My name is Sonja. I studied Fashion Design in Florence, Italy, and wrote my final dissertation on the subject of the damaging effects of the fast fashion industry.
After having graduated, I tried to take every opportunity available to me to gain experience, develop my skills, and make a living; I worked for various fashion brands (included fast fashion brands, going against my principles), and then, whilst working on a collaborative project as a designer for a Chinese brand in Guangzhou, I decided that I wanted out. I didn't want to be part of that: tonnes of plastic, elastane, and polyester were not what I had planned for my future. I was designing things which made me feel guilty, garments that I would never wear myself.
So I quit, and started again. I took many courses relating to sustainability, the environment, natural dying processes, and eco-printing. The more I learned, the more I noticed the lack of truly, genuinely natural clothing, up to the point that my wardrobe was nearly empty; I couldn't find anything to purchase which met my standards.
Nowadays, the word "natural" is often irresponsibly used. Many products claim to be natural, but their labels frequently reveal unpleasant surprises, such as a percentage of elastane and/or polyester (which are not biodegradable and release micro-plastics); dyes that use up and pollute large quantities of fresh water; and harsh, damaging chemicals. I decided that it wasn't just about me any longer: it was for the sake of everyone and for the future of our planet. I had to do something about it.
With an empty wallet, but a plethora of dreams and values, I found some courage and invested what savings I had in a collection of socks which are truly natural (organic, unbleached, undyed) under the brand I created ('Your Natural Socks'), and opened an Etsy shop (feel free to have a look to better understand the sustainability behind my projects).
Undyed garments are so pure that they can be worn by anybody, even by people with the most sensitive and problematic skin, by children and by the elderly. I only use the most natural and ancient of fibres, such as cotton, hemp, linen, and wool, and they must be produced organically.
I am now here to take another step forward, moving from socks to underwear and other essentials, hoping to one day produce a range of clothing.
I CAN'T DO MUCH ALONE, BUT TOGETHER, WITH YOUR HELP, WE CAN MAKE A BETTER WORLD.
I have attached a quotation that a small manufacturing company in Spain provided me with; this would allow me to realise three of my designs, ninety pieces in total, though I would also need to purchase trimmings, such as thread and a plastic-free, biodegradable alternative to elastic.
The designs are the following:
• 30 x Leggings
• 30 x Bralette
• 30 x Brief
These items will be made using:
• Jersey fabric made from 100% organic cotton, undyed, from a particular and rare crop known for its distinctive colour
• Thread which is made of 100% organic cotton, undyed
• Internal elastic made of caucciù (covered in a layer of undyed, organic cotton)
• All fabric leftovers will be recycled and transformed into scrunchies.
Every component is natural, biodegradable, and undyed.
Nature gives us all we need, always.
Thank you, even if you are only able to stop by and read what I have to say. If you can help fund my project, that would be greatly appreciated.