#MakeItFeelRight is a movement that the TENCEL™ brand wants everyone to be part of. It’s not just about keeping those who are already committed to sustainable practices informed, but about piquing the interest of those we know want to do more but just don’t know where to start.
We recently sat down with María Malo, brand partner for the #MakeItFeelRight movement and founder of sustainable and ethical clothing brand Maria Malo, to discuss her views on responsible consumerism, and why she values her long-standing collaboration with TENCEL™.
Read below to find out how we can #MakeItFeelRight by following Maria’s motto to #WalkThisEarthWithoutaTrace.
- Why have you chosen to go sustainable for your brand Maria Malo and what are the core values of your collection?
María: I created the brand Maria Malo in 2014, a brand that not only carries my name but also my core values: respecting nature and all the people involved in the production process. I believe in responsible consumerism, which is why my designs are original, timeless and of the finest quality – the opposite of fast fashion. Each piece of clothing will be as perfect now as it will be in many years to come.
My ultimate goal is to create a business that is restorative and regenerative by design, striving to incorporate as many circular materials as possible into my collection. This is a living collection that invites creativity by expanding colors and designs while growing with us in a model of sustainable society. All production is centered in Bali collaborating with small communities of seamstresses and supporting their families.
I am committed to continue offering sustainable, stylish and high-quality designs, created out of love and respect for Mother Earth, using natural fibers and handcrafted finishes. All of our work is intended to pass through Earth without leaving a trace.
- How would you describe the role of TENCEL™ branded fibers in your collection? What do you like about ingredients such as TENCEL™ fibers which originate from sustainable wood?
María: Sustainability is very important to my brand which is why we use natural and regenerated materials made with sustainable TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers in our collection. The manufacture of lyocell is an extremely natural and environmentally friendly process that also obtains the highest quality fabrics.
TENCEL ™ Lyocell fibers are derived from sustainable wood sources. The wood used for fiber production is extracted from certified and controlled sources. TENCEL ™ Lyocell fibers have earned a commendable reputation for their environmentally responsible, closed-loop production process that transforms wood pulp into cellulosic fibers with high resource efficiency and low environmental impact. This solvent spinning process recycles the process water and reuses the solvent at a recovery rate of over 99%.
Another ecological advantage of TENCEL ™ Lyocell fibers is that the raw wood comes from forest plantations that practice sustainability. The cultivated forest land is unsuitable for agriculture, which means that it does not compete with food production. Also, the water consumption is 10-20 times less than with cotton. The fabric is absorbent and allows the body to breathe naturally. This in turn gives it more fall because it does not stick to the skin as it does not generate static energy. Remember that much of the total environmental impact of textile products comes from their care. With lyocell fabrics, there is no need to use fabric softeners or whitening agents, and energy and water use are decreased due to the shorter wash cycles needed.
- Why do you think ingredients such as TENCEL™ fibers are desirable for consumers?
María: Our consumers are all eco-conscious and care deeply for the environment. Recently, we have seen an increase in those seeking a more sustainable way of life and our clothes which use TENCEL™ branded fibers have been a huge success due to the brand’s environmentally responsible production processes. Not only do our customers seek style and comfort, they also want to make sure their purchases will not harm the environment and the TENCEL™ brand answers both of these demands. From their botanic origin, to the low environmental impact of production, to eventual biodegradability on disposal, TENCEL™ branded fibers exemplify sustainability in the textile industry.
- As a longtime collaborator, how has your partnership with the TENCEL™ brand evolved over the years?
María: Our partnership first started with a few TENCEL™ pieces and has evolved over time. It is now the main choice for most of the Maria Malo designs. Our collaboration thus far has been a valuable experience as we both share a common vision regarding our approach to sustainability and adopting eco-friendly practices within our work. I sincerely enjoy working with the TENCEL™ brand and look forward to leveraging our success in the future by adding to our collection and expanding our product offerings.
- Why did you join the #MakeItFeelRight movement and how do you think it will help to change the environmental impact of fashion?
María: I admire the movements’ dedication to sustainable fashion and share the same goal as TENCEL™ to raise awareness around the negative environmental impacts caused by the fashion industry. The #MakeItFeelRight campaign is a great opportunity to show consumers that they have the power to hold clothing brands accountable for sustainable standards of manufacturing. When you wear sustainable clothing, it not only feels right for you, it also feels right for the planet.
- What are some tips you have for consumers on acting sustainably when choosing fashion items? How can they help to make a difference?
María: One very important piece of advice I have for consumers who are considering a purchase is to ask themselves a few questions:
Do I need it? Will it last long? How has it been produced? How does it feel to support this project with my own money?
By answering these very simple questions, you are becoming more aware of what you are supporting through your purchase decisions and the type of world you are co-creating. For us at Maria Malo, we strive to keep these ideas within our business every day. As a sustainable clothing brand, it’s not just the way but the ‘why’ we do things that make us who we are. From encouraging our customers to purchase and consume less, to making tough decisions about our supply chain, we stay in a constant state of learning and evolution.