We hear you, believe us!
Launching a clothing line is challenging. Launching a sustainable clothing line that reflects our dedication to ethical, circular fashion, is a journey we couldn’t have prepared for. The path is positively exciting and fulfilling, with obstacles we couldn’t have imagined when we started.
To begin, we needed to find a local and experienced designer, who specialized in sustainable clothing. We wanted someone who could help us build the styles that were floating around in our heads. Through serendipitous events we found her on Salt Spring Island. We’ll tell you more about Caroline in a future story. We’ve spent our time hopping between the two islands (Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island), sketching, designing, building and sketching again – a fantastic, collaborative process, fuelled by a shared, inspired vision.
The first real challenge was sourcing fabric. Our commitment to ethically-produced, sustainable and durable products, meant waaaay more time dedicated to sourcing and testing. It was a little harder than we thought!
And finding quality textiles dyed – specifically black – using sustainable products? Well, let’s just say, our decision to create our first capsule in black was because we thought it would be a simpler approach. Ha! We were wrong.
In the end, we decided to trust our amazing suppliers who knew what they were doing. We went with their recommendations on the best possible options to fit our needs. We are thrilled with the fabrics we’ve sourced: Cupro, which is made from recycled cotton and has the most luxurious weight and silky feel; and high quality Linen, made from flax and it truly gets better with time.
It was important to test our clothing before manufacturing. Once our full range of samples were complete, we wore them, we traveled with them, rolled, crumpled, washed and dried them. Then we gathered a group of fabulous and supportive women for events in Calgary and Victoria, poured a little Rosé, and invited them to try everything on and offer honest feedback. What we received was overwhelming support for what we were doing, how we were doing it, and a few suggested alterations. We have made those changes and are beyond thankful for our wise and woke community that are helping shape this line.
This brings us to where we are now. We’ve just finished the photoshoot for our online store, featuring our fab friends (not models), and then we are off to meet with our manufacturer in Vancouver. We are so very close and these are exciting times indeed.
Our experiences so far have led us to think of Harris Kuipers as a sustainable clothing brand in progress. This means: we listen, we learn, we share our knowledge and make the best choices we can. And we don’t judge anyone who is trying to do the same in good faith.
We’re excited to keep you updated on our journey through our “Stories” and we’re always very interested to hear your thoughts on your experience with us.
“Where are your clothes?” You’ll be able to pre-order online later this month. Don’t worry, we’ll let you know as soon as our online shop is ready. Our goal is to be shipping to you in September, just in time for those cozier fall days.
With much love,
Laura and Shelley