Today I'm interviewing Johanne Helger Lund, creator and designer of Denmark-based sustainable clothing label, Ecouture. It's the first post in a three part series on the brand, so stay tuned for a personal style post and a giveaway early next week! Ecouture is looking to make a name for itself internationally and they offer reasonable shipping options to the States. Read on for more information on the brand and its mission.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I am born and raised in Copenhagen, the capital of the Denmark. My mother is a famous Danish actress and political activist (http://helger.dk/) and my father is a musician. I worked in the Danish theatres and television shows as costume designer for many years of my youth. I then decided to get my degree as a designer which I partly got in Copenhagen and Barcelona. When [I] decided to start my own brand I had no doubt that I wanted to do it with respect for the environment and the people who make the clothes.
When did you first become interested in ethical fashion? Was there a particular moment or did it happen over time?
I have always been concerned with the environment. When I started my brand most ethical clothes out on [the] market was very boring and grey, so I wanted to contribute to the ethical fashion area with clothes that were more spectacular and colorful. There are so many fashion brands in the world and they all look the same. I would not make clothes if it wasn't for the ethical element, because the world has enough “normal” brands.
Your clothes have a great theatrical, feminine quality. What draws you to this aesthetic?
First of all my background as [a] costume designer. Secondly I think that there is a sad tendency in the fashion world to make clothes that are more and more androgynous. I make clothes for women, and I think it is possible to be feminine AND a powerful woman at the same time!
How do you source fabrics for your clothes? How are they manufactured?
Most of my clothes are GOTS certified. We use natural textile fibres like cotton, flax, hemp, silk and wool fibres, which can be grown eco-friendly and according to the rules of organic farming. These are textiles marked endorsed by organizations such as the Dutch Control Union (formerly BE), Swedish KRAV, and Swiss IMO. Our clothes are sewn in Poland in workshops that do not use child labour, and where workers have decent conditions and a good working environment in keeping with the local laws. Design, finishing, and selling takes place in Denmark.
What is your favorite item from the current collection?
All of them :)
Where do you see Ecouture headed in the next few years?
We are very popular in Scandinavia, but I would like to expand to the rest of Europe and USA. My big dream is to be able to start my own production projects in India, and create a great and healthy environment for the people who grow cotton for example, and for mother earth.