At MASAMI, we have a purpose -- to help rebalance the ocean ecosystem, starting with northeastern Japan, an area that is still dealing with the impact of the tsunami in 2011. To that end, we created The MASAMI INSTITUTE to fund ocean conservation research in Japan.
We admire companies that also are committed to sustainability and reducing waste in the environment. Thus, we were thrilled to partner with Adalinda Sustainable Fashion -- MASAMI provided the hair care products for their NYFW Fashion Show this past February. Adalinda showcases designers that are committed to social progression and environmental awareness. Their main focus is connecting consumers to brands and clothing/accessories that are made ethically and sustainably.
Kristen Pereira, the founder of Adalinda, recently shared with us her thoughts about sustainability from the beginnings of her company, to now during Covid-19 and how it might affect the future of the fashion industry.
What does sustainability mean to you?
When I think of sustainability, I think of a world without waste. I think of a system that can function independently of anything else. One example of how I see sustainability: I remember at one point I thought of donating money to the rainforest as a way to save it. Then when I really asked myself, what is the source of the problems with the rainforest I realized it had nothing to do with money. The rainforest does not need money to function, it is self-sustaining. However, humans need money to save the rainforest from the harm other humans do to it.
Why did you focus on sustainability in fashion?
I was in college when the Rana Plaza collapse happened in Bangladesh, which was the deadliest garment-factory disaster in history. I remember learning about the Manhattan Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that happened in 1911 and thinking about how bad it was that we were repeating the same problems. I really fought with myself about staying in fashion after that. A year or two after college, I worked for a major retail brand in an underperforming store. It was really upsetting to me to see the overwhelming amount of product pile up. At the same time, the customers wanted more. I could see that there was a huge gap between the industry and the consumer. I wanted to start a conversation in closing the gap. It is easy to say it is the brands' fault or the consumers' fault. At the end of the day, we are all parts of the puzzle. If we all do one thing differently, collectively we can make a difference.
How will the fashion industry & fashion shows evolve after Covid-19?
It is really too soon to tell. Right now I am seeing a slow down in trends as everyone is at home in casual, relaxed clothes. People are not buying because they have nowhere to go. There is also the factor that we do not know how long this pandemic will last. I think that people are going to continue to move at a "slowed-down" pace for a while even after we go back to the new normal. Trends are going to shift also as fashion reflects the times. It is going to be interesting because there is a gap in the market. Most fashion brands have canceled upcoming orders and moved to mask production. This means that once stores reopen there can be a great amount of time before new trends hit displays. Anything can happen in that time.
Do you feel that bigger fashion brands are becoming more innovative?
The brands that are winning in the game of sustainability are the ones that have sustainability in their business model. It is hard for big brands to do more than just a sustainable collection if they do not have a business model that is sustainable.
What are some of the emerging sustainable fashion brands that you hope to partner with?
Hmmm. . . that is a good question. I am currently planning Fashion Week. So I rather not say as I always love learning about new brands and meeting new designers.
We applaud Kristen’s continued effort to discover and connect sustainable fashion designers with conscientious consumers through her Adalinda Fashion platform. Their combined dedication will no doubt have a net positive effect on the environment, something every eco-conscious person is striving to do.
We now want to take our sustainability efforts further and create a large size, ceramic, refillable bottle to replace our plastic packaging. We are making a cardboard, refill carton to accompany it with hopes that we can impact consumer behavior.
According to Paula Chin, Sustainable Materials Specialist at World Wildlife Fund-UK in a recent Elle article about Blue Beauty, "Businesses, governments and individuals all need to play their part in eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic from our lives, using our planet’s precious resources more efficiently and taking greater responsibility for the waste we create by reusing and recycling where possible".
To do our part and help fund our refillable bottle initiative, we have created a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign on IFundWomen, a startup funding platform for women entrepreneurs. Our goal is to raise $20,000 by June 15. This refillable bottle is the first of many initiatives to come in our desire to be a more sustainable Blue beauty company -- by limiting our plastic waste and protecting our oceans by not putting chemicals in our beauty products.
Join us in making the beauty industry more sustainable! As Paula said, we all need to play our part. If you have any other ideas or suggestions on sustainability, please comment.