Antonia Devereux introduces us to a new and eco-conscious fashion brand, FRIDA, that creates made to order pieces from bamboo fabrics, while promoting slow fashion and ethical practises.
It’s becoming common knowledge that fast fashion is a worsening problem, driven by social media, influencers ‘new outfit for every post’ lifestyle, and the ever-dropping prices from mega brands. It’s a vicious cycle of social pressure, aggressive marketing and bad quality items that drives our demand, and we have all been coaxed in sometime or another. The sad truth is that if you’re not paying for your clothes, then someone else is. Fashion Checker found that 93% of brands surveyed weren’t paying garment workers a living wage in 2020 and the industry itself was responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions in 2019 (UN Environment). Luckily, waving goodbye to fast fashion is becoming easier, with a growing number of small, sustainable and ethical fashion brands coming onto the scene – one of which is FRIDA.
FRIDA was founded by couple Frida and Jack on their mission to create a more sustainable fashion future. Each of the products is made from 95% GOTS-certified bamboo, which ensures the entire supply chain has safe working conditions, zero discrimination and no child labour. Bamboo is also one of the world’s most sustainable materials due to its fast growing and renewable nature. This creates soft, comfortable clothing that not only looks good on you, but also supports the planet and the people on it.
As a brand, FRIDA understands how difficult it can be to live sustainably and prides itself on supporting people through the process. Through social media, it provides tips, advice and education on the problems facing the fashion industry and the unbalance within it. FRIDA aims to provide us with beautiful, high quality clothes for when we need them, not when we want them. Let’s find out more from the founders themselves…
When did you start FRIDA, and why?
Jack (my boyfriend) and I founded this brand over a year ago. We started planning to create a fashion brand together while I was living in Sweden, separated from Jack. However, as we read more about the industry, we were becoming more and more discouraged to create one, as it would be nose diving the planet to extinction. We understood that consumerism was a habit that’s hard to break, but this is when we came up with FRIDA. We were looking for the alternative to buy clothes, and instead, we became the alternative for ourselves and others. We created our own purpose to serve.
Through this we carved out our brand, adapting and smoothing out the bumps along the way. Staying in this cycle of learning and implementing allows us to use the brand as a vehicle to drive what we believe in: constantly trying to find solutions to problems that are swept under the carpet by big organisations. We believe that it is our obligation to stand and educate people on the hidden side of the fashion industry, that you don’t see in the window displays.
FRIDA provides a current solution to an ongoing problem. We trust that if demand in the industry flows to sustainable brands, it will have a host of positive effects, generating employment and re-energising our highstreets.
Where do you get your material from?
Our material is sourced ethically from an online store in the UK. Our fabrics are 95% bamboo with just 5% spandex for that extra stretch. We take pride in our fabrics as they are high quality and a better option for the environment. Our material is GOTS and OEKO TEX-certified for the best environmental standards.
What does sustainability mean to you and the brand?
FRIDA considers sustainability to be a goal for the masses, with unity and coordination for the greater good. At the forefront of this, is an improved world where the clarity of sustainability and a sense of community is achieved.
We believe that sustainability will become a characteristic of business success, and for the longevity of the wealth and health of ourselves and the planet, this needs to be achieved in every innovation. As long as the intention is there, REAL intention, then we will be able to grow as an intelligent species.
This idea is at the heart of our brand, but we recognise there is still a long way to go. As we constantly work to improve our brand, sustainability is always in mind.
What would your biggest piece of advice be for people wanting to shop sustainably?
It’s always better to cut down on consuming fashion but when the urge does arise, there are now more sustainable alternatives. Vintage shops, trading with friends and sustainable brands are the best three ways to shop consciously. We have to be more aware about the items we buy; for example, it’s not the initial cost that matters but the cost per wear. By shopping like this, the creativity for which fashion was invented, is brought back to life.
Modern clothes have become mass produced, stripped of equality, fairness, purpose and innovation by money-minded corporations. Consumers, creators and the environment all lose out. When you visit a vintage store or a charity shop, you are reminded of what fashion used to be, a playful, creative and expressive industry. Sustainable brands have become the current solution to the growth of population and demand, which fast fashion brands have definitely ignored. When it comes to choosing between helping or destroying, more profit or less profit, right or wrong, it is clear where they stand. They are not naive, these huge corporations, they can see us.
Frida & Jack.
A sustainable future in which we all are able to express our individuality through fashion, in a way that doesn’t jeopardize our planet, is possible. By utilizing pre-loved clothes, sharing with friends and shopping small-scale sustainable brands like Frida, we can reach this goal! If you are interesting in learning more and want to check out Frida, use the links below:
About the Author: Antonia Devereux is an Environment, Economics and Ecology student at the University of York and is currently the Social Media Manager for WILD Magazine. Her passion for sustainability led her to create her own blog, Greener Grasses, which provides easy ways to reduce your impact on the planet.