During the 1990s, Kate Fisher began designing eco-friendly clothing. “I do it because I think it’s a good idea.” She claims that it is not a consequence of the fact that it is a development.
Fisher founded Synergy, a company that created clothing from mostly natural fabrics and sold them in stores like Entire Meals for almost 20 years. Now, she’s introducing WVN (pronounced “woven”), a new line with more fashionable, design-forward styles ranging from athleisure wear to beautifully printed one-of-a-kind clothing.
“There has been some greenwashing as sustainability becomes more popular,” Fisher argues. “I applaud the growing interest and the emergence of new businesses in this field, but I believe that some of these businesses lack genuine authenticity. They aren’t doing it because it is vital to their mission; rather, it is a trend.”
She points out that WVN has several qualifications and standards that take time, effort, and money to complete. These include, amongst others, being a certified B Corp, GOTS (which refers to the natural cotton supply chain), Honest Commerce, and Inexperienced America.
“And that is the complete clothing we make, not just a sprinkling of styles or a handful of collections,” she adds, alluding to high-end brands that release a few eco-friendly products each season rather than making a company-wide shift.
Fisher started traveling India and Nepal 20 years ago to see who was creating her clothes and how they were made (and sold a number of the items from these excursions at early Grateful Useless musical events). These repeated trips to the subcontinent have shaped her clothing path into something more “authentic,” she claims.
“And sometimes, you go to manufacturers and say, ‘No, this isn’t going to work because the conditions aren’t right for us.'” That’s OK, too; it’s why, rather than using a sourcing firm, which is common in the industry, I’m going in myself.”
These sourcing trips have also helped her understand more complex aspects of making fashion more environmentally friendly, such as that even natural cotton may be dyed with potentially toxic colors. It becomes problematic, she adds, when she sees clothing made of colors that may need a heavy-handed use of chemical ingredients to get that neon effect or brilliant pop — yet they’re on natural cotton. Is that outfit, therefore, environmentally friendly?
Considering all of this, Fisher self-funded WVN with the help of well-wishers and supporters of her previous company to design girls’ clothing that filled a need in the sustainable fashion industry. While many outdoor manufacturers are considering sustainability, just a few fashion-forward brands blend timeless, exquisite design with environmental and social considerations.
WVN also offers alternatives to polyester-dominated sports and activewear; theirs are created with licensed natural cotton and only use the spandex and stretch in limited amounts to get the same result. “It just feels a lot better on the pores and skin,” Fisher adds to the materials’ suppleness, especially during a workout or yoga session.
They’ve just added block printed patterns to their collection, paying respect to the well-known artisan villages in and around Jaipur who specialize in this art form.
While the cost is more “expensive,” it reflects the brand’s attempts to create high-quality things that are ethically manufactured, well-fitting, and durable enough to last years rather than seasons.
“Trend and doing good can go hand in hand,” Fisher says, echoing his whole career, which is built on longevity. This has seemed like the most natural technique for me for a long time. I didn’t do it because I needed to make an announcement or because it was right. It wasn’t some kind of excessive advantage. I think we will be stronger if we work together as a trade in the direction of change.”