To start, can you first introduce yourselves to our readers who may be hearing about your brand for the first time?
We are Fanfare Label, a sustainable British fashion brand that sets out to create powerful, positive change in the fashion industry. Fanfare at its core stems from my own belief that sustainable fashion is not just for the elite. It is the first conscious clothing brand that produces unique, fashion-forward designer pieces whilst competing with the high street on price. We partner with charities that work to eradicate slavery from fashion supply chains, end homelessness and empower women to teach skills that will help them thrive in the workplace. Fanfare’s collections include the latest innovative materials that are accredited by organisations including OEKO-TEX and GOTS.
What were you doing before you launched Fanfare Label, and what made you want to start a sustainable business within this industry?
Formerly Fabric For Freedom – but before that I had previously worked for many high street & designer brands, including Vivienne Westwood. Working my way up to buyer level, I saw and experienced first-hand the pressure that fast-fashion companies place on their suppliers and contractors and began working on a solution, combining my industry expertise with desire to promote sustainable fashion with eco-conscious practises. I did not start my own sustainable fashion brand because I thought it was a cool idea. I knew that the fashion is majorly flawed, and I launched this business with a genuine desire to make the biggest positive impact in the fashion sector.
Tell us a bit more about your brand, and what makes your brand different from those on the market?
We are committed in operating ethically and transparently. We are always aiming to expand our vision to offer assistance to more issues that we can help resolve. Our brand may be different from those on the market as we are believe in instead of following the latest throwaway ‘trends’ we create timeless pieces that are made to last and be re-worn, working to revolutionise the industry accounting for those who make our clothes while protecting our planet.
A unique feature of your brand identity is that you specifically focus on circularity, tell us a bit more about that?
Circularity contributes to a more sustainable world and whilst the fashion industry discards 2 million tonnes of clothing each year in the UK alone, 80% of this can be reused. Fanfare reduces this waste it by turning clothing & textile waste into a premium product, giving discarded waste a second chance at life. Opting for a seasonless collection as opposed to trend-led ranges, Fanfare reduces the amount of pressure on the supply chain, allowing for high-quality designs that does not cut corners in order to meet deadlines. Each garment is crafted with purpose in the UK, produced by artisans who love what they do.
What does sustainability mean for you? What sustainable values does Fanfare Label exemplify.
Sustainability is really important to us at Fanfare but we don’t just believe that it means helping the environment we believe it means making steps to improve the world as a whole. Our movement is focussed on bringing permanent change to the fashion industry by minimising our impact on the planet and concentrating on ethical treatment of people. Fanfare has charity associations with A21 Campaign and Freeset Global, working towards ending exploitation and abolishing slavery in supply chains, and also partners with OneLess Bottle to help eradicate plastic pollution from the world’s waterways and oceans.
Tell us a bit more about the curation process. What inspired the selection or design of clothing line?
We wanted to make pieces that people could re-wear countless times and not get tired of. Avoiding the idea of trends our collections always have a deeper message behind them. Whether that is repurposing recycled materials where we know each piece will be a one-off making them more special and unique to each individual. We combine bold and contemporary designs with a unique twist. Designed to create a wardrobe of sustainable clothing that lasts. Every Fanfare collection is made with certified sustainable materials or recycled and recovered textiles.
Being an entrepreneur, it can be difficult when starting off, if you could go back and tell yourself one thing about starting a business, what would it be?
There are lots of highs and lows when you’re setting out to start a business. For me the biggest challenge was being on my own and having to work out how to do everything myself. Fashion brands are normally such a collaborative work environment, so stepping out and starting my own business was a real change of pace.
Creating sustainable collections also comes with its own unique issues. It takes us twice, if not three or four times as long to create collections than high street brands because there’s just not the infrastructure available yet to do things quickly. Sustainable fabrics often come with really high minimums and surcharges, and you can’t access the particular fabrics that you want or need in order to make a specific garment. We have to put a lot more time, effort and thought into producing our collections compared to fast fashion brands.