Timeless and durable
Once a month I want to give you a little glimpse behind the scenes of Liapure Design Studio. It's a bit difficult to get everything under one roof, but it's very important to me to take you on a journey and to show you why my products are so special, that they are made with all my heart and passion and why I produce locally in Germany.
Recently I had an interview with @Geheimtippmuenchen about sustainability. This interview inspired me to also tell you something about the topic here on my blog and to explain why sustainability for me does not only mean the use of natural materials, but so much more...
Sustainable = Durable, timeless products paired with the highest quality approach
For me, sustainability means above all, products that you have for a long time, that are good in quality and do not feel like a dried towel after the first wash or even have overlock seams that dissolve after two times of use. Each one of us should learn to appreciate the clothes we wear again and put a stop to the throw-away mentality. A sustainable product should not and cannot follow the fashion madness and every trend, which is why I am not a big fan of constantly changing trends. After all, it is precisely these trends that have led to fast fashion brands coming out with almost 40 or more collections a year and thus pumping far too much unnecessary merchandise into a completely saturated market. A product that follows this cycle can be made from eco-fabrics and great materials, but it is not sustainable, because it is neither timeless nor durable and thus ignores the cornerstones of sustainable fashion.
Of course, natural materials or innovative fabrics such as Tencel and Modal, recycled materials that are much more environmentally friendly than traditional fabrics, especially in the yarn production process, play an enormous and important role. However, a products not a sustainable product simply because of the use of these. There is so much more to it. Where is production? So how far are the transport routes? How are the goods packaged and how much and how often they are being produced? Are there a lot of goods that are left lying around or are small quantities produced to prevent big stocks?
To use sustainable materials and then produce them miles away is contradictory in my opinion. So I have made it my business to minimize the environmental impact caused by transport as much as possible by producing locally in small production facilities in Germany, thus reducing the transport distances to a minimum. Packaging also plays a role here, i.e. flyers made of recycled paper, business cards made of old T-shirts, laundry labels made of 100% organic cotton...and much more. Unfortunately, this has its price.
Is the higher price for a sustainable product justified?
It depends! The more expensive price is not necessarily due to the use of sustainable materials, but to the combination of local production (e.g. it costs 2/3 more to produce in Germany than in Poland), the minimum quantity of fabrics purchased from wholesalers (you pay a 40% surcharge for fabrics less than 500 metres, usually even less than 1000 metres), the almost 15-30% surcharge for sustainable packaging and much more.
A small example: I need a maximum of 90 metres of fabric per design, because I produce very small quantities. For the time being, there are only eight of each piece in each size. Accordingly, I pay a 40% surcharge to my fabric dealers in Italy for the small amount of fabric, because they have the same effort to weave the fabric and dye it as they do for 500 meters, for example. As a general rule, it can be said that almost all fabrics become considerably cheaper from a quantity of 500 metres. So that is the first burden if you're such a small brand as I am.
Next comes the fabric for production. I create 30 pieces per design per colour. For each colour, all machines have to be re-equipped (yarns are re-tensioned and machines are reset). This costs time and is charged with a surcharge. The more pieces of one color and design you have, the cheaper the production will be.
The same applies to the development of a product. Of course I have development costs for all designs. I create the pattern all by myself on paper, but then I refine them with a master tailor and finally with a cutting director, who transforms these patterns into digital suitable ones ready for production, i.e. digitizes them, grades them into the different sizes and finally passes them on to the respective production site as a CAD file adapted to the respective production. This development costs a lot of time and also money, but even this is much more worthwhile for timeless and sustainable products, as they remain and do not have to be re-created 40 times a year. This not only saves time, but also energy and money.
There are many steps that belong to a sustainable product, not only the use of 'good' materials. However, all these points lead to a higher price. As we do not pursue 'competitor-based pricing' for small brands, but rather 'value-based pricing', this does not necessarily play the biggest role, especially as we would not have a chance to compete against fast fashion brands in terms of price and sales price, if only because of the circulation volume. But someone who really cares about the origin of his product and who pays attention to quality will come back latest after his first purchase at Liapure, the first wash and after wearing one of my designs for the first time, because he will recognize the difference not only in comfort but also in the quality of the products. However, it takes time to build this understanding, which I want to allow and encourage Liapure to grow slowly and organically.
I am looking forward to writing the next article and to welcoming you back to www.liapure.de soon.