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In conversation with Froukje, the woman behind Floria Collective
We sat down with Froukje, the founder of Floria Collective, to discuss about what brought her to create her slow fashion brand and some unpopular sustainable fashion opinion of hers
With a life-long passion for everything fashion, Froukje – the 28 years old founder of Floria Collective – graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in Fashion & Management. But when, at 23, she decided to move to the Caribbean island of Curaçao for a few years, something in her shifted…
“After graduating from the AMFI and working for a few years I decided to move to Curacao for a few years. During my time living on the island, I enjoyed the slow island life and lived more in contact with nature. Because of this, I became more conscious of the impact our lifestyle has on others, our planet, and ourselves.
Take the fashion industry: it is the second biggest polluter in the world and also one of the biggest industries supporting modern slave labor. It is a Trillion dollar industry that supplies 300 million people with a job every year, of which only 2% earn a livable wage. A challenging industry, but with a big opportunity for change” Froukje
I’ve always dreamt of starting my fashion label. But, from that moment on, I knew I wanted to do things differently.
So, Floria Collective was born!
The brand name comes from the founder’s love for the Caribbean island Curacao, from which the word “floria” meaning “to flourish” comes. Allowing both maker and wearer to flourish. Curacao is still a big inspiration for her, as you might see in the first collection shoot (shot in hotel Jakarta, with palm trees and a lot of green in the background)
“Floria Collective is a slow fashion label, creating high-quality designs with a timeless character. We create garments for the modern and conscious woman, who wants to make a difference and look good while doing so” Froukje explains
We want to make the people and our planet; flourish
“Therefore every garment is designed and made with respect for the planet and in collaboration with artisans and small family-owned businesses. We work exclusively with recycled, organic, and biodegradable materials and give full transparency into our supply chain.
We made it our mission to make the fashion industry more transparent, socially fair, and sustainable” she continues
The most special thing about us is that the full product journey of the garment is set out on our website
“This way, you can see exactly which materials were used and which partners were involved. Interesting, because this also shows how complex making a garment can be, and how many actions are sometimes required to achieve that perfect result.
Besides, we also published the names of our partners on the website. This is not common in fashion. Many brands prefer to keep this to themselves, in order to prevent competition. At Floria we are open and transparent about our partners to give the makers the platform they deserve” she explains
“Even though my contribution in this feels small (for now), I do believe in the power of the collective. Therefore, with Floria, I want to build a collective of conscious women, who want to make a difference and look good while doing so “
I wish more people realized how much time and effort there goes into creating a garment
“It takes 6-8 months to create a new garment from start to finish; from the one harvesting the fiber till the production. It takes a lot of people, skills, money, and effort” she explains
“That’s why when I see the quote “the most sustainable piece is the one already in your closet” I don’t 100% agree. It is indeed true from an environmental point of view. However, I believe we tend to forget a very important element when saying this: the human ecosystem is made by the social environment and physical environment. In the social environment, you simply need work. Many regions thrive on the production of fabrics and/ or clothing. If we would stop production, we would take away not only work but also generations of experience, skills, and knowledge. Therefore, the social environment would collapse” she concludes
When developing Floria, I tried to find a way in valuing both social and environmental sustainability.
We honor traditional craftsmen by working with handmade fabrics made from recycled and organic yarns and we produce at family-owned and small factories that focus on the wellbeing of the people.
So when you buy, make sure you buy consciously. The people developing the product should thrive from it and the impact on the environment should be minimized.
So, my advice to someone just approaching sustainability would be to not get overwhelmed and start with changing the small daily habits!
“I believe big changes start with those small, conscious choices you make on a daily basis, to make a positive impact for yourself, others, and our planet. All those small choices by all those single people will add up, until one day we realize those are the things that make the big difference. A good mantra is “Be the change and the world will change by your example”” she concludes.
Floria Collective is one of the amazing brand pages you can find on Renoon. To discover more about its values, you can find and follow them on the app & add it to your feed, to continue exploring more emerging, responsible designers!
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