Industry Talk: Sustainability & Innovation
Ronald van der Kemp – RVDK
Ronald is the designer of his own brand RVDK, famous for its sustainable collections. Leftover materials are used exclusively to make his collections.
Marlot Kiveron – Ace & Tate
Marlot is the Sustainability Manager of the Dutch brand Ace & Tate. Ace & Tate creates fashionable eyewear. It never started out as a brand focused on sustainability, and has been focussing recently on making their brand more sustainable. This is where Marlot’s role comes in.
Lilia Planjyan – Spinning Closet
Lilia is the owner of Spinning Closet. A relatively new company that rents out designer clothes. They aim to be the European equivalent of ‘Rent the Runway’. At Spinning Closet you can rent high-end clothing pieces.
M: “When I started at Ace & Tate it wasn’t a very sustainable company yet. The idea was to give people more options for glasses, which is of course not at all what sustainability is about. I found out that the amount of waste was four times the starting point.”
L: “I went to India a while back whilst taking a break in my career. I went to meditate for a month. When I came back and looked at the enormous amount of all clothes hanging in my closet again, whilst I had just travelled with a very minimal selection, I realised there was so much. I decided I didn’t need to own so much.”
R: “We inspire girls to buy vintage, and inspire them to create their own style. Once you have that style set, you don’t have to buy new things all the time. We hope to inspire girls, even if they can’t buy our stuff.”
M: “A lot of the time the sustainable product is more expensive because the material is more exclusive – especially in the beginning. We tried to cut down our packaging material. So therefore we could save on the packing and investing the extra money in the material, making it more affordable.”
L: “Sustainability is a big issue for 75% of the consumer, but only 7% would only buy a brand based on its sustainable qualities. My advice: invest in one piece. When one of our pieces gets rented out multiple times it has a longer lifespan than some pieces that get bought in a fast-fashion company.”
What is Sustainability?
R: “Sustainability is about the question: what do we have to change to make the world a better place to live? Unfortunately, sustainability is not a hot topic. The first thing we think about when we buy is not sustainability. Whenever I talk about the importance of sustainability on TV for example, it gets cut out. So we try to talk about it in an exciting way and prove on our runway that sustainability can be fashionable.”
R: “I think if you have a good wardrobe and you’re a little creative you can build your look with what you already have in your closet. It’s more important to follow your own style than to buy into trends.”
M: “We are working towards a circular model that you can keep using. Next month we will also start talking about the process. We will be more transparent about the way we work.”
M: “A lot of people are anxious about sustainability and all these responsibilities. It feels very limited. I can’t eat meat anymore, I can’t go to Bali. We try to find innovation. It’s not about limitations, but finding new solutions.”