Can you give a back-story about Almasanta – how did it begin and why?
Fashion has always been our passion it’s in our DNA and is a way of expressing yourself and communicating who you are to the rest of the world. Working for 7 years in Corporate Social Responsibility we saw the amount of big retailers that lacked transparency in their production, especially in the fashion industry. We use fashion to communicate ourselves but we cannot be transparent if we don’t know where the product comes from. Through this experience we decided to use the growing ecommerce industry to merge both our passion for fashion and sustainability.
What values do you look for when choosing which brands to work with?
At Almasanta, we support the brands that have sustainability in their DNA, which comply with at least 1 of our 8 pillars: handmade, organic, fair-trade, recycled, certified, ecological, local production and social integration. These brands are positioned at the opposite end of the large multinationals, which have a business model based on the constant rotation of merchandise and consequently, the permanent motivation to consume and discard.
Do you think we could all live 100% sustainably?
100% in future years. With regards to fashion, large luxury brands are already trying to incorporate more ethical and sustainable processes. The fashion industry is leaning towards this trend.
We cannot compare sustainable fashion brands from 5 years ago to today. The fashion industry is recognizing sustainability as its guide for growth and new brands are approaching their business based on ethical values without forgetting the style and trends.
If we could all change one thing about how we live daily that would make a huge positive impact to future generations, what would it be?
Every day we make choices in our lives that affect the environment, the climate or the society. From what we eat, the lifestyle that we want to follow or what you are going to wear each day. These decisions could make a change in our future generation. Both of us try to be very conscious in what we do, what we eat and how we get dressed.
From your experience, are there brands out there that truly believe in being sustainable or is it a way to ‘look good’ for the benefit of sales?
In the end there is no rule that defines what is sustainable, yet. The term is very broad. A brand that meets all sustainable requirements is very difficult and especially for small brands due to the extra cost involved. It is important to be transparent with the consumer and explain why they are considered sustainable. The more brands that are sustainable the better it is for society and the environment.
However, if we refer to the fast fashion brands that are doing a sustainable line, then YES, it is a way to look good.
What/How do you want to expand in the future to impact the sustainable fashion world?
We want to be the principal ecommerce site to find sustainable and fashionable products. We are going to expand to other markets in the world thus other categories. We want to cover all the necessities of the consumer as a differentiated product; we think that we should provide this product to all the society.
Credit: Claudia M. Monaco Co-Founder and CEO.