“I have a very extensive wardrobe that is curated from traveling around the world. I’m not a department store shopper”
One brand is realizing the importance of joining common forces to strive to be sustainable.
Laura Delman is an ethical and sustainable fashion brand. The owner and head designer, Laura Delman works with companies and organizations including Pratt’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, Save the Garment Center of New York and The Fashion Foundation to continue to find new ways to be sustainable.
“I’m aware of how many initiatives are going on… The more sustainable the better. Not everything we can do is sustainable and not everything is sustainable in every single way but we’re trying as best we can to educate both the retailers and our customers on which portion of what we’re doing is sustainable,” Delman says. “If you can’t find the right fabrics that will satisfy the silhouette, the design factor, then you may alter the design and so you just keep teasing it back and forth until you strike the right balance that meets the DNA of the brand and Is as sustainable as possible.”
In addition to sustainability, the brand focuses on helping to provide jobs to people in New York by keeping all production locally grown and locally made. This allows them to be able to grow relationships with the people who produce the fabrics and so they can keep a close eye on the process.
“A lot of people, ever since I started said to me, ‘you know you can really cut costs if you get these clothes made in China or whatever.’ And I said I’m not doing it. You know there are so many derogatory things that are going on; little kids are chained to tables and sewing and I’m not gonna risk it. You just can’t monitor it closely enough,” Delman says. “Let’s do it here. Let’s bring the art, the talent, back here and the only way we can do that is really to support one another.”
The fabrics they use aren’t just sustainable in the way they have grown but also in the process afterward. Laura Delman donates leftover fabric to organizations like Fabscrap, instead of throwing it away. They also donate samples and leftover clothing to organizations like The Fashion Foundation which donates school supplies to kids who can’t afford it.
“If the clothes that we can’t sell or use are reborn for people who actually need them that is just so resonant,” Delman says. “And to donate them to organizations that are helping other women, other young people… launch themselves from one part of their lives to another to the transitions, that to me is exactly part of what we’re doing.”
As Delman is working on the design for the next line, Spring/Summer 2019 her inspiration comes from a lot of different places including pockets, asymmetry, and versatility. Delman says she likes to use pockets whenever possible because they go along with functionality.
“I have a very extensive wardrobe that is curated from traveling around the world. I’m not a department store shopper,” Delman says. “What appeals to me is asymmetry. I like things that are a little off, different views that might not have occurred to someone else… I like layers because life is very layered. People are layered. There is very little that is straightforward, one dimensional. So that’s influential to me.”
Going along with versatility, Laura Delman clothing pieces are very versatile. The brand seeks to make clothing for women that can be worn throughout the day, no matter if it’s at work or hanging out with friends. The clothing can either be dressed up or dressed down.
“I also like things that can be worn differently, such as you can wear it down or you can pull it up,” Delman says. “During the day your main garment is functional for the business environment and then you can just twist it around a little bit and then you’re ready to socialize.”
Delman has been in the business for two years but continues to learn how to create sustainable pieces. The brand continues to seek to work with other companies who are striving to achieve the same goal so they can bounce off each other’s ideas.
“I want to keep learning about what’s happening, in terms of the way people are farming, dyeing, creating, making fabrics. Also, I want to go directly to consumers because it allows me to bring the cost down for them. The retail market is in such a conundrum right now and the fashion calendar is going by the wayside. The big runway shows that were such pizzazz and a lot of fluff are also going by the wayside,” Delman says. “I think the fashion industry is starting to take responsibility for the excess that didn’t really contribute but rather took from the planet, from the economy, from people and now, you know, we’re trying to do less of the taking and more of the giving.”
With a lot of brands becoming sustainable and ethical the fashion industry is slowly changing. From one designer to the next in the change to sustainability more people are being educated on what sustainability is.