Peoples Product was founded by Eva Parrell and Chelsea Mazur. The brand is dedicated to creating ethical and sustainable clothing, and being a part of the 'slow fashion' movement. By partnering with several fair-trade collectives around the world, they are able to close the gap between makers and consumers. VSP chats to Eva and Chelsea about attainable conscious clothing, who they design for, and the future of fashion.
How did you come to the decision about your business model, and what were the first steps to getting your ideas off the ground?
It all started when we were students! Eva was working in Kenya with Maasai artisans on beadwork projects and was inspired to create a line of clothing made by artisan communities. This dream lead us around the world, and ultimately guided us to India where we are working now with many small artisan groups including silk weavers, cotton weavers, sewing collectives etc. As young women learning about fashion and sustainability we were eager to shop in a conscious way, but we quickly realized that was not possible with the market at the time. Cool conscious clothing was a luxury, and the price points were unattainable to us. Anything that was attainable did not represent us. The styles, the branding etc. We could not find a brand to connect with. This is what pushed us to work in the way we do. We want our products to empower both our customers and producers. Our first steps were deciding how to wanted to work, and what story we were trying to tell with our brand. Once we knew we wanted to focus on the human side of clothing we started our journey looking for manufacturers. We were looking for female dominant fair trade organizations working in textiles, that could fully produce our products from the raw materials to our final packaging. That lead us to India where we traveled around meeting with different groups seeing who fit with us. It was an amazing experience, and we are grateful for the connections we were able to make.
What do you keep in mind about your customer base when designing your line?
We think about who she is, what she is doing, what she is thinking about, and what will make her feel strong, beautiful, and most importantly herself! We include all of that in our designs, the way we produce the garment, and the way we cost the garment. Our customers are the reason we are working, so they are always on our mind! If they are happy we are happy.
Who are your personal design influences?
We love vintage! That is our number one design influence. We reference the past and reinvent styles and feelings that inspire us. We also have design standards as a brand, that focus on accentuating natural beauty, embracing the diversity of female bodies, all with comfort and ease in mind. Plus we want things to be fun!
What do you imagine the future of fashion to look like?
We see ethics and sustainability at the core of the industry. As consumers demand it, brands will start transitioning. That doesn’t mean artisan, it means tech, new age fabrics, recycling, garment production techniques, education and so much more. We are excited to see how the industry will collectively shift. The fashion and production world is full of creative minds, with the power to invent and change the industry for the better!
What can we expect from People's Product in the near future?
So so much! Our next product step is into knits, so look out for our cute take on t-shirts, sweaters, and so much more! We are looking into new artisan groups now, and are so excited to share that story with everyone! Hint: Think pima cotton and alpaca.