I am excited to put a spotlight on ground-breaking, forward thinking and highly creative brands. The companies I plan to spotlight are thoughtful, earth friendly, mindful, doing it right, giving back and not to mention, SUSTAINABLE. This is the first in a series of many more.
Let me introduce you to Vanni, the Founder of VALANI. Her company features fun and flirty pieces in eco-friendly materials that are non-toxic with low impact dyes. The fabrics are natural, plant-based – like Hemp, Tencel and Banana – using no nasty chemicals. I was especially excited to read about the banana fabric as I’d never heard of this! Banana fabric is an alternative to silk (derived from the silkworm). It is a byproduct of the food industry where the stems from the banana harvest are upcycled into fabric. This is not only a cruel free alternative to silk but also an opportunity to use massive amounts of waste that would normally turn into green-house gases and an opportunity to provide additional jobs in the community.
VALANI is committed to low waste, recycled packing materials, and giving back 10% of their profits to organizations that fund woman’s empowerment programs, charities and environmental initiatives. VALANI also partners with One Tree Planted, where a tree is planted with every purchase. The founder, Vanni, offers an opportunity to learn more about breath work on the website – a calming, beautiful practice.
In all VALANI is big on transparency. They list their production facility in India that is GOTS 6.0 certified and Fair Trade compliant. They are committed to using no toxic chemicals with low waste practices. The working conditions are safe, clean with no child/forced labor and fair wages and working hours. These fair practices extend to their local, domestic design headquarters offering creative working environments with fair wages and hours.
We sat down (virtually!) with Vanni and asked her some questions about fashion and sustainability.
How did you get started in fashion? And why did you choose to do sustainable fashion?
While I have no formal background in fashion, I have a marketing degree and a strong entrepreneurial background. I use fashion as a way to express my creativity and to fill in a gap that I saw in the sustainable clothing niche. Most sustainable brands that I found where neutral colored, boxy or boring. I wanted something fun, flirty, bold and feminine.
However, my focus on sustainable fashion stems from my vegan lifestyle. Veganism is a plant-based life built on compassion and respect for everything, and so I wanted my brand to be the same.
What are the challenges your company faces as a sustainable brand?
As a small business, spreading awareness of our brand and mission are huge challenges. Operating in a sustainable and ethical process along with quality fabrics is much more costly than operating as a fast fashion brand. This is something we have to educate the public. We don’t have a huge budget like the big boys, but we aim to do our best.
What are the changes you would like to see in the fashion industry?
I’d love to see less reliance on synthetic fibers and a reduction of the “throw away” culture. Both things are detrimental to our environment in terms of manufacturing and after-effects in the landfill.
What are the top 5 things you do in your day that are important to you?
- Yoga – I strengthen my core, flexibility and balance.
- Play time with my 5 dogs.
- Breath work & meditation – clears my mind and helps me focus.
- Cooking healthy, vegan meals for my family.
- Connecting with people who are interested in sustainable living.
What do you value?
From how we operate to the charities we support, VALANI is built on compassion and driven by purpose. Everything is interconnected and we have to treat everything with compassion and respect.
Well, I am very excited to follow this beautiful, sustainable brand and see what they do next! Here is a sneak peek that we are excited about – sustainable bridesmaid and bridal dresses are available for pre-order here and shipping in early March:
Stay Stylish & Sustainable,
Xoxo A Sustainable Love 💚
(Full disclosure – we have an affiliate program with VALANI. We only partner with fully sustainable brands we believe in 100% and we hold ourselves to the highest of standards as we do with the brands we believe in.)