and we made the observation that we were ready, and mature, to do something. Then, the idea of Mansour Martin was launched.
We are happy for having taken time before starting to work together, and not launching our label straight out from school.
We still have a lot of things to learn, but we feel more comfortable using all the precious things we have learned from our past experiences and from the people we have worked with.
Today, we combine our respective knowledge and cultures through the label Mansour Martin.
How did you both meet?
We are both Belgian from Brussels.
Martin lives in Paris but has always been linked to Brussels through his family and friends. We had the occasion to meet through common friends more than ten years ago.
What was it that made you both want to do sustainable clothing?
This was just an evident for us. There is no sense to launch any project today, without taking this into consideration.
There are a lot of very interesting and innovative things in fashion today, and unfortunately major brands don’t use them. They only start to do something now, from the pressure of the customers and people.
We want to have this approach at the heart of our dynamic. Mansour Martin wants to be a hub, a media, which show all the beautiful innovative projects coming from start-up, innovative process.
As we are working on a global wardrobe, we can’t be 100% sustainable at the moment. Sometimes, there are some leaks about solutions, or we are too little to have the opportunity to use them; it could be very expensive.
We don’t use the sustainable approach as a constraint. We imagine, create, and then look for solutions. This is one of our biggest challenges today.
When we don’t find the good sustainable solutions, we choose the one that we think is the most reasonable and qualitative. Around 70% of our products are sustainable.
Tell us about the pieces in the collection that are sustainable/green/upcycled, etc.
In our current capsule collection, which is available now online, we have designed cargo pants made with organic cotton, recycled polyester and sustainable treatment. We are really excited by this piece.
We have also sourced vintage velvet fabrics in the city of Brussels, in the flea market district. With these fabrics, we have created an up-cycled velvet long sleeve tee. Available in a green bottle and blue navy colours.
In our next main collection (Spring Summer 20), which will be available in January online, we will have the opportunity to reveal a natural tie and dyed shirt coloured with avocado skin and campêche wood. Also, a parka made with a polyester made from sea waste. We share all our sustainable projects with our followers on our Instagram account.
Can you talk to us a little about how you have gone about making a greener collection? For example, where do you find fabrics? What challenges do you face generally and in production?
We have taken one year before launching the brand, aiming to find the most qualitative solutions and sustainable fabrics.
Regarding the new little start-ups, all over the world, which are providing innovative solutions, Instagram is our best friend to discover and reach them!
Today, the principle challenge is about colouration: there is still a leak of fabrics which are printed in a green way.
What is your main aim within, say, the next couple of years /4 seasons, or are you reasonless?
We work step by step, to be the focus and conscious of each step for the brand’s evolution. Every single moment is important.
Our main aim for the next seasons is to find more and more innovative partners and start-up in aim to create innovative green clothes, and find solutions which matches with our creative and artistic desires.
How do you feel your business model is different and will stand out in a busy market place?
The fact that we are a creative duo, with different backgrounds, tastes and cultures is very interesting for us in our creative process. We really love working together by mixing our ideas and sensibility.
We also welcome different artists and people in our creative process. They really take part in the creative process for the collections. This is a real common work area with them.
For instance, we have worked closely with the French artist Camille Cabanes for our first main collection (Spring Summer 20).
She has worked on our prints and illustrations for the clothes, but we have to also try and keep her posted on the global process, in aim to help her feel the whole dynamic around the collection building process and share our common feelings. That was a real pleasure to work with her, her universe is very powerful and we share the same values with her. We will still continue to work with Camille, and will welcome soon other new artists in our creative process development with different profiles.
Also, the approach of our brand, as a « sustainable oriented media » creates something around our young label.
What do you feel is your ultimate goal?
Being happy by [doing] our job. We are conscious that we are very lucky to have the opportunity to create a brand in this way today.
We know how hard it is. We are a team of 4 people and we are building the project by ourselves. We will do our best to do something cool, beautiful but also interesting for people. Which helps to improve things in a better way in our everyday life.
And also, continuing to meet very interesting people and discover new innovative projects.
Should this type of approach to fashion be sparking your imagination then know this is a growing trend. Although Stella McCartney has been spreading this message for years, the new crop of up-coming brands are wholeheartedly on board read about them here.