Sustainable Fashion at RainSisters
This year - it’s all about sustainable fashion. Rethinking the usual fashion production processes and business models is high on the agenda for large and small clothing brands and fashion designers.
There are terrifying videos of how the “fast fashion” ends up in landfills or how the women in underdeveloped countries are exploited to recycle the used clothing. Produce a lot, sell it cheap, throw it out, and start again - that is surely NOT how we see the fashion production process.
Being environmentally conscious is one of our key values at RainSisters - and here is how we incorporate sustainability and “slow fashion” philosophy in our garment design and daily work processes.
FUNCTIONAL FASHION IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION
Because feminine can be practical!
It is a common view that the key requirement for feminine clothing is to look good. Nice colors and bright prints, elegant silhouettes, clothing that emphasizes the femininity of women. Surely, we agree to this - we do want women to look and feel beautiful!
However, the good look is often created at the expense of functionality and comfort. All the features are added to the male clothing. Most pockets of elegant trousers are not real, just a decoration (I remember reading on Twitter - a mom complaining that even the tiny pants of her newborn boy have real pockets). Unless you are wearing jeans every day, there is practically no way to comfortably carry your smartphone around. I have a hard time finding leggings for running that not only have a nice color combination but also have waterproof and warm material in the splash zones, just like the male activewear has.
And we want to change this - feminine can be functional! Beautiful look can be comfortable!
We started entertaining the idea of waterproof coats brand when we saw our own need for the combination of function and style: walking with a toddler and a newborn pram in an exceptionally rainy and cold summer. You want to feel feminine and beautiful, the weather is unpredictable in a coastal town, and extra functionality is required from everything you wear when your hands are full with kids.
We pay attention also to the small details that add extra comfort when wearing a RainSisters coat: a large hood with adjustable tighteners to make sure no rain gets onto your face (who would want a runny mascara, yikes!), hidden snap buttons, and large hidden pockets in the side seams to hide a lipstick, phone, or a healthy snack for a kid. Fashion should be purposeful and the details should be intentional.
MULTIPURPOSE CLOTHING IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION
If you are only allowed to have one piece of outerwear - a design coat by RainSisters is the one!
Women around the world are invited to buy less and to reassess their closet against different sustainability principles, for example, philosophy of capsule wardrobe (a mini collection of a few essential items of clothing and really versatile pieces that don't go out of fashion and that you totally love to wear). A RainSisters coat really ticks off many boxes on the list.
Wear it irrespective of the occasion and outfit - most of the RainSisters coat designs work well with high heels as well as with jeans and sneakers. Even for maternity period - no need to buy a special coat for the baby bump if you have one of the trapeze silhouette coats!
Wear it irrespective of the weather - in a wide range of temperature, in sunny or rainy or snowy or windy days, and on days when you have no idea what the weather will be like later. To ensure this, the coats are all made from high quality membrane fabric that is breathable, warm, waterproof, windproof, and makes no sound when walking.
HIGH QUALITY FABRIC IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION
Membrane fabric is durable and easy to care for - ensuring long use of the garment
Membrane fabric is very functional and durable - no wonder it is often used for tourism outerwear (it’s breathable and doesn’t get you all sweaty at high fitness walk pace, and it is windproof and waterproof to best enjoy your hike at any weather), male hobbies (like fishing or hunting jackets that keep your body temperature at a constant level even with little movement), and kids outerwear (they love to slide in the playground and get all muddy - and it is paramount that the material doesn’t lose its qualities when being machine-washed often). Now we are using this three-layer membrane material also for female outerwear - ensuring all the abovementioned key features so that you can keep warm and dry (and beautiful!) in any weather.
One of the key features of the membrane fabric is that it makes no sound when walking. As compared to other waterproof materials - you won’t have the rubbery feel to your coat. Instead, the top part of the three layers is a woven fabric that makes the coat very soft and nice to touch.
No, the membrane fabric is not (and even it cannot be) organic. But we make sure that the fabric is of high quality and easy to care for - and therefore allowing the coats to be worn for a long period of time while still maintaining the good qualities.
TIMELESS DESIGN IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION
Classics don’t go out of fashion trends
There are fashion trends that are specific to a decade or a year or even a season. Those are set by the high fashion designers on the catwalk - the colors, the silhouettes, the print patterns, the overall look, and the fabric material. The popular clothing brands try to follow these guidelines.
However, there are some fashion trends that just don’t go anywhere and are repeated again and again by different designers at different periods of time. A little black dress, a wite shirt, and floral prints. Jeans, trenchcoats, and hourglass silhouette. The RainSisters coats are rather classical in style, and classics don’t go out of trend.
A significant inspiration to us is the Dior’s “New look” of the 1947 - its most prominent features included rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and a full, A-line skirt. Many of our coats follow exactly this silhouette - a fitted top part and full skirt volume below the pronounced waist line. This is a very feminine silhouette of clothing, and a very timeless one, too.
Why is this important for the philosophy of slow fashion? Because we need to change the common view of “you can only wear a dress once” and “this color was trendy last spring, now there is a completely different pattern to wear”. There is no need to throw out a perfectly good outfit just because it screams “so last season” when you are selecting timeless design.
Of course, we add new designs and new floral patterns to our coat collection every season to grow and to offer additional choice to our customers; however, we make sure that each coat looks good all year round and can be worn for several years.
SMALL PRODUCTION VOLUMES IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION
Producing locally, ethically and in small amounts to reduce impact on environment
We have been used to fast fashion thinking - get what is trendy, wear it twice, and throw it out. Clothing brand 'Kitenge' perfectly describes the fast fashion and the impact on the environment that it causes in their blog post. Of course, for the high turnover clothing brands it is cheaper to produce in countries with lower salaries - and to produce in bulk to reduce the cost per piece. And then it is way easier and less costly to just throw the products out if they don’t sell.
Instead, let's slow down. Our coats are handmade locally in an ethical and fair manner. We produce in small amounts and take the effort that each and every piece looks perfect on a lady.
Taking into consideration that every woman has a different figure and character, we think it is sustainable and wise to just buy the things that fit you well - physically and emotionally. And what is more important than a feminine coat with a perfect fit? This is also one of the side benefits of producing fashion in small volumes - it is possible to do size alterations for the needs of different customers or to select the best color and coat pattern combination for each woman.
EFFICIENT USE OF FABRIC IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION
If it's produced, it should not be wasted
Our coats have a high quality satin lining - and 75% of that satin fabric is actually some "deadstock" (fabric saved from being thrown out). We wish that this long bancrupted producer whose name nobody remembers would come back and make some more fabric for us, it is so good! :)
A lot of waste in fashion industry is created in the cutting room, perhaps even 10-15% of the fabric is lost if the patterns are not fitted to the fabric width properly. To avoid that, we have invested in digital solutions - of course, a computer is better at playing Tetris with our coat pieces than we are.
For almost a year we couldn’t throw out any fabric leftovers. Because... well we just couldn’t throw out fabric that is still fully functional and so beautiful! So after a long thought process we decided to create make-up bags. Waterproof and feminine - what more can you ask from your cosmetic bag?