Everyday there are over thousands of new styles launching on an online platform, have you ever questioned the process of manufacturing this garment? How long does it take to manufacture? What materials are you buying? Do they use harsh chemicals? What packaging will you receive? Is it everlasting? If we want to be an eco-fashionista, these can be the first step to question and search for answers. Are we just looking for style and price, or can we start looking for durable, everlasting, essentials clothing to fill our first eco-friendly closet?
Things can be everlasting. A sustainable way of thinking in mind towards a products and our planet.
In this ISSUE 13 of #EcoWithAttitude, we talk to Grana, a slow fashion and essentials clothing brand, made from the finest natural fabrics, who shares their philosophy of “Quality For All” and creating everlasting clothing for customers.
#1 Grana is well-known for offering clothing that is made of world’s best fabrics, what are the standards when it comes to choosing a fabric for design?
The most important is to pass our internal standards, even if there are recommended fabrics by other companies, it is necessary to pass our internal quality standards and third-party inspections. During the process of selecting a quality fabric, we would feel its texture, and aim to deliver the best fabric through each yarn.
“Good” or “Bad” is not enough to define the quality of a fabric, on the other hand, we should also emphasize the treatment and the process to present how a fabric can be perfect. All our partnered dyeing and weaving factories passed the ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 compliance, apart from testing the fabric quality, during the production process, we need to ensure that no harsh chemicals are added to the fabric, and do not create any pollution on our environment.
Furthermore, two elements are critical to Grana. First, apart from the fabric quality, Grana pays attention to comfort level and appearance, aiming to satisfy our customers by wearing Grana. In the meantime, we want to make sure our clothing is everlasting and remaining its comfortability after different clothing care, such as washing, drying, and ironing.
Secondly, we strongly emphasize the partnership with factories in each manufacturing process, from being certified and complying with social compliance, such as ISO 9001, OEKO-TEX, organic cotton, and REACH SVHC; to site visits to make sure it is a good working environment, to look for packaging which could help to lower the negative impact on the environment.
Currently, these factors are neglected by many companies, and price becomes the only concern for them. However, quality is always the principle for Grana. Creating comfortable, ethical clothing for all of our users, keeping its silhouette, staying durable and everlasting even after a few times of caring treatments, are definitely crucial to us.
#2 What "Sustainable Fashion" means to Grana?
Each company has its own definition of “Sustainable Fashion”, we have been trying to push ourselves to break our limits and to be responsible. For example, all of our clothing are made of natural fibres, and 99.9% of them and the packaging are biodegradable and compostable. Apart from making sustainable and environmentally friendly products, our ultimate goal is to create a sense of awareness of environmental protection to customers, and allow them to understand our products are valuable, high-quality, everlasting and always be in trend.
If we keep consuming the resources of our mother earth for overproduction and scarifying the durability and lifespan of the clothing, this is definitely not a sustainable fashion. Giving an example, if it takes 5-6 months to plant cotton, 20 days to dye cloth, and 30 days to manufacture the finished garments, it already took us over 6 months for the overall production. However, if the customers only wear it two or three times due to the poor quality, and then throw them into the trash bin as it loses its silhouette, this is completely going in the opposite direction of sustainable development.
Nowadays, almost everything is just one click away, however the consumers often neglect the production process, time involved and the value behind a garment. Long-lasting is our tenet, we keep testing our yarn, cloth, used water, and dyes processes to design and ensure our quality. Our T-shirt might look ordinary to you, but each of them takes at least half a year to produce, Grana has to consider whether its length, size, styles, and designs could still be applicable and worn in the coming five to ten years. We have spent much effort to balance and ensure every piece of Grana is timeless and classic.
#3 Essentials wear design is another highlight of Grana, why do you think that your fans are so fascinated and love it?
Grana has been emphasizing the principle of "Quality for all” since we established in 2014, we put effort into bringing out the importance of sustainable development and positioning our brand with a positive mindset, quality of products to eco-friendly packaging. Most of our our customers are amazed by the quality of Grana. One of our hero products is Cashmere, some customers might underestimate the price which should be similar to those from fast fashion retailers; while some customers regard this is very worthwhile as they understand the product quality is close to the high fashion Cashmere.
#4 Why #INVISIBLEBAG for Grana?
We have recruited a consultation team for sourcing materials and packaging and we have also spent at least one to two years doing research internally. Most companies are using cartons, however excessive packaging is still prevalent in the market. For example, we always encounter that the size of the carton is too large for a small product, just like un-fitting clothing in our world, where one carton paper box size could be equivalent to several mailers. Thus, this causes unnecessary waste and money due to the unused spaces inside the carton as well as incurred extra delivery cost, regardless of whether it is shipped by sea or air.
Moreover, we heard and came across many packagings which claim that they are perfect, plant-based, or recycled plastic materials, but in fact, the main ingredients are made of traditional plastic PP / PE and do not fulfill our needs. Fortunately, we finally discovered #INVISIBLEBAG, through the media introduction, decided to use it as our packaging as the company which shares the same value as Grana.
#5 What are the actions that a fashion brand should take to promote sustainability?
Grana was born in 2014 and is relatively young in the fashion industry field, so we have a larger room and comparatively flexibility to implement various numbers of environmental protection plans, this is reflected in our case of quickly switching from conventional plastic packaging to eco-friendly, water-soluble packaging #INVISIBLEBAG.
#6 From a fashionista perspective, any green tips that it is helpful for the public to start to engage in a sustainable lifestyle?
It is undeniable that most customers are not conscious shoppers nor truly understanding the value of a brand. There is nothing wrong with that, but whether it is an individual or a business, if we pursue and move towards a better life, the basic philosophy is to keep an eye on our planet and the environment we live in and take your courage to try different things in a sustainable way.
#7 We are now in 2023, any upcoming projects?
In the next 1 to 2 years, we aim to be a more circularity driven company, implementing different projects from top to down, such as recycling, upcycling and reproducing. We hope to work together with partnered factories to reuse and upcycle excess fabrics in our production process in order to further reduce waste. Another idea is to set up a recycling program, this allows customers to return old clothing to Grana. Nevertheless, it is not only an individual brand's effort to achieve and promote a circular economy, the entire fashion industry should work closely together in order to speed up the progress. Regardless if the result is success or not, Grana has been implementing the optimal pla s, aiming to influence the entire industry and our customers to understand our direction and positioning of sustainability.
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